Browsing Tag

indie rock


These Brit-Rock Maccabees Are Not What You’d Expect

By On December 30, 2016

Don’t confuse The Maccabees with The Maccabeats. The latter is a popular Jewish a capella group based at Yeshiva University. The former was a popular British rock band that played at some… Read More

This Cult Classic Indie Rock Album is a Surprising Tribute to Anne Frank

This Cult Classic Indie Rock Album is a Surprising Tribute to Anne Frank

By On July 18, 2016

Neutral Milk Hotel is the kind of band that one either fanatically loves or has never heard of. Their 1998 folk rock magnum opus “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” is a… Read More


Silver Jews Ride into the Sunset

By On June 21, 2012

These days, writer and musician David Berman is getting more mileage out of his bizarre New Yorker-like cartoons than he is from Silver Jews, the band he used to lead. The Silver Jews–for which Berman… Read More


Rakhmones afn Tayvl

By On May 14, 2012

“Ich bin un Mentsch mit chutzpah und gelt,” sings Daniel Kahn in a raspy, Tom Waits-like Yiddish in the song “Rakhmones afn Tayvl.” He might be the first to sing this sentence in that particular language. Translate… Read More


The Inspiration for ‘The Dictator’

By On May 11, 2012

In his new film The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen plays “a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.” While The Dictator was in production, the… Read More


For Not Making Me a Woman

By On May 4, 2012

One of the most puzzling–and, often, infuriating–prayers appears daily in the traditional Jewish service. In the morning blessings, among being thankful for clothes to wear and eyes to see, there’s a blessing, said by men, that… Read More


Biblical Straight Edge

By On May 3, 2012

In contrast to the risky excesses that one normally associates with American teenagers–alcohol, drugs, sex–a bunch of rebellious teenagers in and around Washington D.C. in the early 1980s created the “straight edge” movement. In… Read More


Hasid or Hipster

By On January 3, 2012

Hasidic men and women are usually pretty easy to spot—they are known for wearing a particular uniform: black suit with a white shirt, big black hat, beards and long sidecurls for men, and covered hair, long skirts, and… Read More


Shlemiels and Shlemazels

By On November 30, 2011

“A shlemiel,” explains Matthew Menachem Feuer at the beginning of the new documentary Shlemiel, “is a dreamer. And his dreams don’t match up with reality.” Feuer, a recent devotee of Orthodox Judaism, is the subject of the film.… Read More


Love Songs for Anne Frank

By On December 9, 2010

The band Neutral Milk Hotel only recorded two albums before its lead guitarist and songwriter, Jeff Mangum, retreated from the public eye. Yet their second album, In the Aeroplane over the Sea (1998),… Read More