The book release party for Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk took place last night at Town & Village Synagogue in Manhattan. I did a multimedia presentation and Q&A, and the “Torah hardcore” band Moshiach Oi! performed.
I was thrilled with the amazing turnout, and the event was a huge success! So much of the work that goes into a book takes place in private, and it was wonderful to share the book at a public event with dozens of friends, family, and even strangers. Thank you to everyone who came from near and far! My mom estimates that over 100 people were in attendance, but I don’t know the number.
I began my presentation by reading the book’s preface, which explains “Oy!”/”Oi!” The Powerpoint focused on three categories of Jewish punk bands discussed in Chapter 3. For “The Comedic Masters,” I discussed Yidcore (including a clip from “The Punk Rock Chanukah Song“), Jewdriver, the Groggers (including a clip from “The Shidduch Hits the Fan“), and Schmekel (including a clip from “The Mohel Song“). For the “Fiddling Around with the Sound” bands, I read from the book about KOSHER and Di Nigunim and also discussed the Shondes (including a clip from “Let’s Go“). For the “Putting the ‘Mosh’ in Moshiach” section, I focused on Moshiach Oi!
Moshiach Oi! was the right band for the occasion! Singer Yishai Romanoff is on the book’s cover. Moshiach Oi! played a 45-minute set with all of my Torah hardcore favorites, including “Baruch Hashem,” “Yetzer Hara,” “Avoda Zara,” “Shema Yisroel,” “The Petek,” “Am Yisroel Chai,” and “Avraham Was a Punk Rocker.” The latter two came up during the Q&A when someone asked me which biblical figure was the most punk, and when Moshiach Oi! performed both, Romanoff handed the microphone to me for a couple lines each.