Gogol Bordello w. VIZA

Gogol Bordello's Trans-Continental Hustle, the group's American Recordings debut, is perhaps the most ambitious undertaking in the group's already remarkable decade-long career and it's the result of an inspired, year-length collaboration with famed producer Rick Rubin. Gogol Bordello is arguably the hardest working -- and hardest rocking -- group of our discordant new century, maintaining a touring schedule and an onstage energy level that would send the average combo running for the emergency room. While putting out several critically acclaimed Gypsy Punks and SUPER TARANTA! albums, the intrepid band has literally traversed even the farthest corners of the globe, building a substantial world-wide fan base via gigs and festival appearances throughout Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East, along with stops in Australia, Western Europe and in their adopted U.S. homeland. Their encounters and adventures, as well as the band members' own immigrant histories, fuel the subversively upbeat story-songs on Trans-Continental Hustle. Front-man and lyricist Eugene Hutz spins out scenarios that are, by turns, hilarious and heartbreaking -- from the outsider experience of gypsies in his native Ukraine to the struggles and celebrations of Brazil's favelas. It can be said that Gogol Bordello has been representing the voice of all minorities all at once, a voice that comes from a real, poetic and deep place. Along the way, Hutz looks for common threads while embracing each of his character's defiantly unique identities, all of which reflect some facet of the frequently flying bandleader himself.
Friend and fan Tom Morello had suggested that Rubin check out the band, whose rollicking bonfire-like live performances have become the stuff of legend, featuring a veritable rock and roll army of musicians and dancers. Band members and audiences alike are driven to frenzy by the charismatic Hutz, a skinny, exhortative figure who combines Joe Strummer's politicized fervor with Mick Jagger's elastic-limbed sex appeal. But Rubin wasn't just interested in the band's well-documented energy, he was drawn to its central unifying power, the songs. As Hutz recalls, "Rick asked me to check out the new songs, to see where I was heading. I got very excited precisely about that. Songwriting was always my religion. For Rick, it is all about the soul entity of the song. That's the way I look at music too. When people were talking about Gogol Bordello, they superficially mentioned just about anything -- from our energy to the fashion and the fucking socks I wear -- Whereas Rick was all about the songwriting. He said, let's put it in the front."
For the band, that became a rigorous but rewarding process, working in the studio with Rubin in between tour dates. To make things even more interesting, Hutz, who had made New York City his home and long been a fixture on its deejay and band scenes, decided to relocate to Rio de Janeiro. There was, as one might imagine, a woman involved, but he was also drawn to the overall feel of a third world nation about to meet the first world on its own terms. His friend Manu Chao, with whom Gogol Bordello has toured, showed Hutz the lay of the land; one cachaca-fueled evening during carnival is recounted on "In the Meantime in Pernambuco," set in the city known for the frevo sound, performed by string or brass combos that bear a strong resemblance to gypsy bands.
"I was in New York for 10 years," says Hutz. "But I was always enchanted by Brazilian music, always had Brazilian friends, Brazilian girlfriends, everything was kind of quite pro-Brazilian. It was calling me from a long time ago. And once I met up with Manu there, I was also able to see an unknown side of it. Everybody knows about samba, but nobody's ever heard of frevo!, which is a completely unique, maniacal form of music from Pernambuco. I started meeting musicians with him and I basically fell in love with the place. So I said, send my shit over, I'm staying! I wrote most of the record there, coming back there from long tours and reflecting and looking at all the authentic beauty that Brazil had to offer. And that doesn't mean it starts with the rhythms of the samba -- no, it's all textured in. Until I became part of that landscape, the writing did not begin. It's like a deeper study of Eastern European and Latino American connection, which is always a very strong emotional connection."
Latin America was clearly a focal point, but Hutz logged in a lot of miles elsewhere before he touched down in Brazil: "I had material I wrote in New York, Siberia, Morocco, Ukraine, Hungary, Turkey. When we were in Turkey I had the chance to see how the gypsy population lives there. I knew how they lived in the Ukraine, and it's very similar. Then I was in Latin America and was able to see all the favelas and go into that world, find friends there and see their way of life. And once again see that's where all the poetry of the world is living. That's where it's coming from. Trans-Continental Hustle is this quest for solidarity among these world ghettos and their relentless energy."
Trans-Continental Hustle was recorded in Los Angeles with Hutz and longtime band-mates Oren Kaplan (guitar), Sergey Ryabtsev (violin), Yury Lemeshev (accordion), Thomas Gobena (bass) and Pedro Erazo-Segovia (percussion). The album also introduces drummer Oliver Charles. Hutz, who originally emigrated with his family from Eastern Europe to Burlington, Vermont, continues to explore the immigrant experience on songs like the tough-minded "We Comin' Rougher (Immigraniada)," which intersperses memories of his own family's journey into a broader saga. Says Hutz, "You talk to Pedro or Sergey or me and you have that song. It's about the dehumanizing traumatics of it, the insanity of the effort it takes to carve out your place in another world." He also addresses the plight of gypsy outsiders on "Break the Spell" and those caught in the middle of ethnic clashes on "When Universes Collide." Hutz doesn't shy away from love songs either, starting with the Romeo and Juliet-style drama of "Pala Tute," a rousing sing-along number that has become something of a band signature since the group performed it in 2007 with Madonna during the worldwide Live Earth telecast. (Madonna also persuaded Hutz to star in her directorial debut, Filth and Wisdom, and licensed a passel of Gogol Bordello tunes.)
"It's the first time on a GB album there are so many love songs," admits Hutz, "so it's kind of a transcontinental love hustle too. That's the parallel plot. The way I've been living, all the transcontinental romancing, all the insane long-distance of it all, added up into this crazy reservoir of feeling. And finally, I felt some kind of internal freedom to speak confidently about this mileage of joys and devastatios. like "Rebellious love" and "My Companjera."
The irresistible, anthemic "Pala Tute," explains Hutz, is "derivative of a very old gypsy song that I heard from my relatives. It sounds like a song you would hear at any pomping gypsy party, but it's not. I wrote that song and completed that song and made it what it is. Every gypsy traditionally has ambition to write a song that's going to eventually be an anonymous song: No one is going to know the fucking name of who wrote the song, it's just so good that everybody sings it. So that's my shot at it, making an addition to the standards. And guess what – 'Pala Tute' already is performed by gypsies in Turkey, Brazil and Serbia!"
Anonymity clearly won't be an issue for Gogol Bordello any time soon. With Trans-Continental Hustle, the party-starting group will be encouraging and inciting even more of the world to passionately sing along.
-- Michael Hill

Viza continues to captivate the global music scene with an erratically amusing blend of energized international rock. Unique in its musical arsenal is the inclusion Viza continues to captivate the global music scene with an erratically amusing blend of energized international rock. Unique in its musical arsenal is the inclusion of oud and percussion blended with more traditional rock elements such as guitar, bass and drums. This fascinating fusion, combined with dramatic and powerful live performances have garnered Viza significant success all over the world.

Recorded by Jared Gosselin (D12, Macy Gray) at Frank Zappa's UMRK Studios, Viza's fifth album, "Carnivalia" is the band's most animated work – a journey through a symbolic theme park derived from satirical and dramatic influences. Inspired from Gogol Bordello's multicultural rhapsodies and System of a Down's notorious screams and riffs, Carnivalia embodies Viza's groundbreaking songwriting and experimentation which has amazed audiences with a mesmerizing blend of instruments, various styles and continued evolution of Viza's sound.

In September 2012, Viza will embark on its second tour with System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian for his "Harakiri" World Tour, a nearly 6 week endeavor featuring 19 performances all around the world. In 2010, Viza also supported Tankian's "Imperfect Harmonies" Tour in Europe in the cities of Hamburg, Cologne, Paris, Zurich, Bologna, Athens and Yerevan. "Loving the new record; Carnivalia's awesome. I love hearing the new influences and the fun loving spirit and musical wizardry. Overall a really great effort," said Tankian. "Viza is one of the most unique and interesting bands I have ever encountered. Their live shows are energetic and fun," he added. Tankian has worked extensively with the group, serving as Executive Producer of Viza's previous album entitled "Made In Chernobyl", and also sang as a guest vocalist on the album's "Viktor" track.

Formerly known as Visa, the band released two EPs and two full length albums, along with a award winning music video. The band's De Facto, Eros and Made In Chernobyl albums incorporated music pervaded with sonorities from various influences and musical styles and blended elements of aggressive rock, dance and satirical social commentary.

Among the band's extensive touring schedule, Viza has performed at one of Europe's largest and most prestigious music events at Hungary's Sziget Festival's mainstage (alongside Korn, The Killers, Axwell, The Vaccines, The XX among several others) as part of a month long European tour in August 2012. Viza has also performed at Sweden's Malmofestivalen, Norway's Kartfestivalen, Slovenia's Schengenfest and Trnfest and Greece's Rockwave Festival (alongside The Prodigy, Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly, Marky Ramone's Blitzkreig), and has toured Europe 6 times in the past 2 years alone.

Demonstrating a knack for reinventing old rock classics, Viza recently covered the Doors tune "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" by adding its own strong seasonings and aggressive fusion style in a compelling reimagination of this classic rock ballad. The song is available for free download here and will be featured on Viza's upcoming tour with Serj Tankian.

Aside from a passion for music, touring and song writing, Viza's extensive performances around the globe also serve as their voice for promoting social consciousness of human rights and community issues – as well as providing opportunities to fundraise for various charities, homeless shelters and orphanages. oud and percussion blended with more traditional rock elements such as guitar, bass and drums. This fascinating fusion, combined with dramatic and powerful live performances have garnered Viza significant success all over the world.

Recorded by Jared Gosselin (D12, Macy Gray) at Frank Zappa's UMRK Studios, Viza's fifth album, "Carnivalia" is the band's most animated album – a journey through a symbolic theme park derived from satirical and dramatic influences. Inspired from Gogol Bordello's multicultural rhapsodies and System of a Down's notorious screams and riffs, Viza's groundbreaking songwriting and experimentation has amazed audiences with a mesmerizing blend of instruments, various styles and continued evolution of Viza's sound.

"Loving the new record; Carnivalia's awesome. I love hearing the new influences and the fun loving spirit and musical wizardry. Overall a really great effort," said System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian. In 2010, Viza supported Tankian's solo tour in Europe in the cities of Hamburg, Cologne, Paris, Zurich, Bologna, Athens and Yerevan. "Viza is one of the most unique and interesting bands I have ever encountered. Their live shows are energetic and fun," he added. Tankian also served as Executive Producer of Viza's previous album entitled "Made In Chernobyl".

Formerly known as Visa, the band released two EPs and two full length albums, along with a award winning music video. The band's De Facto, Eros and Made In Chernobyl albums incorporated music pervaded with sonorities from various influences and musical styles and evolved by blending elements of aggressive rock, dance and satirical social commentary.

In January 2012, to launch the release of "Carnivalia", Viza embarked on a special "Strangest Show on Earth" European tour in the cities of Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Zagreb, Ljubljana, and Paris. Fresh off the return of this successful tour, Viza is preparing for a very exciting 2012 filled with more shows in Europe and North America.

Among the band's extensive touring schedule, Viza has performed at Sweden's Malmofestivalen and Greece's Rockwave Festival (alongside Prodigy, Gogol Bordello, The Ramones), and has already been invited to perform at Norway's Kartfestivalen and Hungary's Sziget festival this upcoming summer, one of Europe's largest and most prestigious music events, as part of a 3 week long
12-date European tour. This will be Viza's 6th European tour in the past 2 years.

Viza recently covered the Doors Classic "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" by adding its own strong seasonings and aggressive fusion style in a compelling reimagination of this classic rock tune. The song is available for free download here and will be featured on Viza's upcoming European tour.

Aside from a passion for music, touring and song writing, Viza's extensive performances around the globe also serve as their voice for promoting social consciousness of human rights and community issues – as well as providing opportunities to fundraise for various charities, homeless shelters and orphanages.

$30

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Gogol Bordello w. VIZA with VIZA

Friday, August 2 · Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM at Cabooze Plaza