Gogol Bordello | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Gogol Bordello 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

This six-piece immigrant whirlwind, based in New York with members from as far away as Israel and Ukraine, plays rock 'n' roll that's been kidnapped by Gypsies. Listening to this stuff I see Tartars swinging swords, Romanian crones hurling curses, Russian mobsters making thinly veiled threats, Soviet machinists belting out Bolshevik work songs, shtetl Jews peeling off some Xtreme Klezmer--it even sounds like there's a little Jacques Brel and early Clash in there too. Of course the albums are only half of what this band works so hard at: onstage Sergey Ryabtzev saws at his violin with the hammy gusto of an old-school vaudevillian; bug-eyed front man Eugene Hutz clambers atop speaker stacks and mike stands, reeling and lunging and constantly daring gravity to break his neck; two women costumed as border officers tie Hutz up with his mike cord, or charge into the audience in cheerleader outfits with a field bass drum and a pair of crash cymbals. (Their show here in November was so packed that the woman with the drum had to crowd-surf on it instead, sitting on it like an ottoman and beating it between her legs with a mallet.) Gogol Bordello's new EP, East Infection (Rubric), is a teaser for their third full-length, Gypsy Punks: Adaptation vs. Assimilation, produced by Steve Albini and forthcoming in August. Perhaps coincidentally, the film adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Everything Is Illuminated--in which Hutz, playing unhinged Ukrainian translator Alex Perchov, stars opposite Elijah Wood--hits theaters the same month. The Cougars open; see also Saturday. Fri 4/29, 10:30 PM, Subterranean Cafe & Cabaret, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $15.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories