Sunday, November 19, 2006

Golem: Fresh Off Boat

Golem is an explosive neo-klezmer band at the forefront of a thriving NYC Eastern European-Punk scene. The group's superb musicianship, linguistic virtuosity, and tremendous energy are an incredible treat. I have to admit that when I first heard of Golem and the klezmer-folk-punk genre I was confused and ready to write it off without giving it much of a chance. However, this music grabs ahold of you from the first accordion note and refuses to let go.

Listening to this record is an indoctrinating experience. It is an introduction to a culture's rich musical history, as the group researches old klezmer music for their albums, but by revamping and rocking out Golem dispells anyone tempted to criticize covering traditional music. The performances are delightfully over the top, and if you do not catch yourself trying to sing along with the foreign lyrics then you are unbelieveably BORING!

The track "Golem Hora" is a good example of the melding of traditional melodies with a modern twist. The famous Jewish melody's new lyrics are "Have a tequila, Have a tequila, Have a tequila. JUST ONE MORE" Another track, which is featured above, tells the story of a man who heads to Warsaw but ends up back in his own village.

The stories told have a timeless quality and the overall listening experience is indescribeable. It is only topped by Golem's live show, which has included wedding themed concerts, and to celebrate this record, they had a concert on a boat that sailed around NYC.

Check out their website at:

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