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"One thing about them gypsies, they never bored nobody"—"Break The Spell"
Okay so take Eastern European folk music, add a dash of polka, and blend with straight-up punk. This is something along the lines of the recipe for Gogol Bordello.
Led by Ukrainian frontman Eugene Hutz, Gogol Bordello has exploded in popularity since their first single's release in 1999, with tours through Europe and the United States. Their music has appeared in Wristcutters: A Love Story (the character of Eugene, played by Shea Whigham, is based on Hutz) and the band appeared in the movie of Everything Is Illuminated, with Hutz playing the character Alex Perchov. They have played with bands of various genres, including folk-punk bands like Devotchka and Flogging Molly.
The band is best known for their extremely high energy, theatrical shows, "gypsy punk" sound, and cultural diversity (within their songs and within the band itself). Their lyrics are often political, dealing with immigrant life, poverty, and Romani rights. Accordion, violin, upright bass, and other instruments not commonly used in rock are featured prominently.
- Answer Song:
- Within the same album. "Supertheory of Supereverything" begins
First time I had read the Bible
It had stroke me as unwitty
I think it may started rumor
That the Lord ain't got no humor
- And Super Taranta! (the song, not the album)
Second time I read the bible
I was thinking it's alright
- Author Tract: Most explicitly in "Immigraniada, Your Country, Not A Crime, and Tribal Connection," just to name a few
- Badass Mustache
- Bilingual Bonus: The majority of their songs have some non-English lyrics
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: A lot of the songs do this.
- The Casanova: Sex Spider. Additionally, Hutz has become somewhat of a sex symbol.
- Citizenship Marriage: "Greencard Husband"
- Crapsack World: The situation described in "When Universes Collide"
- Culture Clash: Many of their songs address the giant differences across cultures
- Determined Defeatist: From Huliganjetta "If Situation is no-win/Anyhow I'm going to win"
- Dysfunctional Family: "My Strange Uncles From Abroad"
- Mr. Fanservice: Eugene, according to YouTube.
- Europeans Are Kinky: Maybe not kinky, but many of the songs address the stoic and unemotional attitudes of Americans versus the more honest emotions of Europeans.
- Fake Radio Show Album: There are some random interjects in "Not A Crime"
- Funny Foreigner: The band themselves parody and subvert this trope, and there a few songs like "My Strange Uncles From Abroad" which discuss it
- Furo Scene: "Avenue B"
- Genre Adultery: Each album will be somewhat folkish punkish but just how much punk and just how much folk is never certain. They've been known to cover some traditional Eastern European folk songs. In the collaboration known as Jüdisch-Ukrainische Freundschaft (J.U.F. for short) between Gogol Bordello and Balkan Beat, things take a more dancey turn.
- Godwin's Law: "Mussolini vs. Stalin"
- Gold Tooth: Hutz has one
- Indecipherable Lyrics: Sometimes you can't understand it because it's in a different language; sometimes it's just plain impossible to understand in any language.
- Life of the Party: In "American Wedding" the speaker attempts to be one, only to discover that quiet, traditional American weddings are vastly different from the giant, loud weddings he's used to.
- Literary Allusion Title: Yes, it's a reference to that Nikolai Gogol
- Lyrical Dissonance
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Yeah, that sounds about right.
- Nostalgia Filter: Discussed unfavorably a few times but it's pretty blatant in "Ultimate"
There were never any good old days
They are today, they are tomorrow
It's a stupid thing we say
Cursing tomorrow with sorrow
- Recurring Element: A girl named Sally is mentioned quite a few times
- Religion Rant Song: "Supertheory of Supereverything." Retracted in the song Super Taranta!
- Romani: Hutz discovered that his grandmother has of Romani descent when he was 14, a fact that was kept from him purposefully. He has embraced his heritage and has supported various Romani rights organizations
- Rule of Cool: The clothes, the odd metaphors, etc.
- Scatting: Tons of songs feature random shouting, las, das, and ah-yah-dahs.
- Shout-Out: Gogol Bordello is a reference to the writer Nikolai Gogol
- Wanderlust Song: "Wonderlust King"
- Word Salad Lyrics: All the time. In various languages.
- Write What You Know: Hutz came to America when he was twenty after traveling extensively through Europe and many of the songs address prejudice against immigrants and people of Romani descent.