Gypsy Punk
May 31, 2007 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Gogol Bordello describe their music as "Gypsy Punk." Formerly the Bela Bartoks, singer Eugene Hutz was in the movie Everything Is Illuminated, as was their song Start Wearing Purple.
posted by homunculus (45 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
They've been around for awhile, and mentioned here before, but not as a FPP. They've got a new album on the way. Their music always make me happy.
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

The lead singer's voice is like having an icepick jammed into your ear canal. Gah.

I wouldn't mention it if I just didn't like the band, but I actively can't stand them. My sister plays them occasionally, and it pretty much chases me out of the room or car. I'd rather listen to the sound of a thousand fingernails on a thousand chalkboards with a chorus of crying babies and dentist's drills.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:44 PM on May 31, 2007

I was working in a clothing store in the East Village in Manhattan, and a youngish mustachioed punk comes in with a Russian flag patch on his lapel. Being Russian, I bring that up, we start talking, etc. etc. and he tells me I oughta come see his band play. I say "yeah sure," wanting to support a Russian musician, "what's the band?"

"Gogol Bordello."

And the gold tooth. Turns out it was Eugene Hutz. He came in a few times after that; and he's a stand-up guy.

And I can't recommend seeing this band live more than I do. Seriously, it was probably one of the single greatest concert experiences in my life.
posted by griphus at 9:45 PM on May 31, 2007

Erm, "and I notice the gold tooth."
posted by griphus at 9:45 PM on May 31, 2007

They are really a great live band.

"And the older that I get... The more perverted that I get."
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:59 PM on May 31, 2007

They are phenomenal in concert, and some of the best nights I've ever had out in New York involved Hutz spinning indescribable DJ sets at Mehanata, aka Bulgarian Bar. Some example. more info. So much fun.
posted by kosem at 10:07 PM on May 31, 2007

"Some example"? Really? It's bedtime for me.
posted by kosem at 10:08 PM on May 31, 2007

So, Im involved with this band The World/Inferno Friendship Society who also courted "Gypsy Punk" for a while. A couple years back there seemed to be a rivalry between the two. I think it was mostly blown out of proportion by the young punk fans but it led to humorous events like hats being stolen and people going to shows of the other bands and reporting bizarro versions of all the fans of the first band, and of course the apocryphal stories of the singers of both bands meeting in the shadows of brooklyn alleyways.
posted by Brainy at 10:11 PM on May 31, 2007

Brainy, You're in W/IFS?! You guys friggin' kill! So does Gogol as long as we're tabulating. I second all praise heaped on their live show times a lot. They were head to head with Bjork at the end of the first night of Coachella, and I picked them.

I regret nothing!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:28 PM on May 31, 2007

I do love me some Gogol Bordello. Hey, some of us are into icepicks in our ear canals, thankyouverymuch. I haven't had the chance to see them live, and I'm sad about this.
posted by katillathehun at 10:39 PM on May 31, 2007

Here's a video. It doesn't quite sound the same, but it put me in the mind of Mano Negra--who were also a great live band. I'm looking forward to seeing Gogol Bordello at Bonnaroo in a couple of weeks. Bonnawho's Who links to more of their music. Thanks for the post.
posted by muckster at 10:39 PM on May 31, 2007

Gogol Bordello is unfathomably awesome in person.

Their albums don't engage me all that much, but they are quite the performers, these kids.
posted by sparkletone at 10:46 PM on May 31, 2007

Seeing GB is like being abducted. Nonstop.
posted by omnidrew at 10:58 PM on May 31, 2007

The tracks on their MySpace page are fun: sounds like their live show would indeed be a hoot.

They remind me a little of the wonderful Ne Zhdali, a crazy little anarcho unit out of Estonia fronted by the indefatigable Leonid Soybelman, who's also a real stand-up guy, as they say.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:28 PM on May 31, 2007

BTW, here's a link to a Ne Zhdali mp3. Unfortunately just a snippet of an instrumental, but fun!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:31 PM on May 31, 2007

As other already have said, they are really great live. Apart from some new discoveries they were the highlight of last year's hultsfred festival.

Will see them see them again at least once this summer...
posted by rpn at 11:44 PM on May 31, 2007

Involved with, not in. But yeah, they do kill.
posted by Brainy at 12:05 AM on June 1, 2007

About four years ago they came through the college town I was living in. There was a fair amount of buzz, and I was looking forward to checking them out. When I went to get a ticket, they were 20 dollars each, with an opening act I didn't recognize. The explanation was that they put on a "party," not just a "show."

Fuck that noise.
posted by bardic at 12:22 AM on June 1, 2007

(This was a smallish southern town btw, where a national act like Frank Black or Steve Malkmus could be seen for 10-12 dollars on average.)
posted by bardic at 12:23 AM on June 1, 2007

The explanation was that they put on a "party," not just a "show." Fuck that noise.

So it was a noise party! Well, heck, no wonder it was 20 bucks! Plus, that's cheaper than Sinatra tickets, any way you look at it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:25 AM on June 1, 2007

They make me feel the way "Squirrel Nut Zippers" used to make me feel.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:11 AM on June 1, 2007

If you like Gogol Bordello, you might also like:

Kultur Shock

Kultur Shock is awesome.
posted by cmonkey at 1:26 AM on June 1, 2007

Metafilter: Your favorite band... is, uh, actually unfathomably awesome
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:41 AM on June 1, 2007

Saw them play live in Seattle last spring. It was an incredible, loud, ruthless ramrod of an experience. I honestly thought the floor at Neumo's (the venue) was going to give in and kill a few dozen people. At some point Hutz threw a giant drum into the crowd, climbed on top of it and surfed the crowd as though he had a board. Never seen that before. Good stuff.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 2:29 AM on June 1, 2007

The Guardian had an article about all that gypsy music influence in the air these days. It's mostly about Beirut, but there's a fair amount of Gogol Bordello in there.
posted by Kattullus at 4:45 AM on June 1, 2007

Gogol Bordello are amazing. I keep introducing people to them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:48 AM on June 1, 2007

I love that they come to Chicago as often as they do. Their shows are amazing, and the crowd is not your typical punk crowd; all these nutso Eastern Europeans come out to the shows and it is always completely insane. Bring your earplugs, and don't stand near the front if you don't want to get trampled.
posted by misskaz at 6:05 AM on June 1, 2007

Some lovely GB concert photos by a friend of mine.
posted by at 6:29 AM on June 1, 2007

I have yet to see Gogol Bordello live, but have had the pleasure of seeing The World/Inferno Friendship Society twice now. Real good show and highly recommended.
posted by Constant Reader at 7:06 AM on June 1, 2007

ive seen them many times, including 2 nights ago (pics here: and they definitely are like no other band live. Eugene has more energy than anyone. ever. i can't, however, listen to them on my own. it really only works in a live setting. and he was sooo good in Everything i Illuminated. apparently he's gonna be in something w/Madonna next? I hope that's just a rumor.
posted by rollerball at 7:16 AM on June 1, 2007

oops sorry for the lack of html, that should be pics HERE
posted by rollerball at 7:17 AM on June 1, 2007

Ooo. Gogol Bordello is awesome! And one of the most fun live shows to which I've been!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:28 AM on June 1, 2007

I love them! I'm so looking forward to their new album.
posted by mike3k at 7:44 AM on June 1, 2007

NSFW--Hutz had a pictorial in the first Sweet Action.
posted by brujita at 7:47 AM on June 1, 2007

posted by brujita at 7:49 AM on June 1, 2007

oh wow i remember that issue of Sweet Action and that was kind of the first i'd heard of him. haven't associated the Eugene of GB now that i've seen them alot with that spread. wow, weird.
posted by rollerball at 8:05 AM on June 1, 2007

A while back, I watched Everything is Illuminated with my family. When Start Wearing Purple came on during the closing credits, my father got up and danced. He went out and bought all of Gogol Bordello's cds. My dad is cool and also notoriously tone deaf.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 8:13 AM on June 1, 2007

Some lovely GB concert photos by a friend of mine.
posted by

Those are some serious live pictures. Your friend knows exactly how to shoot a band. (shooting them in the photographic sense, of course, not like Mitrovarr would like to shoot them).
posted by micayetoca at 8:56 AM on June 1, 2007

Whenever I'm at a party and someone puts on "Start Wearing Purple" for the 50th time, someone starts talking to me about them, and usually tells me "Their CD really doesn't do them justice, they're so much more amazing in concert!"

To which I respond "They'd have to be."

They tend to get upset at me after that. I generally shouldn't discuss music with people.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:21 AM on June 1, 2007

They did an instore performance at the record store I used to manage. It was one of the most exciting things I had ever witnessed. Their show that night (I had to go after that instore) was spectacular, as is every one of their shows I've seen since. The Gypsy Punk album is quite good. Albini prodouced it.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 9:55 AM on June 1, 2007

For those of you who live in London and like Gypsy-style music, I highly suggest you check out Kazum who host monthly Gypsy/Turkish music shindigs and a variety of live concerts as well. Most of their concerts/dances are pretty cheap, in the £5-15 range.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:04 PM on June 1, 2007

What micayetoca said. And yes, Gogol Bordello is all kinds of awesome. My daughter wants to be a gypsy punk when she grows up.
posted by Sailormom at 8:12 PM on June 1, 2007

I know the thread's gone to sleep, but you might also like Kocani Orkestar.
posted by moonbird at 10:52 AM on June 3, 2007

Hello sleepy thread! No one's posted this, I think, so I'll get my brag on: last year I was lucky enough to be able to produce a performance chat with GB, which you can hear here.

I had to go pick them up from the club they were playing at and drive them to our studios; I believe I can die happy now, knowing that nothing will ever top the experience of driving Eugene, Yuri, and Sergei down 7th Street while hollering along to Johnny Cash at the top of our lungs.
posted by speedlime at 2:35 PM on June 3, 2007 [2 favorites]

I've even made a Eugene Hutz Mii -
posted by mike3k at 8:51 PM on June 3, 2007

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