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January 2016

Jew Cocks: Circumcised for Your Pleasure!

I had a feeling that I’d find out about another Jewish punk band once it was too late to include the group in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk. So instead, appearing on this blog, are the Jew Cocks! Warning: Sometimes punk rock can be offensive! The LA-based band released its first full-length album, Full Release, in July. The album cover featured an anthropomorphized penis wearing various Jewish signifiers (a yarmulke, a Star of David necklace, and a tallis) and standing in a pool of semen,…

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Not Dead

Both Jewish culture and punk have faced frequent claims that they are dead. Both have showed strong resistance against naysayers who make those claims. There have long been predictions of the demise of the Jewish people and their culture. Klezmer music was presumed dead until its revival, which began in the 1970s. At many points in recent decades, people have feared the loss of Yiddish and the Eastern European Jewish culture it anchored. The number of Yiddish speakers has dwindled,…

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Fiddlin on Ya Roof

This week I got to see the new Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof, which just opened last month. It was my first time seeing Fiddler on stage as an adult, and it was a blast witnessing all the iconic songs, beloved characters, and classic lines. There’s a special reason why the Fiddler songs speak to me so much. In 2005, Yidcore released Fiddlin on Ya Roof, a punk rock cover of the entire Fiddler score. I pitched a review of the album to New Voices. The…

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B’Nai Mitzvah and Bestowed Adulthood: Adolescents Getting Into Punk as Men

To signify that they are now adult members of the Jewish community, boys have a bar mitzvah at age 13 (and girls have a bat mitzvah as early as 12). This bestowal of adulthood happens around the same time (or shortly before) many adolescents get into punk rock. It could be inspiring at that age to think that one is now an empowered adult who really could change the world. It would be far-fetched to say that b’nai mitzvah (the…

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Yiddish New York Klezmer Blowout

While most musicians in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk play punk rock, Chapter 4 looks at punk influences of musicians playing klezmer and other types of Jewish music. The chapter explores an overview of klezmer (most notably the Klezmatics and Hasidic New Wave), Radical Jewish Culture (especially Pitom), Golem, Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird, and Electric Simcha. On Monday, I attended the Yiddish New York (YNY) Klezmer Blowout concert, part of the week-long YNY festival. One of the…

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