Saturday, January 09, 2010

Gypsy Punk Rock Hysteria w/ Gogol Bordello

Gypsy Punk Hero Eugene Hütz

Ukrainian emigree Eugene Hütz grew up in Vermont
* photograph source unknown

I want to place today's subject in perspective: Eugene Hütz, 38, is considered by many to be the World's premiere Gypsy Rock performer. The witty, spastic Hütz has been wildly successful at charming away the hearts of his rabidly loyal fans around the world. He is the face of his band: Gogol Bordello - a multi-cultural extravaganza of a band that has come to personify for many, the hybrid sound of Modern Gypsy. For the uninitiated, Gypsy Rock is as much about energetic performance and spirited dance as it is about auditory composition. The band's latest album (a wild, rag-tag collection of songs) Live from Axis Mundi is a bridge spanning the gap between modern times and a colorful past. It also represents the culture clash between the West & the East. The dizzying results are admittedly, intoxicating.


Combination live CD/DVD
Jackie Canchola photo

Gogol Bordello has made this much clear.... Gypsy Music is about celebrating life. If one can arrive at this conclusion, it becomes easy to understand how Hütz and the throwback Gogol Bordello have become genre superstars in an age in which stiff, manufactured music clogs the airwaves. This is a refreshing sound and it's based on a deep, ethnic past. This is the story of comedian, film star and music iconic performer Eugene Hütz.

Gogol Bordello - Mishto
BBC Session Recording

Born in Boyarka, an Ukrainian community near Kiev and Chernobyl, Hütz's family left the country after the nuclear disaster in 1986. Arriving in the United States, they dwelled in New York for a time before coming to live in northern Vermont - which is where Hütz reinvented the future of modern Gypsy music. Starting out playing in a local hardcore act, Hütz found out on his own that his family's past and his musical present could be combined in a distinctly "gypsy" way. In preparing for this piece, I was able to locate an incredible Fresh Air interview (one of my favorite NPR pieces ever) from 2007.

Highly Recommended
Eugene Hütz Interview & Profile
NPR's Fresh Air program

Getty Images

Gogol Bordello
Web / Myspace

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