Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Gypsy Genre

Just in time for the party honoring NYC's 5th annual Gypsy Festival this Friday at Le Poisson Rouge, I've written a brief exploration of 'gypsy' in popular music over at The Big Takeover. From the "gypsy wave" of Tamaryn and Religious to Damn to the "gypsy punk cabaret" of Gogol Bordello and the "Balkan soul gypsy funk" of Slavic Soul Party!, it really runs the genre gamut. Here's a little taste:

The most obvious conclusion to be gathered from this cursory look at 'gypsy' in genre, is that it is almost invariably a stand in for another more specific term. If you must strip it of its ethnic implications and direct connection with the Rom people, gypsy most often just translates as ‘hybrid’ - East meets West with a splash of the unknown – which surely makes a band’s music seem more magical and radical. “Gypsy is a word that cool sticks to and no one wants to throw it away 'cause it really sticks good and it’s just too handy. It’s like the superglue of marketing,” Slavic Soul Party's Matt Moran jokes...

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