Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry in the Dixon (Ill.) High School Auditorium, August, 18, 2012
The Gogol Bordello session that you're about to hear is something like the coffeehouse version of who the incredible character and being that is Eugene Hutz actually is. It's his version of don't-wake-the-baby. Or, if the baby was awake and fussing, he'd be the first to suggest dipping the nip into a little splash of rum or whiskey to pacify the poor dear. It always worked for him.
This pair of songs was recorded in the middle of August, during the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Dixon, Illinois. It must have seemed like a funny little town to Hutz and band, but then again, there were enough bars within walking distance to make them forget about its differences and concentrate on the similarities, the positives. As long as there can be a common thread, or the common threat of alcohol, these men are okay - they will be able to assimilate anywhere.
Here, with their shirts barely buttoned at all, and Hutz in shorts and running shoes, they performed "My Companjera" and "Alcohol," as a trio, on the Dixon High School Auditorium stage, before rows of empty seats. The songs still sound as if they're fueled by animalistic passions, by the hands that just can't seem to keep themselves off of the things that they're aware aren't great for them, by the decisions that are made when clarity's a little bit iffy. They still have that feeling of unpredictability to them, as if they could just fly off the handle at any given moment, bursting into spittle, into flames.