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Gogol Bordello

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A friend who saw these New Yorkers at their first local gig a couple years ago told me he'd hoped they'd sound more like real Gypsies--though Lord knows where he got that idea, since they describe their music as "Ukrainian Gypsy punk cabaret." Lunatic front man Eugene Hutz was born in Kiev, but his family fled the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986 and resettled in rural Ukraine. He spent time in refugee camps across Europe before coming to the States, where he became a naturalized citizen, and along the way he discovered Gypsy music and punk rock--two genres shaped by outsiders--and made the natural connection between them. Gogol Bordello's first two albums slammed together absurdist cabaret, eastern European folk, and Gypsy wedding tunes with raucous punk energy--Hutz comes off like a cross between Iggy Pop, Shane MacGowan, and Tom Waits--but the group's newest effort makes them sound tame. Gogol Bordello vs. Tamir Muskat (Stinky), billed to a scaled-down, electronically enhanced version of the band called J.U.F. (Jewish-Ukrainishe Freundschaft), shows off the wild pan-ethnic aesthetic Hutz has developed DJing at a bar in New York's Bulgarian Culture Center. As he recently told a writer from Atlanta's Creative Loafing, "In many ways this is Gogol Bordello walking Canal Street on Saturday morning with Arabic, African, Bangladeshi, bhangra, Balkan, flamenco and reggae beats blasting from every kiosk." The bustling, careening songs touch on all these sounds, combining live instrumentation, scratchy samples, and grinding dance tracks. Gogol Bordello is still primarily a rock band onstage, but Hutz and company have promised to play material from the new album on this tour. The Latest open. Saturday 11/13, 9:30 PM, Subterranean Cafe & Cabaret, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

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