Blog

By Michael Croland

Golem’s Fake Wedding

On March 23, Golem, a klezmer-rock band with a punk edge, staged a fake wedding. It was an opportunity for Golem to perform a wide variety of songs and styles that they play at weddings but not their concerts. Golem also adapted a Jewish tradition of fake weddings from the Catskills. Singer/accordionist Annette Ezekiel Kogan […]

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Punk Rock and the Book of Job at Artists’ Beit Midrash

There’s an artists’ beit midrash (study hall) about the Book of Job at Town & Village Synagogue in Manhattan, led by rabbinic intern Bronwen Mullin. Students study Job, discuss art based on Job, and then create their own Job-related art. I was a guest lecturer for several sessions this month, focusing on punk rock songs about Job […]

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The Klezmatics: Apikorsim (Heretics)

Three decades into their career, the Klezmatics released the album Apikorsim (Heretics) in November. In Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, I noted: The Klezmatics was also the first klezmer band to explicitly incorporate punk sensibilities into some of its music, albeit not as a defining quality that applied to all songs and not as […]

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Sam Miller of Yidwise and Jewish Music Underground

In the Introduction of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, I talked about how Jewish punk fit into a larger context of overtly Jewish music in the 21st century. Over the last decade and a half, the way that people have viewed the context of Jewish music across genres has evolved. I was intrigued this […]

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The King of Jewish Punk: Steve “Gangsta Rabbi” Lieberman

In January (while he was in a medically induced coma, no less), the unstoppable Steve “Gangsta Rabbi” Lieberman released The King of Jewish Punk. It’s his milestone 30th album (#68 if you include his 38 cassette recordings). He figures that he’s been calling himself the King of Jewish Punk for about a decade, and if no one has […]

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Guest Post: From Punk Rocker to Rabbi

The following guest post is by Rabbi Patrick. Rabbi Patrick is in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk in Chapter 3, as the front man of CAN!!CAN, and Chapter 6, as the executive director of PunkTorah. Here he explains how lessons from being a touring punk rocker helped him as a rabbi. Living in a Dodge […]

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10-Year Anniversary: The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s

In October 2006, Steven Lee Beeber’s The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: A Secret History of Jewish Punk was published. While both that book and Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk featured the Ramones and the Dictators, Beeber included original interviews with key people involved with both bands. He also painted a much more comprehensive picture of the 1970s […]

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Nederlandsch-Israëlietisch: Tracing a Sliver of Family History in Rotterdam, Holland

In 1921, my great-grandparents were emigrating from Russia to the United States. On April 1, when the ship was docked in Rotterdam, Holland, my maternal grandfather, Max Schwartz, was born. On April 8, he had his bris in Rotterdam. Twenty-three days after he was born, they reached the U.S. He wasn’t a Dutch citizen, he […]

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New Memoir by Jason Diamond of Fear of a Blue Planet, Shabbos Bloody Shabbos

Jason Diamond could’ve come up in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk much more than he did. The book discusses his bands Fear of a Blue Planet (in which he screamed “Kish mir in tuchas!”) and Shabbos Bloody Shabbos (which “kind of” had one practice). One could be forgiven for reading the book and […]

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Jew Cocks Declare “WAR! (On Christmas)”

Warning: Sometimes punk rock can be offensive and shouldn’t be taken at face value! I learned about the Jew Cocks too late to include the outrageous LA punk rock band in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, but I blogged about them in January. This week the Jew Cocks released the new song “WAR! (On […]

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