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What I’m listening to this week: Gogol Bordello

April 21, 2009
Super Taranta – 2007

Like N.E.R.D., Gogol Bordello‘s show at last year’s ACL Music Festival was a total standout. I was already a huge fan of both Super Taranta and Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike and the anticipation for ACL was to see how they could possibly orchestrate the perfectly organized chaos from the albums into a live show. They absolutely did not disappoint; that show was easily one of the craziest, most fun live experiences I’ve ever had. I wasn’t sure it was possible for Gogol Bordello to have even more energy then they do on the albums, but somehow, even in the stiflingly hot weather, they pulled out all the stops, making it look easy and like a whole lot more fun than your day job.

Super Taranta can really only be described as boisterous. There’s nothing quiet or passive about this band. Lead singer Eugene Hutz infuses his gruff and charming Ukranian accent with punk ‘tude and actual rock vocal chops, and through his freewheeling singing and stage presence he almost dares you to have as much personality in your whole body as he has in just his mustache. The rest of the band are clearly superb musicians, manipulating their instruments efficiently (and sometimes at break-neck speed) through different genres – gypsy of course, but also rock, punk, and folk – and even the album’s lyrics are in your face. Songs like “Supertheory of Supereverything”, “Your Country”, and “American Wedding” prove that Gogol Bordello never take themselves, or you, too seriously. The album’s biggest single, “Wonderlust King”, is truly a prime example of the anarchic art that Gogol Bordello creates (especially accompanied by the hilariously joyous video). Super Taranta is exuberant and thrilling and Gogol Bordello is a terrific band, period.

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