Updates on Key Bands

Key artists featured in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk—and this blog—have remained relevant. They are still playing shows, releasing music, and getting talked about in a variety of media outlets—including The New York Times. Here are updates from the last few months.

On Thursday, Tablet‘s Unorthodox podcast featured Golem singer/accordionist Annette Ezekiel Kogan and violinist Jeremy Brown. The duo performed “Odessa,” which Kogan called their “klezmer-punk anthem.” After Kogan brought up the topic of authenticity in klezmer, Brown said, “Every traditional music scene … [has] occasional conflict between the people who really are trying to stay 100 percent loyal to what they see as the tradition and the people who are letting the tradition grow and breathe and change—or want to see the tradition change.”

Earlier this month, Hevria ran an article titled “Moshiach Oi!’s Edgy Jewish Punk Music Makes Us All Feel Included.” Writer Elisa Subin said, “That’s the thing about punk. And Jewish punk is no exception. You’re invited. You’re included. You belong. You’re a part of the movement just by listening.”

Last month, The New York Times mentionedShondes show: “Loud, outspoken, and as passionate about the radical possibilities of romance as it is about radical politics, this Brooklyn-based group is well suited to cut through the nihilistic noise of 2018.” Click here to read my recap of that concert and every other Shondes show I’ve attended.

I reviewed Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird‘s The Butcher’s Share in November. On Friday, the German Record Critics’ Prize listed the album on its bestenlistesaying Kahn “is more radical and punk than ever.” No Depression called the album “a creative milestone in the growing discography of a productive and extraordinary artist.”

Sleeping Bag Studios had an in-depth piece about Steve “Gangsta Rabbi” Lieberman‘s 72nd album in November:

I greatly understand his sense of urgency in putting out as much music as he can before he can’t anymore. Like it or not—take a look at this dude’s body of work and the sheer size & scope of it all … he’s spent a lifetime dedicated to his art—and he’s had fun the entire time along the way. Whatever you think about the music—that’s more than commendable and we should all be so lucky … his relentless pursuit is constantly inspiring & admirable to say the very least.

Radiant Others is the title of Dan Blacksberg’s klezmer album—the first with trombone as the lead instrument—and his podcast featuring interviews with klezmer musicians. In November, Bandcamp Daily talked about the album through the lens of Blacksberg’s background in metal. A Tablet article discussing the podcast instead referenced Electric Simcha, in which Blacksberg fused hardcore/punk with Hasidic simcha music: “I might be the only person obsessed with Dan Blacksberg’s Electric Simcha project, but that can change. If you ever wondered what it felt like to do a bunch of uppers, play a Piamenta record at high speed, and do the hora for an hour, definitely check it out.”

The Hanukkah/Christmas season shined a spotlight on some bands:

  • Jewdriver played a “War on Xmas” show at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley. “Get your photo taken with Hannukah Harry and be sure to spin the human dreidel in the pit!” said the Facebook event page. Click here for Jewdriver’s song about eight nights of Hanukkah presents (in the vein of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”).
  • The Debaucherauntes played at “Seattle’s biggest and best Hanukkah party.”
  • The Jew Cocks‘ “WAR! (On Christmas)” was included in a “non-denominational winter holiday themed punk rock music playlist” on Vermont’s WFVR.
  • For another year, SomaFM included Electric Menorah on their “Xmas in Frisco” channel. In the week ending November 11, Electric Menorah’s “Dreidel” was the fifth-most popular song.
  • In December, Tone Deaf named Yidcore’s “Lonely Jew on Christmas” one of the “best Aussie Christmas songs of all time.”

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