Shabbat Roundup

Over the past sixteen years, I’ve written a lot about Shabbat from the perspectives of punk/music, vegan cooking, and teachings about animal protection. Here’s a roundup of the highlights. Jewish PunkIn 2016, I discussed ways to “punk up” the Friday night service—including choosing Green Day, Ramones, and Mahones melodies for “Adon Olam” and innovating Anarchy “L’cha Dodi”—and one prayer where I went in the opposite direction, choosing to “Be holy, not speed-punk.” The most musical treatment was my 2017 Jewcy…

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Roundup: Shavuot & Summer Holidays

The weather is getting warmer, and the countdown is on. Shavuot starts Sunday night, followed by other Jewish holidays this summer. Here’s a roundup of my writing about these timely topics, through the lenses of Jewish punk and vegetarianism, over the past fourteen years. Counting the Omer It’s traditional to count the forty-nine days leading up to Shavuot. In 2007, I created the Counting the Omer blog, where I provided a different reason to go vegetarian each day. The final…

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St. Patrick’s Week: Celtic Punk Livestreams Aplenty!

There’s always an abundance of Celtic concerts around St. Patrick’s Day. The pandemic’s pause of in-person shows created a unique opportunity for Celtic punk/rock fans. Previously it was difficult to see more than a handful of bands during St. Patrick’s Week due to geographic, time, and monetary considerations. During the pandemic era, the shows are conveniently available with the click of a mouse—and, with one significant exception, for free and at any time! This confluence of Celtic concerts drove home…

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Purim Punk Performances, Pre-Pandemic

The pandemic has curtailed Purim celebrations this year, so I’m taking this opportunity to remember the five Jewish punk artists I saw at three different Purim shows in Downtown Manhattan during the 2010s! 2010: CAN!!CAN, the Shondes, and Steve “Gangsta Rabbi” Lieberman The Shondes headlined a Punk Purim show organized by JDub Records, a nonprofit Jewish record label that was a big deal at the time. One second into this video for “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” I can be seen…

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The Tu B’Shvat Disorder!

Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish New Year for the Trees, is an opportunity to embrace veganism and environmentalism. I’ve enjoyed many Tu B’Shvat celebrations through the years, as recently as last night. The highlight was in 2008, when instead of a seder (which means “order”), I hosted the Tu B’Shvat Disorder! How punk is that? How pun is that? During my freshman year of college, I went to Chabad House one seemingly random Friday night and was delighted to find 44 types…

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Should Music Lovers Pay for Livestreams during the Pandemic?

In September, I blogged about live music in the age of the pandemic, particularly the first six months. I want to revisit one element: my evolving views on paying for virtual concerts. When New Found Glory announced their first livestream in June, I was “ready and willing” to pay the $9.99 admission. When I encountered a $3.95 service fee, I stopped in my tracks. The fee seemed excessive for what was only a livestream, and out of principle, I didn’t want to pay…

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Menorahs and Dreidels for Shiragirl, NOFX, and New Found Glory

Shira of Shiragirl, Eric Melvin of NOFX, and Jordan Pundik and Ian Grushka of New Found Glory acknowledge their Jewishness from time to time, but they don’t put it front and center to the extent that bands like Yidcore and Golem do. In a year when in-person Hanukkah events couldn’t happen, it was gratifying to see their celebrations of Hanukkah online! Shira has hosted Gritty Rocks Live streams during the pandemic, and Tuesday’s was a holiday special. Click here to watch the full…

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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 concepts. Seven of the eleven songs deal with Jewish holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Tu B’Shvat, Passover, Purim, and Shabbat. “Make Some Noise!” is an expression…

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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 I’d been to through the years for Hevria: At this year’s Hanukkah show, Golem opened with their “anthem,” “Odessa.” A spirited hora broke out during…

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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 she “was ‘too much’ of one thing or another.” She hoped that by discussing it in this song, “others would connect with the feeling of…

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