Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Apr 28th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
On the other hand, Hutz did form Gogol in New York, and it's likely someplace in the Lower East Side that he still gets his mail, so Brooklyn was as fitting a place as any for the band to celebrate the release of 'Trans-Continental Hustle,' its fifth album and major-label debut.
As recorded by producer Rick Rubin, the 'Hustle' cuts are among Gogol's tamest, emphasizing songwriting over the septet's legendary spastic energy. Tuesday night, the group allayed any fears it's mellowing out, playing the 'Hustle' tunes harder and faster than they did in the studio.
Before testing the new material, Gogol opened with a flurry of old favorites, including 'Ultimate,' 'Not a Crime,' 'Wonderlust King' and 'Tribal Connection.' Then came the first of the new ones, 'Rebellious Love,' a melodic Latin-disco-style number in which Hutz traces a path from love to god, god to man, man to "the unknown" and finally back to love.
'Break the Spell' and 'We Comin' Rougher (Immigraniada),' also from the new record, hewed closer to Gogol's typical gypsy punk sound, a globalist mish-mash of Hutz's Eastern European roots, roots reggae and perhaps even hints of Rancid's 'Roots Radicals.' Call it hardcore-punk bar-mitzvah music, or maybe Mighty Mighty Balkan ska.
Either way, this is a group with little use for flags or borders or other such tools for keeping people apart. Its message, as Hutz -- shirtless and sweating, with a nylon-string acoustic guitar on his back -- explained Tuesday, is simple: "happiness and togetherness through music."
The crowd was certainly feeling the love, filled as it was with Gogol fanatics. Tuesday's show was something of a secret gig, announced a day earlier, and those who managed to finagle tickets were predisposed to jumping and jigging and supporting Ecuadorian rapper-percussionist Pedro Erazo as he ended the night, as he often does, by surfing into the crowd on his bass drum.