Gogol Bordello

The post below this one is making me uncomfortable: it’s maudlin, emo, self pitying, overly revelatory and not even all that well written. So I thought about taking it down but I decided not to on the grounds that a blog, or at least my blog, is more of a notebook than a finished work and it’s dishonest to edit your notebooks. But there is nothing to stop me from burying it in a sea of new posts! So I’m going to try to do one of those Post A Day for 30 Days things that used to be so popular back in the dim and distant Golden Age of Blogs of Yore. This probably means that there will be stuff on here that really belongs on Twitter – it’s like video killed the radio star except with Twitter killing the bloggers, which is actually fine by me, because I love Twitter and music videos, even the one with Kate Bush interpretively dancing about Heathcliff, more than blogs and radio – but that is okay. It will hide my dumb depression post! Fuck depression! It’s just a self indulgent way of saying I am lazy. And also, just fuck it. Nobody got TIME for that.

SO! We move on to our main chapter, in which Felicity attends the Gogol Bordello concert. Last week I was on my staycation, which had gotten itself truncated a bit from its original planned week, first by work shenanigans and then by a PTO (that’s paid time off; I am lucky to have it, I say as a loyal American while the socialist Eurotrash girl inside me screams furiously about worker’s rights) eating combo of bad cold and snow days. I was over the cold in a week but it left some kind of stomach thing behind it so when Monday rolled around and I was supposed to go see Gogol Bordello for the first time with my dear friend Jay whose favorite band they are, I wasn’t actually really feeling up to it. But I was not going to tell him that since he had kindly gotten me the ticket and besides, what was I going to do, stay home in my pajamas, eat saltines and ginger ale and play Minecraft instead of going to a show? I am old but I am not that goddamn old. Self, I said, get up out of that chair and get dressed. You aren’t actually barfing. Yet.

Getting dressed is just one of those fraught endeavours nowadays. Partly because I am old and partly because I am fat and partly because I am vain and partly because, jesus, I never go anywhere except work and the computer room and occasionally the DeSoto, so going elsewhere seems to require a costume change and that throws me off. I had never seen Gogol Bordello before and I wasn’t sure what it would be like although I figured raucous and energetic, since yes, I have in fact been to concerts before and even shows at the Orange Peel and even shows with that word punk in them, good heavens. But it had been a LONG time (about three or four years? cannot remember) and I was nervous for some reason so I ended up in a velvet skirt and boots and tights and a small hot pink faux cashmere cardigan that was my mother’s. And I pulled a black checked bag I had forgotten about out of the closet and grabbed my coat because it was cold outside and off I went feeling rather elegant, actually.

Which was dumb as fuck because I had forgotten that the first rule of Orange Peel is THROW BEER AT PEOPLE. It was completely packed, wall to wall, and they have moved the coat check downstairs at some point in the last few years I haven’t been there and I thought, well, I’ll just hold it. So I got a beer and wiggled my way to about the middle of the crowd and promptly poured my beer down my fetching and rather low cut for me shirt as somebody slammed into me from one side. Mmmm! Beer in the cleavage! Another person helpfully brought their own beer to pour on me a minute or two later instead of using mine and by the time the third person had poured about half a cup on my coat I was somewhat resigned. Also then the band started.

It was a great show. I am not actually a huge fan of the Orange Peel for a variety of reasons but mostly because a) I don’t really like crowds of people and b) I think the sound is often muddy – for all that it’s loud as fuck, it’s hard to hear. This was the case at the show on Monday but nobody cared: they just jumped up and down and yelled and that was excellent because the band IS excellent, muddy sound or no muddy sound. I would have jumped up and down too except I was holding my coat and my purse – clutching them, actually, and if I had had pearls I would have clutched them too, because as everybody danced and jumped and howled, the floor bounced up and down like a fucking trampoline. Which reminded me of the other reason I don’t like the Orange Peel, that bouncing, moving floor scares the HELL out of me. It pulled me right out of the music and got me immediately trying to figure out stress points and where the safest place to stand might be in the event of a catastrophic floor failure. Also I started wondering if my beer soaked coat might work as a magic parachute or perhaps an airbag. But! I eventually got over myself and into the spirit of the thing and even danced awkwardly and had a fantastic, if damp, time. Here is a terrible video I shot at the Gogol Bordello show! The sound was not actually THIS bad, that is the sound of my phone explaining that it is too old for video. But it will give you an idea of the bouncing.

It was, however, by far the most sober night I have ever spent smelling like that and I don’t know if my coat will ever recover. That’s okay: it was worth it. It was a good night for more than one reason, too: in a couple of weeks I’m going back to the Orange Peel to see Die Antwoord. YES! I love them! And I am taking my adults because they love them too! OK perhaps this is a little outre for family bonding but we are all excited! And clearly I needed the practice. Now I know to not bring a coat or a purse, not to wear anything that doesn’t react well to a beer bath and I have time to figure out where to stand when the floor starts bouncing as it no doubt will, oh god. And to renew my tranquilizer prescription.

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