Last week, I finished reading Walter Isaacson’s riveting biography of Steve Jobs. As most of you know, it is a fat book with more than 650 pages, which for a newspaper hack like me, is a lot of pages to read. But Isaacson’s book is magnificent. He got unfettered access to his subject and his book is refreshingly not hagiographical. You get to know Jobs, warts and all, but you also get to see what a genius that man was and the profound manner in which he has changed the way we live and do so many things.
If you’ve ever heard Gogol Bordello play, particularly at one of their adrenalin charged live concerts, the last thing you’ll do is classify them as folk musicians. This nine-member band from New York’s gritty Lower East Side is raucous and boisterous and I’ve seen them described somewhere as “demented”. After listening to a couple of live recordings, I wouldn’t dream of calling their gypsy infused, non-stop, high-energy performances folk music, at least not by the conventional yardstick of what that genre represents. Their music has elements of East European gypsy music, western punk and alternative rock. Not surprisingly, Gogol Bordello, led by frontman and singer Eugene Hutz, an Ukrainian-American, is described as a gypsy-punk band. I’ll tell you why I mentioned the folk music genre in a few seconds but first a bit about Gogol Bordello. Read more