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Balkan Beat Box: Worth Enduring the Hippie Crowd

Posted by March 12th, 2012 No Comments »

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Balkan Beat Box Live @ The Showbox at the Market
Tuesday, March 13
Andy Bookwalter

My friend Sara recommends bands, and she’s NEVER wrong. Even knowing that, I still usually have to get haranged for a year or so before I’ll put on pants after dark and stray out into the real world.

Two notable recommendations were Gogol Bordello and Firewater. The origins of Balkan Beat Box are two guys from those bands, Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat.

Although all three members were born and raised in Israel, Balkan Beat Box formed in Brooklyn, in a scene that can support both punk rock and klezmer bands. (This is why America is the greatest country in the world.)

Turning slightly away from the punk rock and mustaches of their old bands, BBB mush together dancehall, hip hop, and gypsy folk into a catchy as hell musical stew.

I first heard “Adir Adirim” on KBCS about five years ago; I’m pretty sure the gentle hemp smoking DJ didn’t know of the Gogol Bordello/Firewater connection, I had to discover it myself.

Since their inception, Balkan Beat Box has released four albums, added a full time vocalist in Tomer Yosef, and their sound has more heavily leaned towards hip-hop and dancehall.


Warning: There will be hippies at this show. It’s worth it to power through, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

Also, excellent local outlaw marching band Orkestar Zirkonium is one of two opening bands, the other being Palenke Soultribe, who look pretty interesting too. So get there early.

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