Sunday is a chance to listen to–and to think about– music. I don’t get to listen much during the week. So on Sundays, when the afternoons are slow, I listen.
I found GOGOL BORDELLO by accident in the fall of 2011 in, of all places, a special fashion/style supplement of the New York Times. There was a pictorial of various “edgy” bands and only Florence and the Machine was familiar to me. So I YouTubed the first one–and it was forgettable. Can’t even remember the band’s name. The next one was Gogol Bordello and a performance on the Letterman show. I was hooked. Theater, music, message, and what looked like frenetic fun. (I apparently was late to the game since the Letterman clip was from 2007, but they are still playing and touring and creating great music.)
Anyway, I moved from song to song, downloading from iTunes and checking out videos. I was floored by songs with allusions to Foucault, to Kafka, to Diogenes–these are not the usual touchstones for modern music. The band has a Russian fiddler, an Israeli accordionist, a Ukranian guitarist/vocalist, a Chinese vocalist, an Ecuadorian, an Italian, an Ethiopian, a Trinidadian and many more that seem to float in and out of the lineup. And the music is infectious. (They were in NYC on New Year’s Eve this year, but my hopeful plans never amounted to anything.)
This particular song–and the accompanying video– “Immigraniada” is powerful. At first, I watched it over and over; I gave it to a friend who teaches a course in social justice, hoping his students might understand; I wanted everyone to see it. So now here it is. If you like it, share it with someone. If you really like it, if it somehow connects with you, go to aclu.org/immigrants-rights.