Posts filed under ‘Gogol Bordello’

Countdown to Gogol Bordello (Again)

Yay! It’s time for another Countdown to Gogol Bordello!

Earlier this week I followed through with a verbal commitment to my brother and bought my ticket to Gogol Bordello! So on June 19th, I’ll be meeting my brother, my brother’s girlfriend and my brother-in-law‘s cousin’s ex-boyfriend for the Richmond, Virginia show at Toad’s Place (anyone else out there going???  Aaron?  You know you want to!).

I’m psyched!

To share my excitement, here is a quick video I took with my camera at the 10/18/2008 show in Blacksburg, Virginia. Yeah, so what if the resolution and the sound aren’t that great? You get to see the energy of the band and how eclectic they are! In this video, you’ll see drums, an accordion, cymbals, a guitar, a violin and the lead singer playing a plastic bucket. Yup, a plastic bucket. How is that for diversity?


If you want better pictures of the band, once again I recommend Aaron Evan’s set from the October 16, 2007 show in Baltimore, Maryland.

As long as my brother doesn’t lose his shoe and his car keys like he did at the New York City show, I think a good time will be had by all!

May 29, 2008 at 1:38 pm 3 comments

They Might Be Giants at 9:30 Club

Whoops– after 2+ months, I still never published this post about a They Might Be Giants concert in *November* My sister wants to read it, so here we go:

My sister did a very detailed recap of the concert on her blog. How detailed? Why, very detailed. She even covered our visit to the bar before the band went on:

Vicky looked at a menu, but didn’t want anything. We talked about tampons and yeast infections and all sorts of stuff like that. Kipp talked about his upcoming trip with Casey to Spain, and his past trip to Iceland with Julie.

Yup, every They Might Be Giants fan scouring the Internet wondering whether or not I ordered food can rest easy. 🙂

Anyway, because Carolyn was so thorough, I just have a few addendums.

Project Runway!!!!
The band made a Project Runway reference! When they first came out, they did the typical interaction with the audience.

TMBG: We are so excited to be here in Washington, D.C….
(Crowd cheers)
TMBG: Performing here at the 9:30 Club
(Crowd cheers)
TMBG: …And we are really excited about the new season of Project Runway
(Vicky cheers)

Energy Level
Carolyn’s blog covered the energy level of the audience:

Speaking of annoying, I was also annoying because I was singing along and dancing, and it didn’t seem like the people around me were dancing all that much. Vicky also mentioned that the energy level was really low in the audience. Oh well.

When I first mentioned the energy level to Carolyn, it was really an observation. But the more I think about it, the more disappointed I am. I go to concerts for the crowd energy. I expect to jump around. I expect to dance and I expect to get terribly sweaty and nasty. But that didn’t happen. Very few people moved at all. At times I would look up at the balconies and see a bunch of stone-faced fans watching as still as they could be.

And I think it is the band to attribute this to. At the beginning of the show, they gave the crowd a lecture– saying if they saw people pushing or shoving they were going to stop the show altogether. Between that announcement, a lot of the talking comedy bits, and the extended erratic jamming, they really didn’t command the audience to move.

Now their performance was solid and interesting enough. But compare them to Gogol Bordello. Both bands sports eight+ performers. Both bands have very eccletic instrumentation– heck both bands feature an accordion! But the energy levels of both shows were complete opposites.

As fond as I am of They Might Be Giants, in the years to come, it will be the Gogol Bordello show that will stand the most firm in my memory.

February 7, 2008 at 9:35 am 2 comments

Gogol Bordello in NYC

My brother and his friend Pat traveled up to New York City to see Gogol Bordello perform on New Year’s Eve.  They report it was a great show.  But… they did have their fair share of complications.  Here is my brother’s write-up on the trip.  I’m particularly fond of his shoe hunt.

Pat and Jay’s Fear and Loathing in New York City Excursion

         To Whom ever is reading this I just want to say first that I am a responsible adult but I wanted to convey my intense New Year’s going to a Gogol Bordello concert in NYC.  I purchased some tickets for Gogol Bordello in NYC online for my girlfriend and I thinking she could get New Years Eve off.  She couldn’t go so I decided I wouldn’t go and that I would just give the tickets to someone else as a Christmas gift.  I went through several different people and couldn’t get rid of them if I held a gun to someone’s head.  My girlfriend convinced me to go anyway and suggested I take my friend Pat.  Pat was happy to go so it’s set in stone I am going to NYC for my first time to see Gogol Bordello.
         We arrive at our hotel with no incidences in Brooklyn, NY.  We have time to spare so we decided to walk around Brooklyn a little bit to get a feel for it and to have a cocktail or two before we left for the show.  We strike up some conversations with some locals (who are very nice) and found out our show is not in Brooklyn like the web site I got the tickets from said but is in Manhattan. The locals are laughing at us because it’s New Years Eve and the club where the concert is located right next to the beginning of the Times Square New Years Eve bullshit.  Even though they are snickering about it they still insist we should be fine that the club won’t be that hard to get to. Our bartender did the same snicker when he heard what we are doing that night but said we should be good.  Before we left this bar the bartender gave Pat and I a free drink to help move a pool table. 
         We take the subway and find our stop pretty easy and the subway wasn’t crowded. We take a quick bathroom break to find the worst bathroom on the planet which smells like what I imagine a prison laundry room to smell like. We walk to the street to find the beginning of the massive sea of people that are waiting to go to Times Square.  Our club is only 6 blocks from the metro but every direct root was blocked off.  On top of it the direction that we have to go is the opposite direction that the sea of people is going.  We are like salmon. After an hour and a half and fifteen or twenty blocks we arrived at the club.
        The club is impressive as big as the capitol ballroom if not bigger.  In our excitement we make our way to the bar and have a victory shot/beer.  I buy Jacklyn, my girlfriend, a tee-shirt while I still have money and decided to wear it under my shirt so I don’t lose it (Great Idea!)  The show hasn’t yet started so we keep making our way in between the bar and outside cigarette smoking area while having stimulating conversation. The show starts and I feel pretty good.
        Gogol Bordello rocks the house.  Pat and I are fucking excited.  Everyone is jumping, screaming and singing.  I keep looking at pat and saying, “I’m Happy!” and he’s like, “I’m happy too!”
        The night goes on and we still keep making are way between the bar, crowd and smoking area.  Gogol Bordello starts counting down and its 2008! By this time I and Pat are in “I Fucking Love You Man!” stage.  The show starts getting more and more intense and Pat and I want a piece of the action in front.  We start making our way up to the front by just walking where we want to go and we get real close like 3 rows away.  Everybody is jumping and we’re jumping and we still want to get closer.  We try just moving people out of the way or sticking our arms in where we want to go and a few people get pissed. People started pushing us and we’re like, “Oh you want to push”  on each side of us we’re pushing like 6 people a piece and they would push back which would push us into other bystanders and suddenly it’s a classic 1992 mash pit.  I get real hot and I decide to ditch my jacket (Great Idea!) It reverts back to jumping and singing and I feel the urge to jump on stage. 
     I start position my self to jump when suddenly my shoe falls off.  I look down and try to grab it when it disappears.  I turn to Pat who is still jumping and say, “I LOST MY SHOE!”  He’s like, “WHAT!?”   I scream, “I LOST MY SHOE I AM GOING TO THE BAR.”   He laughs but comes with me we make our way back to the bar.  A few shots and a beer later and a couple of snickers from the bartender about my predicament the show ends. I make my way back to the floor to find my shoe.  They had some DJ music playing and it was a lot less crowded but there was a cesspool of trash, clothing articles, and people dancing everywhere none of which is my jacket or my shoe.  I keep looking and try to act like I was dancing in between my searches.  I did find a hat I though I would need and a black ballerina looking slipper which I did try to put on (it was way too small.)  I decide to let go of my shoe and jacket and we stumble back to the metro.
       We go to the metro and Pat is looking at a map like he can read a fucking map.  I have the address of our hotel in my pocket and I tell him I am going to ask someone.  I ask the metro guy and he simply points to the train I need.  I turn around and Pat is nowhere to be found.  I comb the area.  I check the bathroom first and then I look everywhere else .I look twice, and again and again.  That fool is nowhere to be found.  I decided that hopefully he smart enough to find his way back. I did try hard to find him but he is gone.
        I get on the train only to find to these 2 sketchy looking crack-heads who keep trying to give me a hard time but I am still in invincibility mode from the club. They keep trying to make fun of my missing shoe.  We start arguing about things like “the Irish vs. the English” and I over shot my stop by one.  I vocally blame one of the shady characters who I’ve been arguing with. As I leave I also call him Dracula because of his weird trench coat thing. 
        I know that I am like ten blocks away from my hotel and its raining. I still don’t have a shoe so I decide to take a cab.  I hail like 10 cabs who all speed pass me and finally I get one by walking in front of one that was stuck at a red light.  I tell him where I need to go and show him the address and we get on the way.  We get to the street my hotel is on and I notice he is going the wrong way direction.  I’m like, “Hey we’re going the wrong way can u bust a u-ee?”  He responds sharply,” I’m not getting a ticket for you, you get out here!”  And so I am back to the streets in the rain with no shoe and I still have seven blocks to go. 
        I finally make it to the hotel and the first thing I do is go to my car because I have an extra pair of shoes in there.  I reach in my pocket to find my car key is missing. I am thinking to myself that Pat and I are screwed. I go to my room and I try to call pat (I would’ve called him earlier but my phone doesn’t work in the subway,)   it rings like 10 times and the voice mail picks up. I keep calling it over and over and then someone picks up, “Hello?”  I’m like, “PAT!”  They guy on the other end is like, “No this is Robert I found your buddies phone in the club.” I told Robert to leave the phone in the club.  I am very angry at this point but I am tired too.  It was 4 in the morning I decided to go to bed.  I hoped pat was alright and that I would be able to find me key.  I fall asleep.
      I awake to Pat saying,”Wake up man lets go to the bar!”  It’s about 7 in the morning.  I blow him off and he lies down and immediately starts snoring. At about eleven-fifteen in the morning I wake up and remember that check out was at 11.  I call and get an extension.  I wake up Pat and ask to borrow his shoes so I can go buy some shoes.  He fucking laughs at me but points them out.  I start walking to a shopping area on a quest for shoes. 
     First place I see open on New Years is a gym.  I have an idea that there might be a lost and found there with someone’s shoes they never claimed.   No luck.  Most stores are closed but a few small clothing stores are open and they don’t have any shoes.  I keep looking.  I walk for like an hour and decide to give up on shoes again.  I turn around and start walking back.  I walk by this trash can and there on top is this white beat up left shoe.  I thinking well I got to go back to Manhattan to try to find my keys so I might as well wear the fucking thing (Although my other shoe is brown.)  I make my way back to the hotel. 
    I show pat what I found and he’s in hysterics.  I give his shoes back and put my new one on which is soaking wet and we are off to Manhattan again.
   We get to the subway and we can’t stop laughing.  I got two different shoes on and my beanie cap that I found last night.  Pat keeps walking ahead of me and turning around yelling not to follow him and called me names like hobo.  We get on the train to Manhattan and he sits where I can’t sit next to him.  I try to hide my new white shoe but it is totally obvious.  No one will look at me and a few people whisper and point when they think I’m not looking.  I still keep laughing uncontrollable sometimes about the situation which probably makes me look schizophrenic.  We finally arrive back in Manhattan and we start walking to the club again.
  Pat told me about how the previous night how he didn’t remember leaving the club and when he snapped out of his drunkenness he was on a train.  How he was lost for 3 hours and has pizza sauce on his shirt and doesn’t remember eating.
    We get to the club and luckily it’s open and has some kids’ dance competition in it and is magically very clean.  We find the club owner and we explain or situation.  He pulls out a pen and starts making a list of what we lost.   Pat’s like “My phone. His jacket and his car keys,” and I add while pointing down, “And my shoe.”  The guy laughs at me but he’s British so he’s like “oh dear.” He goes and looks in the lost and found and doesn’t find a single thing.  He told us to call in a few days and we leave.
  We call this “Robert” who picked up pats phone and he says he has it (my battery is dying) Pat gets his address and we head back to the metro to retrieve his phone. We think we are going the right towards this guy’s house but we aren’t.  We get off and go look at the map. We get back on but another wrong train.  We get off again and look at a map and we see a certain color line of train that we need. We wait for the train and it never comes.  We look at the map again and it doesn’t run on weekends and I guess new years day counts as a weekend even though it’s Tuesday.  After 3 hours of this I mention to pat that we really died last night and this is purgatory. I decide to split from pat and return to the hotel to work on my not having a car key problem. Pat agrees.  We still keep having flashbacks about last night and keep laughing hysterically.  We part ways again this time intentionally. 
   I return to the hotel and call a locksmith.  His name is Joey and he says they can do it, ”But its gonna cost 400 bucks being New Years and everting”  Luckily,  I have my credit card and if it weren’t for that thing I would be homeless in New York  because for now after last night I only have like 20 dollars in my account.  Even though this key making thing took a while it was a lot quicker then Pats cell phone scavenger hunt.  When they came to fix it the first thing I did was get my shoes out of the trunk.  When I put them on they had dogshit all over them which is why they were in the trunk. I washed them off and threw the two old ones away. No fucking souvenirs for me. 
      Pat returns with his phone and we eat in a pizza place.  We start having flashbacks again and laughing hysterically at my day as a hobo.  We then make our way out of the city to the highway.  We get lost a few more times which set us back another hour but we finally get it right. 
     Through it all the trip cost us about 1100 dollars for one day.  Key made, tolls, hotel, tickets, gas, drinks, food all that stuff. Even though were on the brink of being homeless we did not stop laughing hysterically the whole time.  I would do it again in a heartbeat and highly recommend everyone do it.  Although I think if it wasn’t Pat and I, whoever it would have been would have broke.

January 2, 2008 at 6:08 pm 4 comments

Gogol Bordello in Blacksburg

First off, greetings from Bellevue, Washington!  I’m on another trip.  This explains why I didn’t enthusiatically report about the Gogol Bordello concert earlier– the very next day I was flying out to the great Pacific Northwest.  Anyway, it is very simple to sum up the concert:


And a couple of little tidbits.

Gogol Bordello is Harder to Photograph Than Babies
Aaron Evans is a talented photographer.  I already knew that and his Flickr photos provide plenty of proof.  But now I have another reminder of Aaron’s photographing prowess.  His Gogol Bordello pictures are far superior to mine.  Even though I specifically staked out a railing to keep my camera steady, those dang musicians moved around so much, most of my shots were still blurry.  Anyway, not since little baby Ali, have I had such trouble getting the shot I wanted.
That blur on the far left is supposed to be Eugene Hutz
Here is Eugene Hutz when he is actually still

Commanding Violinist
For those of you not familiar with the band, two prominent instruments are the accordian and the violin.  Everything about the band is energizing, but it was the violinist,  Sergey Ryabtsev, who really commanded the crowd.  With each song, the crowd was always in motion.  And when the violin started– that’s when the frenzied jumping would begin.  A Russian immigrant and his violin– not what you would expect to drive this demographic of concert-goers insane.  Sergey’s power does come with a cost.  That poor bow of his got more and more tattered with each song.

Gogol Bordello is Better Than Hawaii
My brother, Jay, works on a cruise ship in Hawaii.  So he spends months at a time circulating the Hawaiin islands and he seems to take a lot of joy in taunting me via cell phone by sending along weather updates and pictures of beautiful mountains.  Well finally, the tables are turned!!!  I sent him a picture from the concert and my brother sent back a brief reply:

“im jealous”

Ha, ha!  Someone in Hawaii is jealous of *ME*. 

Ass Cracks Welcome
I wore low-rider jeans that night.  The times I went into the crowd my wardrobe choice was troublesome.  With all the jumping and dancing and escalating energy, I often felt my pants starting to slide down.  So in the vicinity of moshers, I had to allocate one of my key defense resources to reach back and yank my pants back into place.

“This is the last time I’m wearing these jeans to a concert,” I thought.

And then I noticed Eugene Hutz.  His pants posed a similiar predictament and his butt crack was readily visible.

“Oh,” I realized, “It’s socially acceptable!”

And that was the last time I worried about that!

October 21, 2007 at 11:58 pm 2 comments

links for 2007-10-17

Some of my favorites:

October 17, 2007 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment


On Thursday, I have tickets to go to see Gogol Bordello at Blacksburg’s reinnovated Lyric Theatre!  My brother gave me their Gypsy Punks – Underdog World Strike CD at Bethany Beach in August.  Since then I’ve become a little obsessed with the music.  It’s been in my XTerra almost continuously.  I made sure to rent “Everything is Illuminated” to see Eugene Hutz and the Super Taranta! CD is my current programming soundtrack. 

There are four days between me and the live performance, so here are four songs I’m looking forward to seeing (accompanied by the “best” sound-quality YouTube link I could find so you could at least hear what I’m talking about).

4. Start Wearing Purple (Gypsy Punks – Underdog World Strike)
How can you not enjoy the energy of this song?!?  I’m also quite fond of the long violin note after the second verse.

This is the band’s video for Start Wearing Purple

3. American Wedding (Super Taranta!)
The very first grown up wedding I went to, I was psyched.  “I’m going to eat steak and dance!” I told my co-workers.  I showed up and the wedding was not what I expected.  The reception was in the basement of a church.  It had no dancing or fine dining.  Instead it offered card tables, potato chips and Pepsi.  So I can empathize with one being surprised at marital traditions.

Have you ever been to American wedding?
Where is the vodka, where’s marinated herring?
Where is the supply that gonna last three days?
Where is the band that like Fanfare.
Gonna keep it goin’ 24 hours

Footage of a live performance from Toronto

2.  Tribal Connection (Super Taranta!)
Well, I of course love the refrain “No Can Do This, No Can Do That, What the Hell Can You Do, My Friend?”.  It’s so much fun to sing.  But it is a line near the end of the song that really seals the deal for me. 

We’re gonna turn frustration into inspiration

It makes me think of Alfred Hitchcock and the stem cell researchers.

This is a neat slideshow of pictures of the band

1. Illumination (Gypsy Punks – Underdog World Strike)
I love absolutely everything about this song.  The intro makes me think of Flight of the Conchords.  I love when he’s singing about a different culture, he goes from “It’s them who do not think the same” to “It’s them who do not think.”  How often has the same leap been made by one society towards another?  I love the chorus:

But we who see our destiny
In sound of this same old punk song
Let rest originality for sake of passing it around

It makes me think of the repetitiveness of oral traditions

And I adore the line, “You are the only light there is, for yourself my friend.”  It hits home because I think there are too many people out there who point externally for the causes of their unhappinesses and failures, when all along the obstacles are within themselves.

An Iraq war slideshow to the song

Anyway, I fully expect this week’s concert to be a blast!  Not much longer to wait now!

October 14, 2007 at 8:45 pm 6 comments

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