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Rock Out with Your Bloc Out: Golem @ the Independent

March 18, 2009
One of Golem’s past performances, with the Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer– how cool is that?!

So randomly, on a total fluke, I ended up trekking out to the Independent at the last minute to see Golem– a band which fuses Eastern European folk music with contemporary punk flavors.

My coworker, who hails from Ukraine, knows the band personally and when she told me about some of their past shows I decided to check them out. Being a fan of (in my opinion) similar acts like Beirut, DeVotchka, and even Gogol Bordello, I liked their sound and knew they’d put on a great show. By “a great show” I mean that the entire crowd was dancing, which is an unusual sight in the oftentimes too-cool crowds seen at the Indie. This was one place where old world vests and thick mustaches did not seem ironic or out of place- rather, the crowd only added to the feeling of a raucous wedding of some distant relative who invited the whole Eastern Bloc to join in, swig hard liquor, and enjoy life like there’s no tomorrow. Naturally, the set list included a drinking song or two, and feisty preggers frontwoman Annette yelled “L’Chaim! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” as bandmates gulped tequila and sweated energy out of their pores for swirling, fast paced numbers laced with accordian, violin, and trombone. If you’re still dubious, get a preview at their myspace page.

The acts which bookended Golem deserve an honorable mention as well-

The Sway Machinery is an odd mash-up of some big name talents which I’m surprised hasn’t really gotten any hype. Featuring members of Balkan Beat Box, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, and Antibalas- the public might be confused on why they chose to collaborate on Jewish Cantorial stuff, but nevertheless their talents are obvious and this is a band to watch out for.

Extra Action Marching Band is, well, a sight to behold. Consisting of 35 members wearing various forms of a goth/S&M uniform, the all drum and brass band plays tunes worthy of any Tim Burton-hosted circus, halloween extravaganza, or San Francisco leather fair. The choreographed dances by a half-naked colorguard wearing scary clown masks added to the feel-good freakfest.

I feel like the only thing missing from the night was a fire breather or two, or maybe a gypsy couple doing a knife throwing act, or maybe just a bunch of people breaking plates or stepping on glasses. Definitely not bad for a Tuesday night!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2009 5:20 am

    Nicely done, Maris; thanks!

  2. March 20, 2009 5:20 am

    Nicely done, Maris; thanks!

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