Friday, May 31, 2019

Concert Review: Gogol Bordello

I saw Gogol Bordello at the Crystal Ballroom Saturday night.

This was my second time seeing them. The last time I had never heard of them, and had no idea what it was going to be like. It ended up reminding me a lot of a circus.

(I think this may have been a 2010 appearance at the Roseland, but am not positive. I wasn't doing reviews yet.)

Part of the circus atmosphere came from two backup singers that did some dancing too. Although it was not at that level of contortion, there were some things about them that reminded me of Cirque du Soleil.

They were not there this time, but there is so much dancing and energy and jumping around from everyone else that it is still pretty much the party that it was. It may feel like everyone on the stage is more musically necessary, but they are also dancing as they play.

The energy from everyone is amazing, but especially notable from singer and guitarist Eugene Hütz. He reminded both me and my friend of Iggy Pop (another show we have seen together). They have a similar wiry intensity, though I think they convey different moods.

The mood at the Crystal was euphoria. I had no idea that Gogol Bordello was so popular in Portland. The place was packed and the crowd jumped and raised their fists and sang along, even if they only really knew the "Hey"'s.

I'm glad I got a chance to write them up.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Concert Review: Nu-Folk Rebel Alliance

I saw Nu-Folk Rebel Alliance open for Gogol Bordello Saturday night at the Crystal Ballroom. There was a great deal of confusion.

Their sign just said NuFolk. Searching on that brings up more information about the term as a genre, and not this particular band. Searching on NuFolk in conjunction with Gogol Bordello brought up the Rebel Alliance. It is probably best to use the full name when searching for more information.

(Sometimes there is no dash, but the F is still capitalized. Also, if you search only on Rebel Alliance you get Star Wars-based results.)

In addition, early in the show I thought I recognized one of the members of the opening band on stage with Gogol Bordello. Headliners do invite supporting acts on stage sometimes, but then I kept seeing him and wondering if maybe there were just two people who looked alike. In fact, Pedro "El Criollito" Erazo is in both bands. I have seen that happen too, but not as often.

One of NuFolk's releases is a tribute to The Clash. They covered a few Clash songs, and I was sort of thinking of them as the world music Clash. That is not terrible, but I prefer punk Clash. Because of that, I preferred their original music (which I am assuming is original but could involve covers of bands I do not know).

Information is hard to track down. I found two links, for Youtube and Bandcamp, but neither one is exclusively for Nu-Folk Rebel Alliance. This is why I cannot confirm whether the other guy is in Gogol Bordello as well. I thought it was possible, but now I think he is from Escarioka, one of the other bands from the Bandcamp site, and one that I liked.

(If so, I believe he goes by Leo Minimum Tek.)

All I can really say for sure that has not already been said is that they do have a non-Clash song called "Alicia", for which there is a video, and I liked it.

Remember bands, it doesn't hurt to have at least one clearly searchable landing page with accurate information.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Band Review: MILCK

I really loved MILCK, more than I was hoping.

She ended up on the review list because of reading about "Quiet", and its performance at the Women's March. Those things are important to me.  That being said, I was not expecting a song called "Quiet" and about not being able to stay quiet to nonetheless have such a quiet energy.

MILCK uses the phrase "gentle rebel" on her web site. Yes, the music is affirming, and encourages strength in resistance, but it is done with great kindness and gentleness.

For me, that means feeling understood by "Undercover" and "Black Sheep", soothed by "A Little Peace" and hopeful that some day "Oh My My (What A Life)" will come true for me too.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Band Review: Katherine Ho

I wanted to review Katherine Ho after Will Yu mentioned her rendition of "Yellow" as featured in the movie Crazy Rich Asians.

On my first search, I didn't find a lot of information. An actress with the same name slightly complicates things. Then I saw that she was from The Voice too. That should have meant a lot more information, but I mainly found tweets about montages and ghosting that don't seem to bode well.

That's a shame. Katherine has a wonderful voice and a sweet personality comes through the videos. Much of what is available are covers, but I love her cover of The Cardigans' "Love Fool" and her cover of "Yellow" is infinitely better than the Coldplay version.

A little organization would probably be helpful. While Ho does have her own Youtube channel, there are other scattered performances that can only be found by searching. It does not include this lovely team-up with other musicians, "What's Wrong?":

There should be more coming, and I hope there is. For now, what is here is worth checking out.