A proverbial melting pot of incisive global rhythms, raucous snatches of far-flung international sounds only beginning in Eastern Europe and Bollywood, and a snarly punk-rock ethos, Firewater is a marauding, surprisingly melodic collective led by acid-tongued Tod A. As Tod Ashley, he led the thunderous, anarchic punk band Cop Shoot Cop before being inspired by klezmer and Gypsy music and forming Firewater about a decade ago. The band's latest chapter began when A, following a divorce and Dubya's dubious re-election, left New York for a three-year global trek. Using a laptop and musicians he encountered along the way, A recorded the tunes on Firewater's just-released The Golden Hour (Bloodshot) in Israel, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. It's an insistent treasure trove of music seemingly from everywhere, coalescing into a fiercely compelling vision, alternately fueled by swaggering horns, stinging electric guitar, Bhangra bop, and A's cleverly enraged takes on personal and political dissolution. The current, internationally flavored version of Firewater includes wickedly good Israeli guitarist Uri Kinrot, drummer Jean-Marc Butty, percussionist Johnny Kalsi, trombonist Reut Regev, and bassist Erik Sanko.
Sat., May 31, 9 p.m., 2008