We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


It’s OK if the phrase “Gypsy Punk Cabaret” makes you wince; it should. And Gogol Bordello probably wants you to be a little freaked out. Sometimes when you blend two musical styles together you get something horrifying, such as, say, modern ska. Come to think of it, some of the less inspired moments on Gogol Bordello’s records are reminiscent of the irritating oompah of ska. But don’t be deterred by the band’s uneven recorded output; Gogol Bordello is meant to be experienced in a live setting. Amid a din of accordion and violins, singer Eugene Hutz barks in his Ukrainian accent like the leader of an Eastern European agitprop theater troupe. Things get thrown, Hutz extinguishes cigarettes on his chest, and everyone has a boozy blast. (Be prepared to duck when he starts throwing balalaikas across the club with his prehensile handlebar mustache.) All of this sounding a little better? Perhaps the experience will be more enticing if you discard the phrase “Gypsy Punk Cabaret” altogether and think of the group as “Slavic Youth.” Gogol Bordello plays with Weird War at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (David Dunlap Jr.)