On the Radio: “Mosh Hashana: A Punk Tribute to the Jewish New Year”

Have you ever listened online to a public radio show in Alaska and felt like the DJ was speaking directly to you? Today on Soundings on KRNN Juneau, Johnny Negotiable started off his show by saying:

We have listeners from far-flung Queens, New York. Well, actually, that’s a little bit of a hyperbole. We have one listener in Queens. We have my friend Michael Croland, the author of a great book on Jewish punk music, Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk. It’s a wonderful book and Michael’s the authority on the … natural convergence between Jewish culture and punk music.

And indeed, Michael has inspired our theme for today, in part. … We stole the name from Michael Croland, from one of his essays, and I think he stole it from a band called Free Radicals, who[m] we’ll hear from later. But our title for the show is “Mosh Hashana: A Punk Tribute to the Jewish New Year.” … Rosh Hashanah starts on Sunday. … We’re going to have a lot of punk music, a lot of Jewish punk music … we’ll throw some other stuff in there along the way.

After writing a series of punk playlists for Jewish holidays for Jewcy, I’m thrilled that one of them inspired a special holiday episode of a radio program. One could pull off a similar program based on my Hanukkah and Passover playlists!

It was exciting to hear a two-hour show where the plurality of songs were by Jewish punk bands. Johnny Negotiable played several songs featured in my “Mosh Hashanah” and “Trans Tishrei” articles for Jewcy as well as other excellent selections by Jewish punk artists. The bands address Rosh Hashanah in very different ways. Schmekel’s “The Binding of Isaac” is a poignant song about the experiences of a transgender Jew in shul on Rosh Hashanah, and it includes an evocative “Avinu Malkeinu” interlude. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes say “I wanna wish you a Rosh Hashanah from the bottom of my heart” to the tune of “Feliz Navidad.”

Here is a partial playlist from “Mosh Hashana: A Punk Tribute to the Jewish New Year”:

  • Phish: Avenu Malkeinu
  • Shlomones: Blow Shofar
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes: Hava Nagila (Christmas Arrangement)
  • Free Radicals: Mosh Hashanah
  • Schmekel: The Binding of Isaac
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes: My Boyfriend’s Back
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes: Sloop John B
  • Yidcore: Tevye’s Dream
  • Yidcore: If I Were a Rich Man
  • Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird: March of the Jobless Corps
  • Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird: A Miller’s Tears
  • Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird: Sunday after the War
  • Shondes: Bright Again
  • Shondes: Unstill Ones
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes: Natural Woman
  • Blind Willies: Sha Shtil

Johnny Negotiable is the pseudonym of Jim Hale. Click here to read his OyOyOyGevalt.com guest post about Klunk from earlier this week!

One Comment

  1. Jim Hale says:

    Feliz Navidad– by José Felicianostein.

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