Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of New York City that formed in 1999 and is known for its theatrical stage shows. Much of the band's sound is inspired by Gypsy music, as some of its members are immigrants from Eastern Europe. The band incorporates minor-key accordion and fiddle (and on some albums, saxophone) mixed with cabaret, punk, and dub as well as multiple languages. Phill Jupitus has described the band as "a bit like The Clash having a fight with The Pogues in Eastern Europe," while Kenneth Partridge of The Hartford Courant described lead singer Eugene Hütz's voice as "somewhere between that of Borat and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog."
History and influences
Nikolai Gogol, the band's namesake, was an ideological influence because he "smuggled" Ukrainian culture into European literary society, which Gogol Bordello intends to do with their music in the English speaking world." The band was originally titled Hütz and the Béla Bartóks, but Eugene Hütz says that they decided to change the name because "nobody knows who the hell Béla Bartók is in the United States." The band played their first show as the unofficial band at an after-hours club called Pizdetz on Ridge Street, where they became the house band and DJ Hũtz became the house DJ.
Gogol Bordello's first single was released in 1999, and since then, they have released four full-length albums, and one EP. In 2005 the band signed to punk label SideOneDummy Records. The band has toured tirelessly throughout Europe and America on numerous international festivals and toured with such diverse bands as Primus, Flogging Molly, and Cake. In an interview with NPR, frontman Eugene Hütz cites Jimi Hendrix and Parliament-Funkadelic as among the band's main musical influences
Singles and collaborations
The recording of "Start Wearing Purple", on their 1st album, "Voi-La Intruder" pioneered their UK success. Their song, "Occurrence on the Border", was featured on the 4th Punk Rock Strike compilation put out by Springman Records. For their third LP, ”Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike” "Start Wearing Purple" was re-recorded and became their first North American single and a video was later released. The song and variations thereof can be heard throughout the 2005 movie Everything Is Illuminated and is the closing song of the soundtrack. It has also become an unofficial theme song of the Baltimore Ravens football team, and local radio and television stations have played the song in conjunction with games during the 2006-2007 season.
"Not a Crime" and "Wonderlust King" were chosen as their second and third North American single, both accompanied by a music video.
The song "I Would Never Wanna Be Young Again" has a short interlude of an arrangement of Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished) in B minor played on strings.
Several of the band members also take part in a dub and electronic side project with members of Balkan Beat Box entitled J.U.F. (Jewish-Ukrainian Freundschaft), whose sound pulls from their varied ethnic background, a sound that could be likened to a combination of DJ Hũtz, Balkan Beat Box and Gogol Bordello.
- Eugene Hütz (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Fire bucket) - Ukraine
- Sergey Ryabtsev (Violin, Backing Vocals) - Russia
- Yuri Lemeshev (Accordion, Backing Vocals) - Russia
- Oren Kaplan (Guitar, Backing Vocals) - Israel
- Thomas Gobena (Bass Backing Vocals) - Ethiopia
- Eliot Ferguson (Drums, Backing Vocals) – Florida, USA
- Pamela Jintana Racine (Percussion, Backing Vocals, Dance, General Performance) - Thai-American
- Elizabeth Sun (Percussion, Backing Vocals, Dance, General Performance) - Chinese Scottish
- Pedro Erazo (MC) - Ecuador
- Karl Alvarez (Bass)
- Rea Mochiach (Bass, Percussion, Electronics (on the albums), Beat Programming (on the albums, Backing Vocals) - Israel
- Sasha Kazatchkoff (Accordion)
- Vlad Solovar (Guitar)
- Ori Kaplan (Saxophone, Backing Vocals, no relation to Oren Kaplan) - Israel
- Susan Donaldson (Percussion, Backing Vocals, Dance, General Performance)
- Voi-La Intruder – 1999. Rubric Records.
- Multi Kontra Culti vs. Irony - September 2002. Rubric Records.
- East Infection - January 2005. Rubric Records.
- Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike - August 2005. SideOneDummy Records.
- Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike - 2 Disc Vinyl - March 2006.
- Multi Kontra Culti vs. Irony + East Infection - 2 Disc Vinyl - December 2006.
- Super Taranta! - July 10th, 2007. SideOneDummy Records UK #67
- Super Taranta! - 2 Disc Vinyl - July 28th, 2007. SideOneDummy Records
- When The Trickster Starts A-Poking - 2002. Rubric Records.
- Start Wearing Purple - February 2006. SideOneDummy Records.
- Not a Crime - August 2006. SideOneDummy.
- Wonderlust King - August 2007. SideOneDummy. #11 UK Indie
- Punk Rock Strike Vol. 4 - 2003. Springman Records.
- 2005 Warped Tour Compilation - 2005. SideOneDummy Records.
- 2006 Warped Tour Compilation - 2006. SideOneDummy Records.
- Gypsy Beats and Balkan Bangers - 2006. Atlantic Jaxx.
- The Rough Guide to Planet Rock - 2006. World Music Network.
- 2007 Warped Tour Compilation - 2007. SideOneDummy Records.
- Gogol Bordello vs. Tamir Muskat - August 2004. A collaboration between Gogol Bordello and members Balkan Beat Box, under the name J.U.F., an acronym for Jewish-Ukrainian Freundschaft. Stinky Records
- 2005 - Everything Is Illuminated - Eugene Hütz played one of the main characters in the movie and members of the band (Sergei Ryabtsev, Yuri Lemeshev, Pamela Racine) make appearances.
- 2008 - Filth and Wisdom - The entire band is slated to appear in a short film directed by Madonna.
- ^ a b Gogol Bordello at bbc.co.uk (Web). www.bbc.co.uk (22 June 2007). Retrieved on 9 July 2007.
- ^ New Music Reviews (Web) (16 August 2007). Retrieved on 24 August 2007.
- ^ a b c d "[Bordello: Music from 'Gypsy Punks']". [Performance]. April 29, 2006.
- ^ Bowen, Rebecca, "Gogol Bordello and Madonna continue collaboration", Paste (magazine) (News online), 10 July 2007, <http://www.pastemagazine.com/action/article/4447/news/music/gogol_bordello_and_madonna_continue_collaboration> (retrieved on 23 July 2007)
- ^ Bordello, Gogol (11/10/2006). Gogol Bordello. Official MySpace Page. MySpace.com. Retrieved on 11/10/2006.
- ^ Cooper, Ryan (2007). An Interview with Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello (Web). About.com. Retrieved on 9 September 2007.
- ^ Filth and Wisdom (2008) (Web). www.imdb.com (7 August 2007). Retrieved on 7 August 2007.
- Official Web Site
- MySpace Profile
- AllMusic Entry
- Gogol Bordello in Portugal
- Interview on BYT
- Gogol Bordello - Cult(ure) Music
- Unofficial Fan Forum
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