It seemed like everyone was there– well, everyone important, that is — a bunch of minor Jewish celebrity artist types including author Matthue Roth, Mima’amakim founder Aron Roller, Forward cartoonist Eli Valley, Heeb N Vegan blogger Michael Crolan, Rab Tannenbaum of Good for the Jews (who I didn’t get a chance to schmooze with), and some folks from Jdub records. They were all gathered in the basement of The Cake-Shop, an extremely odd yet enticing venue on Ludlow Street in New York’s Lower East Side, to see Can!!Can and Golem, both Jdub records artists, each very different and very rockin.
Can!!Can front man Patrick is the founder of Punk Torah, which gives a new twist to the traditional Devar Torah. I am sure someone must be pissed off by his voice saying things like “all of you gays are going to love this parsha because we get to learn about interior decoration of the mishkan” — hilarious, simply hilarious. His band Can!!Can is pure punk and includes a very punk looking guitarist girl, a drummer and Patrick screaming lyrics and running around the room and writhing on the floor in a fashion that gets everyone to jump up and down and not care that their ear drums are being blown out.
As for the music: it’s loud, ridiculously loud, the type of music that I want to hear at the skate park while I’m sitting at the top of a bowl chugging Mountain Dew and saying things like “dude that was soo extreme.” I did make out some Hashems and half the time Patrick looked as though he was clopping viduy, saying shema and violently shuckling. He actually tried to get the microphone inside his mouth a couple of times. Punk shows rock because us ADD people need 2 minute songs to live.
The next band was Golem, a band which I hadn’t even known was going to be playing since I got an email from Patrick about the show but didn’t really bother looking at the flier attachment. Golem blew me away primarily because I wasn’t expecting klezmer and also because of the fact that we were in the basement of a building on Ludlow street in what was once the Yiddish capital — even Katz’s was on the corner of Houston down the block.
Golem is what I like to call “punk rock klezmer”, or new school klezmer or just plain old funny music that sounds great. The band is wacky and they only get wackier when the girl on the accordion starts introducing the songs, one having to do with the ‘train to Ukraine’ and another called Tucheses and Nanas. I am in love with all things Yiddish, especially if it is something that is attempting to keep the Yiddishist culture alive – today people speak Yiddish but rarely are they non-observant and rarely do I get to hear music that is new and old at the same time.
Overall a good show with good people and from what I saw, good beer – I wasn’t in the drinking mood.
Golem video below: