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April 2016

Queens Museum Exhibit Marks 40th Anniversary of the Ramones’ Debut Album

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the Ramones’ self-titled debut album. The album was a landmark in the development of punk rock, and the group has been widely cited as the first punk rock band. As discussed in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, two of the quartet’s founding members, Joey and Tommy, were Jewish, and their Jewishness played a significant role in the band. To honor this milestone, the Queens Museum opened an exhibit titled “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go:…

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In Time for Passover, Jewish Punk Versions of “Dayenu”

When I was in high school, I didn’t know that Jewish punk existed. I often joked with my friend Dan Horowitz that he should start a “Heebcore” band called Hamotze Lechem MeinHorowitz, which was a pun on his last name and the blessing over bread. I suggested a metalcore cover of “Dayenu,” which would be screamed “Die! Die! Anu” (along the lines of the “Die! Die!” chant in Metallica’s “Creeping Death”). Hamotze Lechem MeinHorowitz never came to be, but Jewish punk…

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NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories

No prominent punk rock band has put its members’ Jewishness on display as overtly, frequently, and humorously as NOFX has. The quartet includes singer/bassist Fat Mike and guitarist Eric Melvin, who are both Jewish. NOFX’s “The Brews” is the number-one Jewish punk anthem. Fat Mike’s and Melvin’s Jewishness comes up sporadically in NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories, which was published on Tuesday. Considering that two members’ Jewishness is not a defining characteristic of NOFX, it doesn’t come up as…

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