Gogol Bordello – Pura Vida Conspiracy album review

The difference between disliking a band and respecting a band is an important one. If there is sufficient evidence that a certain group is a bunch of talentless hacks, than there’s nothing wrong with saying so. Being second-rate, by the way, has nothing to do with character and everything to do with artistry. Criticism need not be personal.  Over the last decade or so, Gogol Bordello has built up a reputation as an eccentric group of gypsy punks who are very talented at the stirring the pop cultural pot. Their name comes from the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, who introduced Ukrainian culture to Russian culture. The band’s goal of bringing popular music from Eastern Europe to the English-speaking world has succeeded fairly well, and this is why, as mentioned earlier, it is easier to respect Gogol Bordello than to like their music.

Pura Vida Conspiracy has all of the pomp, spontaneity and sense of humor that is to be expected from the band at this point. Frontman Eugene Hütz gargles and stammers through the album with furious apathy. His idiosyncratic, yet consistent vocals matched with the accompanying rock band, accordions, and violins creates a homogenous feel to the tracks, and during some moments it feels gimmicky. Yet, Hütz is actually from Ukraine, and as a result, the synthesis sounds authentic. Thus, Vampire Weekend syndrome, whereby rich white males appropriate world music in a quixotic attempt to appear cosmopolitan (put on some yacht rock, dude), is, thankfully, avoided.  The band sounds best when they change paces on tracks like “I Just Realized,” or the sweeping finale “We Shall Sail.”

Blurring pop genres is a very difficult thing to do, and it is often said that the best artists accomplish this mighty task. Though I have not seen Gogol live, I’ve heard that they’re great performers. This may explain my relative disinterest with their recordings. Despite what School of Rock may have wanted us to believe, a great rock n’ roll show does not change the world, but it may prompt you to be more enthused about a band and, in turn, appreciate their recordings more than you would have. Pura Vida Conspiracy sounds consistent with the rest of their discography, and diehard fans will be pleased.

Nelsonville Music Festival Announce More Artists!!! Wilco, Cat Power, John Prine & Gogol Bordello Headlining 2013 Nelsonville Music Festival

Lee Fields & The Expressions, Joe Pug, Bindlestick Family Circus, Los Hacheros, Flying Clouds Of South Carolina, You Black Kettle, Hex Net, Rattletrap Stringband, Leah Nairn join the lineup for the 2013 Nelsonville Music Festival!!!

Stuart’s Opera House presents the 9th Annual Nelsonville Music Festival, May 30-June 2, 2013 at Robbins Crossing on the campus of Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. Nelsonville Music Festival is headlined by Wilco, Cat Power, John Prine, Gogol Bordello, Mavis Staples, Sharon Van Etten, Calexico, Jonathan Richman, Screaming Females, David Wax Museum, Wooden Indian Burial Ground and many more all weekend long.

The Nelsonville Music Festival continues to be one of the best in the region and one of the most unique music festivals in the country. Past performers have included The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, The Avett Brothers, Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, Neko Case, Yo La Tengo, George Jones, M.Ward, and many more.

Described by Andrew Bird (who performed in 2012) as being “It’s the perfect size festival. Any bigger and you’d lose something.”, the Nelsonville Music Festival continues to be one of the best in the region and one of the most unique music festivals in the country. Set in the beautiful, rolling hills of Southeast Ohio, this small and intimate festival continues to gain fans who want a music festival with a more personal experience.

Catch live music on multiple stages including a small “no-fi” cabin and a picturesque porch stage in addition to our main stage. We take pride in offering a warm, accepting environment where local artisans can sell and be recognized for their work, where local, regional and national musicians instill their awe-inspiring talents and festival goers can relax and enjoy the fruits of our regional flavor. The Nelsonville Music Festival offers multiple stages of music all weekend long along with camping on site, kids activities, local art vendors, food, and a beer garden. The Nelsonville Music Festival is a production of Stuart’s Opera House, a historic, non-profit theater located in Nelsonville that features over 75 events a year including live music, theater, films, educational programming and more. You can find out more about Stuart’s by visiting stuartsoperahouse.org.

Nelsonville Music Festival 2013 Lineup:

Wilco, Cat Power, John Prine, Gogol Bordello, Mavis Staples, Sharon Van Etten, Calexico, Jonathan Richman, Tift Merrit, The Coup, Reigning Sound, Wild Belle, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Screaming Females, David Wax Museum, Brown Bird, Field Report, Shilpa Ray, Endless Boogie, Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, The Honeycutters, Michael Hurley, Lucius, Cotton Jones, William Tyler, Catherine MacLellan, Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Old Light, Wussy, The Sundresses, Nick Tolford & Company, Wheels On Fire, The D-Rays, County Pharoahs, J.D Hutchison, Jerry David Decicca, Olentaggy John, Todd Burge, Unmonumental, J.J Reed, Weedghost, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Joe Pug, Bindlestick Family Circus, Los Hacheros, Flying Clouds Of South Carolina, You Black Kettle, Hex Net, Rattletrap Stringband, Leah Nairn & Many More…

Gogol Bordello Set To Release New Album ‘Pura Vida Conspiracy’ On July 23

Internationally renowned gypsy punk rock group Gogol Bordello return with their sixth full-length album Pura Vida Conspiracy via ATO RecordS and MapleMusic Recordings on July 23. Produced by Andrew Sheps, the new album was recorded in El Paso, Texas at Sonic Ranch Studios and is a powerful collection of 12 surging new songs. In celebration of May Day, an ancient public holiday known for raucous celebrations, Gogol Bordello offer up a stream of their rebellious new song “Malandrino” to get the party started.

The album’s title is derived from a Spanish slang phrase for “pure life,” which is a theme that resonates throughout the new material. The disc’s opener, “We Rise Again,” introduces the album’s limitless, all-embracing themes instantly, centered on a chorus of “Borders are scars on face of the planet.” The new songs are infused with ideas rooted in Eastern philosophy but also search for a means of joining fragmented parts and persons, and of creating a worldwide consciousness.

“For me music is a way to explore human potential,” Hutz says. “And that’s my main interest in life – human potential. Everyone knows there’s something inside of us that we’re not using. How do we get it? How do we reach it? Every single person knows that there’s something and nobody knows what it is. So at one point I said to myself, I’m gonna get down and get it.”

Gogol Bordello has spent the last decade getting down with that energy through their meteoric live shows and has earned a solid reputation as “the hottest global touring act to come out of New York (Billboard)” and “the world’s most riotous live band (Rolling Stone).” Their wildly energetic live shows are celebrated by fans worldwide and have brought them to nearly every corner of the globe and to the main stage of festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Roskilde, Rock am Ring, Reading and Leeds to name just a few. In addition, Gogol Bordello’s recordings have earned them critical acclaim worldwide and have attracted some of the most respected collaborators and producers including 2005’s Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike, produced by indie legend Steve Albini, 2007’s SUPER TARANTA! (produced by Victor Van Vugt) and declared by music critic Robert Christgau as “the best rock album of the decade. Period.” and 2010’s Trans-Continental Hustle produced by Rick Rubin.

Gogol Bordello will return to the US in May for select dates on their first club tour since May 2012 and will be performing at major music festivals around the globe this summer.