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June 2018

Traditional Music with a Punk Edge & Punk with a Traditional Edge

Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys at Forest Hills Stadium Photos by David Perle On Friday, I saw Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys on their first-ever U.S. tour together. I’ve now seen them about 16 and 9 times, respectively—about 25 times combined. After I saw the two bands together for the first time in 2016, I wrote: Being such a big Celtic punk/rock fan gave me a good template to analyze Jewish punk bands. I already understood that there was a difference…

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Yiddish Under the Stars

On Wednesday night, stylistically diverse musicians delivered crowd-pleasing performances in Yiddish at Central Park’s SummerStage in New York. Klezmer was front and center, but there were elements of rock, cantorial, bluegrass, jazz, rap, American folk, world fusion, and show tunes along the way. I went primarily for the two punk-oriented klezmer acts—and they didn’t disappoint! Golem opened the show with a four-song set. Golem started with their “klezmer-punk anthem,” “Odessa,” and the danceable “Freydele.” Next came “Tzadikim,” the only new song that they’ve…

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Jewcy Series: Punk Playlists for Jewish Holidays

I’ve written fifteen punk-related articles for Jewcy in the last two years (plus more in 2009 and 2010). I’m particularly proud of what I now consider to be a complete series, which explored Jewish punk songs vis-à-vis Jewish holidays. Published between September 2016 and today, these nine articles cover a wide range of holidays and occasions (including some you probably haven’t heard of!) and feature songs by nineteen different artists. There are two artist-specific articles (Schmekel for Tishrei and Moshiach Oi! for Shavuot) and…

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Anthony Bourdain: Jewish Punk?

After celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain committed suicide today, I was surprised to learn that he was Jewish and had a punk background. Bourdain was Jewish on his mother’s side. When filming in Jerusalem in 2013, he reportedly said that he “was raised without religion. One side of the family long ago, Catholic. I think. The other side, Jewish. I’ve never been in a synagogue. I don’t believe in a higher power. But that doesn’t make me any less Jewish.” Ramones…

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