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Go see Gogol Bordello

By in Culture

Gogol Bordello
TOMAS BORSA
Arts Writer

If my childhood memories serve as any indication, Huggies are a great choice and come in a variety of colours and sizes. Take ’em out, pull ’em up, let loose — simple as that.

For the shopper on a budget, Wal-Mart also offers a great selection under their in-house brand White Cloud, while the eco-conscious shopper may wish to consider a cloth diaper which can be washed and used again and again (though the safety pins could pose a hazard to your fellow concert-goers). Take your time because this is an important decision.

Alright, so you’ve bought your diaper(s). Now what? Fast forward to Oct. 4.

If this is your first time at a Gogol Bordello concert, two thoughts will no doubt pass through your mind at some point: first, is that grandpa on stage playing the violin? Yes, in a roundabout fashion, it is. And second, is that man’s moustache real? Possibly. But it may also be a discarded sock or a sedated rodent.

Hailing from New York via Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Ethiopia, Scotland, China, Romania, Japan and Ecuador, Gogol Bordello is what Folkfest would look like if it were run by a gang of bat-wielding anarchists. There isn’t any way to classify their music concretely but my sources at Wikipedia peg it down as a mix of ska, folk, gypsy, dub, punk and “minor key accordion, violin, and saxophone.” It’s kind of like klezmer music, if klezmer music had developed a serious glue-sniffing problem at a young age.

It’s one thing to pull off such an eclectic mix in a studio setting but that’s not where Gogol Bordello developed their notoriety. Instead, they have focused their energy on the oft-neglected art of putting on an absolutely pants-shittingly good show. I had the opportunity to see them last summer and like the vast majority of you reading this, I didn’t have a clue what to expect.

Gogol Bordello is like nothing you will have ever experienced before, nor anything you will ever experience again. One reviewer on the Internet described it as “the most earth-shattering performance (they) have ever been to.”

Of course, if everything on the Internet were true, then 42 midgets really were mauled by a lion while wrestling in the Cambodian Midget Fighting League, just weeks after a 13-year-old in Texas stole his dad’s credit card and used it to hire a high-class hooker to play Halo against. One day I’m going to find the person who’s in charge of the Internet and ask them what the hell they have against little people.

But alas, Gogol Bordello really is the most entertaining show on Earth. I don’t care if Elvis plays a farewell tour with Mozart and Biggie next week — they would suck in comparison. Gogol Bordello are better than the circus, better than ice cream and way better than all those other plans you made for Oct. 4.

For $22.50 you will singlehandedly secure your place in heaven, paradise, the Fields of Yalu and will be more exhausted, confused and delighted than you could ever imagine. Please, for the love of God, go see Gogol Bordello.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the Vinyl Exchange, although for the more creative individuals out there, instructions for forging a fairly convincing ticket are also available on the Internet.


photo Iguana Jo

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