Tag Archives: Eugene Hütz


Two Chances to Catch Gogol Bordello Headlining Brooklyn Steel

December 26th, 2017

The more you absorb Gogol Bordello (above, performing “Saboteur Blues” live in studio for Paste Studios), the deeper the experience gets. First or second time out it’s all about the party: Eugene Hütz and his rampaging horde put punk, dub, rock, klezmer, flamenco, Latin, folk, polka and who knows what else in a sticky blender and hit pulse. Then comes intense appreciation of how they can mine so many different styles and make them sound cohesive—and coherent—without turning such a polyglot sound into an unfocused mess. Finally, you appreciate the depth in the lyrics—the marvelous wordplay, the sharp commentary, the bang-on turns of phrase. These aren’t just bat-shit partiers, they’re craftsmen. And they can party. Blow a room to pieces, as a matter of fact. Gogol Bordello’s 10th album, one of their moodiest, Seekers and Finders (stream it below), arrived this past August. It suggests that nearly 20 years in, the band is rounding out that much further, able to mix in more poignant folk strains without sobering up their sound too much. You hear plenty of guitar and slashing violin, but also trumpet, rat-a-tat percussion, accordion and many other sonics. Above all, they sound ever more like a global collective. (Various Bordello members hail from as far as Russia and Ecuador, and the U.S., Ukraine and Ethiopia.) “My idea of the band is more of a creative, collective gang,” Hutz told Bullet Music back in April. “A master of his own jujitsu, his musical aikido, it’s really a lot more like observing a performance of group musical mixed martial arts competition.” You won’t get beat up (maybe), but you will be thrust into the delectable, raw-edged present: Living for now is a constant theme for Gogol Bordello. “Remember times when the colors were brighter/ And streets were filled with rhyme/ It is still that way/ If you ask about it,” the band bellows in “Still That Way,” on the new album. It recalls a Gogol Bordello classic from a decade ago, “Ultimate,” which opened with “There was never any good old days/ They are today, they are tomorrow.” Don’t miss these fun-loving live performers on Thursday and Friday at Brooklyn Steel. Funky brass band Lucky Chops open both shows. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson



Contest: Win Two Free Tickets to See Gogol Bordello on 12/29

December 22nd, 2016

Local gypsy punks Gogol Bordello have been driving concertgoers to the dance floor ever since forming on the Lower East Side at the turn of the century. They’ve remained busy over the years, recording—including 2013’s terrific Pura Vida Conspiracy (stream it below), which, according to PopMatters, “finds them at their most ragged and unhinged, the sound of collaborative anarchism distilled into its punchiest presentation yet”—and performing, with their upbeat, high-intensity shows becoming their calling card. Gogol Bordello (above, performing “Start Wearing Purple”) get the New Year started early, next Thursday at the Space at Westbury, with Low Cut Connie opening the show. And The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to go? Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Gogol Bordello, 12/29) and a brief message explaining why you think you should be there. The winner will be notified by next Wednesday. Good luck.

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Five Questions with … Brian Cherchiglia of the Bottom Dollars

September 5th, 2012

(Photo: Ky DiGregorio)


With lush harmonies layered over a booming rhythm section, the Bottom Dollars play the kind of blues- and soul-infused rock that’s best experienced live. The Brooklyn five-piece’s second album, Good News, Everyone!, comes out on 9/18. (Listen to their new single, “Pieces” and its B-side, “Work,” below.) And in support of it, they’re getting ready to launch a cross-country tour, which kicks off on Saturday at Mercury Lounge with the Nuclears and the Naked Heroes. Ahead of the show, we caught up with Brian Cherchiglia (vocals, guitar), who answered Five Questions for The House List.

Which New York City musician—past or present—would you most like to play with?
Wow, that’s a pretty intense question. I’d love to collaborate with the guys from TV on the Radio, a cowrite with Tunde Adebimpe would be a dream come true. And then there’s the whole Bob Dylan thing. David Byrne, Method Man, Eugene Hütz … shit. I’m going Bob Dylan for the win with Tunde as a close second, so long as I can blaze with Method Man and Redman at some point in this fictional scenario.

When it comes to new songs, do you always work them out first in the studio? Or do they sometimes come together live onstage?
You know, we’ve been really fortunate to receive such great praise on our recordings but none of our songs are ever composed in a studio setting. They kind of teleport between my bedroom and our rehearsals. Normally, I’ll write these songs acoustically and just mess with them until I can present them to the band once they’ve evolved into more of a complete thought. That way, we can work on the arrangement as a group and let them take shape into something that’s more “big picture,” and that’s really where Evan [Berg, drums and vocals] shines as a composer. He’ll subconsciously understand where the song needs to go, and within one or two runs through it’s there.

And does new material ever continue to evolve when played live so that it becomes something different than the recorded version?
One of the best things about the Bottom Dollars is that we’re very much a “live band.” Each show is different. Set lists vary. The arrangements are fairly elastic and purposefully so, because when you’re performing, and a great transition or segue presents itself, it’s really important to capitalize on that and put yourself in that zone where it’s up to the collective rather than the individual. Improvisation is really important to accentuate a particular performance of a song (if the arrangement calls for it), and guitar solos are fucking badass. Plain and simple.

Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you?
Wow. Every songwriter is different, so I can really only speak for myself here, but yes and no. I think it’s more important to be cognitive and pay attention to what’s actually happening around you (and to you), absorb what’s truly going down and then remember it in a way that makes you comfortable. I think it’s really important to just let yourself be happy, let yourself be sad and know what that’s actually like so when you write about it, it isn’t too abstract that someone can’t connect to it.

Does Good News, Everyone! differ from your previous work in tone or content? Or is it just a natural progression from one album to the next?
It’s definitely louder than The Halcyon Days, and I feel like it might be a bit riskier. It’s definitely a bigger sound, because now we have Shappy [Dan Shapiro, lead guitar] and Chris [Urriola, bass] to round out the sound. It’s definitely more intelligent, the production is cooler. So I’d say it’s definitely a natural progression. We’re growing, and Good News, Everyone! definitely shows that. —R. Zizmor