“What was here now is gone
Up and down, like everyone
Walked the earth in lonesome cry
But when the sun comes up
When the sun comes up
It will be on your side
It will be on your side”
-Gogol Bordello, “Sun Is On My Side”
Independent artists. What makes them different than all the others? I enjoy several independent artists but lately I have been on a Gogol Bordello kick. Gogol Bordello is a gypsy punk rock band made from many different ethnic backgrounds but they do share one ethnic group together and that is the Roma, also known as gypsies or travelers.
I heard about Gogol Bordello many years ago when I purchased the 2005 Warped Tour album. The first song I heard by them was called Start Wearing Purple. A fun song leader Eugene Hutz wrote about his neighbor, who always wore purple, when he moved into an apartment in New York. He found the lady to be, “absolutely bonkers.” From that time, every time his girlfriend did something crazy he would tell her, “You might as well start wearing purple” and such the song was born. Start Wearing Purple however is not my all-time favorite song or what sets Gogol Bordello apart from other musicians. What sets them apart from other musicians is their songs about activism. Standing against things like racism, immigrant intolerance, and the struggles Immigrants face every day. He commonly compares the struggles of being a Roma or Gypsy to that which Immigrants in America face. Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher), one of my all-time favorites, touches on this subject in such a beautiful way. Another one of my all-time favorites is Sun Is On My Side which is just an all around
Like Gogol Bordello many other independent artists will touch on subjects that many big recording artists are afraid to touch on. I think this is what really separates them from bigger names. Independent artists tend to be much more “real” than many big names because they will write music themselves and not have songs written for themselves. I find Indie artists to be much more in depth about the meanings in their songs and do not just produce the “Noise” that so many mainstream artists fill the main airwaves with.
I do not believe the long-tail distribution of Indie artists makes it harder to find their work. The reason for this is in large part due to easy YouTube video searches just typing in some basic keywords like, “Best selling Indie Artist”, or a quick trip to Pandora you can open the Indie radio station and it will show you a bunch of Indie artists. If you like them you can further research them online, especially via YouTube, because many Indie artists have their own YouTube pages. (Have I mentioned how awesome YouTube is yet?)
(Video credit to Gogol Bordello and YouTube)
Tagged chapter 7, page 178, “Questioning the Media