Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Old Favorite They Named This Blog...

I'm trying to remember when Cathy first started liking the gypsy punk band GoGol Bordello.  Their origin dates to 1999. This blog, which takes it's name from a line in one of their songs began in 2004. We saw a lot of exciting shows by them in the past decade. Somewhere along the way what seems to happen is bands change, move on from what they were doing, get too big, get  $100 rock and roll haircuts instead of cutting each others hair, catch the sue me sue you blues or maybe you get a new haircut or something yourself and it's just not the same anymore. We did see them play at Riot Fest this past weekend so I'll try to review that show as well as put the past 10 years into some kind of perspective. 

I liked the show we saw this weekend. It was pouring rain. We stood in mud. I'm still trying to get the mud from the crowd surfers off my Mardi Gras suit jacket. Not as bad as the Stubbs show that time when I was trying to recover from a detached retina (not caused by punk music) and had to avoid jumping up and down, head banging, crowd surfers and any generalized jostling. Here is lead singer Eugene, the brains behind the operation. 
I like the festival atmosphere but to tell the truth I have not been to but a handful of big light show concerts in the past years. I am usually pleasantly surprised.  Most of the time I prefer music in some dive.   
Here is a full band photo. They have new members
Some of the old members missing are guitarist Oren and bass player Rea.These were some of Cathy's favorites. Once Cathy met them coming down Red River Street in Austin and they stopped her (types always pick her out, it's something she lives with) and in thick Israeli accents asked "where is Stubb's?" She directed them to the venue where they were on their way to catch a set by the Pixies.  Seems Oren and Eugene are in some kind of lawsuit these days. It happens. Ask the Beatles. Also missing is accordion player Yuri also a favorite. He was a bit older and the road grows weary.  

Cathy seems to think the band is a bit too choreographed these days. Everybody hits their marks right on cue. They are not like the old days when two guys would run into each other and fall down or one guy would try the punk rock gobbing thing only to have it fall short and land on another's trouser leg. I thought the show was good. I do play in a band where the marks are sometimes missed and they aint trying to be punk so coming in on time does have it's place. 

At the old club shows one of the band members usually flipped the bass drum over and surfed the crowd on it. And in those days the crowd usually was not as thick as it was at this event. There was plenty of room to stand at the front of the stage and meet the other illuminated few who knew about Gogol Bordello and gypsy music. You know those kind of people. They are not the people who say "I like all kinds of music" and then when you give them a GoGol Bodello cd they say "I did not like that." 

Seems I remember a night and I think it was at Tip's in new Orleans when we stood around a bit with Eugene after the show. I guess he's a bit bigger that that these days. He did jump down after the show into an area between the stage and the crowd barriers. He suddenly had a girl with him but she looked too clean to have come out of the crowd. They walked away. Even more suddenly than this the security people pulled a guy from the crowd and subdued him very efficiently.  It looked like an old guy. Hard to say what he might have done to warrant the security reaction but it was hard for me to see. As I say, things have changed. Maybe some of the people at the shows have changed also. 

So to wrap things up we might be getting to the end of the trail with this band. I'll probably still get thier cds but we picked up some new favorites to follow at this festival. That's good because sometimes I fret I might not be finding out about the good stuff when it comes to new music. I got to remember, the older you will get... 

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"...I know I've seen that face before," Big Jim was thinking to himself "Maybe down in Mexico or a picture up on somebody's shelf..."Bob Dylan from "Lilly Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
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