Mar 062008
 
Authors: Hailey McDonald

With über-intense stage antics and a post psychedelic orchestra — including a violin and an accordion — the self-described “gypsy punk” band Gogol Bordello proves weirdness is universal.

Recently popularized in the movie “Everything is Illuminated,” the nine-member band and their music, some students say, are likened to a sort of underground “Beatles Mania.” But their lyrics, messages and, most of all, their outlandish stage show transcend a diversity of cultures, languages and scenes.

“I mean, what is your idea of going bonkers?” Eugene Hütz, the Ukrainian front man of Gogol, told the Collegian Thursday. “I don’t think the idea of going completely fucking crazy is different in many countries.

“Maybe I’ll go to Antarctica and get my inspiration from polar bears.”

Best described as gypsies, Gogol, comprised of musicians from all around the world, will be performing at the Fillmore in Denver tonight.

Last summer, they opened for euro-giant Manu Chao at Red Rocks, but this year, they’ll be headlining their trans-Atlantic tour.

“I am going tomorrow, and from their music and other peoples’ first-hand accounts I know it will be an unbelievable show,” said Elizabeth Prudlo, a sophomore environmental health major. “Eugene Hütz has an energy about him that is contagious.”

Gogol seems to have hooked fans from countless countries with their unique sound.

“They don’t really fit into any main categories. Its a mix of indie, rock, and just plain psychedelic.” said Tony Lardie, a senior technical journalism major.

Hütz says was first influenced by music when he was a child in the Ukraine.

“I listened to a lot of my relatives play a lot of music – acoustic gypsy music,” Hütz said in broken English. “My father was one of the very few rock-and-rollers in the Ukraine. He was friends with many exchange students from Africa who could bring in those records. That’s when I found punk rock and went totally ape-shit.”

Gogol’s sound is not the only thing that’s catchy. With songs like “60 Revolutions,” “Mussolini vs. Stalin” and “Forces of Victory,” the band has been known to lay down a politically charged track or two.

“It’s like the Clash from Eastern Europe,” said Kelly Hollar, a senior microbiology major. “Political lyrics, beats that make you want to run, dance and smash things.”

But Hütz says he prefers to stay out of the political scene and away from CNN.

“I don’t like to think about politics as parties and candidates, because it’s all bullshit,” he said. “It’s not how I think of politics. The news is just a kiosk feeding you shit. I’m more interested in schools of thought.”

Gogol has been invited to play at Bonnaroo this summer, where they will play along side dozens of other groups for the festival that attracts college students from across the country.

“If I had the cash, I’d be down there in a heartbeat,” Hollar said.

Managing Editor Hailey McDonald can be reached at design@collegian.com.

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