On "American Wedding," a single from the self-described gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello's album
singer Eugene Hutz takes aim at the lukewarm quality of American celebrations.
"Where's the vodka? Where's the marinated herring?" he sings.
Does that tepid sentiment go for New Year's Eve as well, when Hutz and company will be trying to whip the crowd at the Electric Factory into a Balkan bacchanal?
"You're talking to a guy for whom it's never enough, no matter what it is," Hutz says during a phone interview before a London show. "The first time I felt like it was enough was when I moved to Brazil and went through a week of Carnival. That's my spirit: mass street gospel. That's what I aim for with my music."
Although Gogol Bordello's frenzied mashups bear the stamp of Hutz's Ukrainian roots, its members now hail from all over the globe: Ethiopia, Ecuador, even a token American.
What brings them together, Hutz says, is a "tribal connection," the same one they want to establish with their audience on a nightly basis.
"It's not only a matter of spiritual intelligence or a way of life," he says. "It's like a drug. And if you use it wisely, you can stay high for a very, very long time."