By Michael Croland

B’yachad: Debut Jewish Children’s Album from Shira & Friends

Shira & Friends released their debut Jewish children’s album, B’yachad, today. It’s the brainchild of lead singer, band leader, and songwriter Shira Kobren, who works as the music manager for the Family Engagement Department at Central Synagogue in New York. The predominantly pop-rock album combines different musical influences and offers kid-friendly approaches to holidays and other Jewish […]

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Happy Hanukkah!

I’ve written about Hanukkah a lot over the past decade and a half. From Jewish punk to vegan food, here are some highlights all in one place! In 2018, I blogged about coast-to-coast Hanukkah concerts and airplay for Jewish punk bands, including Golem, Jewdriver, Shtumer Aleph, and the Debaucherauntes. In addition, I wrote about all the Golem Hanukkah concerts […]

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Video Premiere: The Shondes’ “Wrong Kind”

I’m excited to premiere the video for the Shondes‘ “Wrong Kind,” off their 2016 album, Brighton! The song’s “F*ck that noise!” sing-along has been a feature of live shows in recent years, and the video has an awesome zine aesthetic. Louisa Solomon, the Shondes’ singer and bassist, reflected on how when she was growing up, she felt […]

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Golem On-Screen

Since my first Golem concert in 2006, 2020 is the first year I haven’t seen them live. Livestreams are all the rage during the pandemic, as I discussed in my last blog post, and Golem had their first on Sunday at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage. If I can’t see Golem in person, a […]

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Live Music in the Age of the Pandemic

March 17 was my last day in the office for months, and St. Patrick’s Day also featured my first concert of the pandemic era. The Dropkick Murphys played a full show without an audience. Playing air banjo along to “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” in my kitchen, I felt like everything was going to be OK—even for […]

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The Enduring Impact of My Two 2017 High Holidays Articles

The two Jewish punk articles I wrote for the High Holidays in 2017 keep getting inscribed in the Book of Life! The wire service JTA published “Punk Bands Prove Shofar Isn’t Just for the High Holidays,” which ran in numerous newspapers in the US, Canada, and Israel. On Monday, The Wisdom Daily cited the examples in my […]

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Jewish Highlights of Bad Religion’s New Book, Plus Some Disappointments

I spoke extensively about Bad Religion in my 2016 book Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk. I worked hard to give a complete picture considering that Brett Gurewitz—their guitarist, cofounder, and cosongwriter—had “not spoken of his Jewish background frequently” and “declined to be interviewed for this book through a publicist.” I looked forward to […]

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Air Guitar Limericks

In Air to the Throne: A Poetry Chapbook about Air Guitar, I included poems I’ve written about air guitar since 2014. I considered including my limericks but didn’t. Here for the first time are seven limericks about air guitar—plus one about air accordion! There’s even a brand-new limerick about Smiley Rod, who won the US Air Guitar Online […]

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Guest Post from Oi McVey: 5 Most Bad*ss Jewish Characters in Movies

This is a guest post from Andrew “Oi McVey” Schulman, singer of the “angry Jew punk” band Damn Dirty Commies. Oi McVey identifies the five most bada*ss Jewish characters in movies, plus three honorable mention candidates. I explored “tough Jews” as an attribute of Jewish punks in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, so it’s fascinating […]

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Jump for Joy: Newly Rediscovered Electric Simcha

Electric Simcha put out four releases, ranging from one to three songs, in 2010. That short-lived catalog was enough for me to declare in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk that in their “sound and overall approach, Electric Simcha might have been the best effort to seamlessly pull off a musically skilled, decidedly punk take […]

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