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Friday, September 18, 2009

Gogol Bordello coming to Vancouver

The punk rock band Gogol Bordello will be back in Lotusland on October 9 and 1oth, performing at the Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville St., Vancouver.

The group's lead man is Eugene Hutz, and I have to admit I found him brilliant in the movie Everything is Illluminated.

From what I can tell his most recent performance on the silver screen will be similarly brilliant. Although I am not a fan of punk, I find Hutz utterly fascinating. There is no denying he is an incredible performer and a very smart and savvy businessman. In an interview for Backpack Rock, I also found him very thoughtful and dedicated to his art. He seems like quite a well-rounded guy.

I've never been a big fan of Madonna (altho I do adore her "Spanish Lullaby") but there is no denying she is a brilliant businesswoman and self-promoter as well (to understate the obvious). This movie (which is her directing debut), is custom-made for Hutz... seedy but thought provoking.

As for Gogol Bordello's music, apart from the profanity, I find it fascinating and thought-provoking as well. It's high-energy and highly irreverent, and along with their outstanding musicianship, it's no surprise the group has such a rabidly loyal, and sizable, following.

I suspect, however, that many of their fans in North America may be missing some of the cultural nuances in their lyrics. For example, I wonder how many mainstream Americans and Canadians can relate to this song as well as those of Ukrainian and East European heritage can:

Gotta give Hutz credit for giving American culture a big poke in the eye, and making money in the process!

Speaking of which, tickets for Gogol Bordello are available at Ticketmaster. It's probably a good idea to order them soon...


Orest said...

Hutz pushes the limits.

The shows are non-stop Kozak-gypsy-punk.

I wish more Ukrainian artists had this energy.

Ukrainian Canadian said...

Don't praise Everything Is Illuminated, it's fictional

Pawlina said...

I agree, Orest, Hutz definitely pushes the limits. And he is very clever about how he does it.

That cleverness, I suspect, is as big a part of his shtick, if not more.

Very fascinating guy.

Pawlina said...

What I was "praising" about Everything is Illuminated was the entertainment value, especially of Hutz's performance.

I'm aware that the movie is fiction. So is The Davinci Code.

I think it's a mistake to expect the same level of historical accuracy in movies as we do in documentaries. The latter is designed to educate, the former to entertain.

For either genre to excel, there's got to be a tradeoff ... i.e., a good documentary is rarely entertaining, and a good movie is rarely educational. Both, however, can be thought-provoking.

Hutz is entertaining, and I think thought-provoking as well.

Orest said...

I found that Haydamaky have a similar energy to their concerts. They were in Toronto this past weekend.

They are heading out west but unfortunately they will not make it to BC.

Pawlina said...

Yes, they certainly do!

Unfortunately, the Rockies seem to be a big obstacle for many Ukrainian acts touring Canada.

Can't understand why. There are modern transportation devices that can fly people right over them! And for those who prefer terra firma, the road through the mountains is very good and the scenery is spectacular.

Maybe one day Haydamaky and other groups like Ludy Dobri will make it to Lotusland. A few do from time to time. Last spring the Kyiv Chamber Choir was here, and while GB is a mainstream group, because of Hutz Ukrainian music fans consider it ours as well. :-)

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