Chance of a Thunderstorm
Weather for San José:
High 29° / Low 18°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Click here for six-day forecast for 16 communities across Costa Rica!
CLICK HERE TO
SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER
BUY
545.00
SELL
557.00
BUY
606.26
SELL
636.26
BUY
414.80
SELL
438.80
Banco BAC
Banco BCR
Banco Nacional
Banco Popular
Banco Scotiabank

Unique Rock Bands Find Inspiration in Costa Rica

Share this article
Gogol Bordello live in Athens. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gogol Bordello live in Athens. Source: Wikimedia Commons

What do a gypsy punk band from New York and an eclectic Texas ensemble that mixes ska with Indian tones and a splash of psychedelia have in common? Both may have been inspired by their experiences in Costa Rica.

First up we have Gogol Bordello, a band that played in the eclectic and epic Festival Imperial 2012. Their latest album, Pura Vida Conspiracy, may have been influenced by the energetic set they played at the grounds of La Guacima racetrack in Alajuela, which are now owned by Grupo Nacion. Many Ticos were introduced to this exciting band thanks to the Festival Imperial, and they were not disappointed since Gogol Bordello never disappoints when they take the stage.

Two of our lucky readers got their hands on a pair of free tickets to Festival Imperial courtesy of the Costa Rica Star and got to see Gogol Bordello, Bjork, Moby, Mala Rodriguez, the Flaming Lips, TV on the Radio, and other musical artists.

The title of Gogol Bordello’s new album could be a reference to Costa Rica’s most iconic idiom, which is representative of the way of life here, or it could be an allusion to the name of the Zumba fitness studio where a prostitution scandal unfolded in Kennebunk, Maine earlier this year. According to news reports and court records, Alexis Wright, a sexy 29-year old Zumba instructor, used her Pura Vida Studio as a bordello of her own. It is not clear whether Wright had any connection to Costa Rica.

Regardless of the reason behind Gogol Bordello’s naming their sixth album Pura Vida Conspiracy, their new songs rock as usual -and they feature a clear Latin infusion, which is not new for a band that often injects Spanish lyrics in their songs. You can grab the new single “Malandrino” -which loosely translates to scoundrel in Spanish, on the band’s website.

Kabomba!

The music played by this Texas band defies description. It is described by the San Marcos Mercury, their hometown newspaper as:

“funky, indie rock, punky ska this does an injustice to the subtle counterpoints that run through their music. Eastern European and Indian tones meld into the tunes so seamlessly that it seems more like bursts of pure joy rather than notes are mixed into the music. Little wisps of psychedelia float through the tunes, waving at polka beats as they vanish. The band bends each genre of music they sound like into new melodic vistas with more textures and depths. It’s familiar but somehow so much better — more enthusiastic, more interesting, more, well, Kabomba!”

Some of the members of Kabomba! met in a philosophy classrom at Texas State University, and one of them met the band’s original drummer during a trip to Costa Rica. Upon returning to Texas, the rest of the members joined and the band was thus formed.

Kabomba’s bass player Neal Denton attempted to explain the band’s unique sound:

Matt, Bryce, and I all bring songs or structures for songs to the group. You can hear the difference of influences in our sound. Matt is more into the indie rock/singer-songwriter sort of stuff. Bryce is all about bouncy, gypsy-polka-esque sort of stuff, and I’m more into the funky/groovy rock sort of stuff.

You can come to your own conclusions about Kabomba! by visiting their profile on Reverb Nation and listening for yourself. The Costa Rica Star recommends that you start with Bartalk en Juarez and go from there. Interestingly enough, the members of Kabomba! cite Gogol Bordello as an influence.

Perhaps one day Kabomba! will play live in Costa Rica, maybe opening for the return of Gogol Bordello. Quite a few cool bands make their way down here, sometimes in virtual secrecy -just to test the musical waters, but some love coming to Costa Rica for more than just a gig: They like to experience the country. To this effect, you can read about the amazing visit of Sublime to Costa Rica before the sad passing of lead singer Brad Nowell, as well as Duff McKagan’s (from Guns N’ Roses) visit and performance at the Luxe Lounge in Escazu.

Print Friendly

Related Articles

Brothers Growing Marijuana in La Amistad Internatl Park Arrested

By Wendy Anders Monday, the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) arrested seven more members of a [...]

Costa Rica Participates in 2nd UN Arms Trade Treaty Conference

By Wendy Anders This morning in Geneva, Switzerland, Costa Rica’s Security Minister Gustavo Mata [...]

Obama and Solis Met on Security, Migration, and More in DC Today

By Wendy Anders Today President Obama and Vice President Biden received Costa Rican President Luis [...]

National Dish of Costa Rica Goes Global With New Campaign

Adding a sexy, healthy spin to our familiar breakfast menu of pancakes, eggs and cereal is now easier [...]

Taxistas vs Uber – Surprise Protests Announced, Plus New Platform

By Wendy Anders Official (red) taxi representatives cancelled a meeting last Tuesday that they had [...]

Costa Rica Police Rescued Baby Horse from Caiman-Infested Waters

A young colt that was about to become a meal for hungry caimans is happily galloping today thanks to a [...]

Suspected Tomb Raider Gets Raided in Costa Rica

On Friday afternoon, agents from the Office of Judicial Investigations (Spanish initials: OIJ) raided a [...]

Costa Rica is the First Nation to Ratify Convention Against Racism

Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes Costa Rica’s [...]