It seems only yesterday the Beastie Boys were all that Jews had in the hip hop world. Now there’s a slew of artists – those who are outwardly Jewish, those who keep it private, and Israelis. Oh, and there’s also the nerdcore. Let’s start with returning rappers:

Schaffer the Darklord

He’s being playing SXSW forever, and we’ve talked about him in 2011 and 2012. Schaffer is the only one who is a self-described ‘rappist’. Nerdcore at its finest.

Kosha Dillz

We’ve mentioned Kosha Dillz a lot recently. For good reason. He continues to partake in SXSW year in and year out, and his latest song Hangin’ Out is another keeper. Catch him March 13th.

Soul Khan

Soul Khan returns for another year at SXSW. He’s been tearing it up in the indie hip-hop world, as his brand of conscience undergroup rap, smooth flow, and intelligent lyrics have earned him fans from all walks of life. His latest song, The Machine, can be bought (EP included) for only $4 on bandcamp. Good fucking deal. My favorite Soul Khan song, though, will always be Soul Like Khan.

Don’t miss him! Wed March 13th, same place as Kosha.

SHI 360

I wrote a while about about Israeli rapper SHI 360 for Heeb. Instead of writing anything new, go read my post here. If you’re too much of a lazy bitch, just watch his video below, Shalom Hater. I don’t think he’s talking about Hamas. (But maybe he is? Hebrew is hard sad-face.)

SHI will be playing with the Shemspeed crew, which includes Kosha Dillz. Showtimes can be found here.


Your Bubbie may be dancing disco, and you don’t even know it. The 1970s are back. And even though your Bubbie may have been 40 years old and raising your mom or dad, she’s finally going to live out her John Travolta wet dream.


The seniors chillax on beanbag couches and immerse themselves in an interactive environment featuring black lights, a projector beaming psychedelic images on a wall, a “shower curtain” of multi-colored fiber-optic strands and an aromatherapy diffuser that makes the room smell like a trip to The Body Shop.

Seniors. ‘Chillaxing’. Black Lights. Have I died and gone to heaven?

“I feel like I’m in heaven,” said Dora Zalcberg, 89, who was just 16 in 1939 when she was snatched from her home in Bedzin, Poland, and taken to the Parschnitz concentration camp, where she was spared the gas chamber only because she was a skilled machinist.

Yup. I definitely died and went to heaven. New York has EVERYTHING.

Read more about this disco dancing Bubbies in the NYPost.


Polaroid has given up on the mainstream market and is looking to go for the hipster / culturally aware sheep with their new Socialmatic camera. BAAAAAAHHHH. Instead of owning a smart phone, you can buy a Socialmatic and print our your own photos with select filters. BAHHHH. Specs of the camera have not been released, but it looks like you’ll be a fool to buy this it’s coming out in 2014. So you’ll have to wait a year before we make fun of anyone who buys this we get more information.

// Design Taxi


Nickname: Manischewitz Crunk
Location: Sacramento, CA
Occupation: starving artist.
But your mother always dreamed you would become: a lawyer, in true Jew fashion. She knew better than to dream of my becoming a doctor. But her wish may come true if I get my PhD in English. Don’t all Jewish mothers dream of a doctor?
Level of Jewishness / Hipsterness: 100% Jew purebred. 100% Hipster Jew. I am the poster child.

I am a WOMAN looking for a MAN

How do you take your coffee?
With coffeemate pumpkin spice creamer. Damn you seasonal flavors.

Favorite vegan dish your mother makes:
Meatloaf. Hipster Jew or no, we don’t play that game.

Oh baby, tell me what you put on your bagel.
I slowly slather a big dollop of cream cheese on my freshly toasted everything bagel, seductively smearing the white cream all over the body of the bagel, paying extra special attention to fill the hole.

When you make ‘bad decisions’, what is your drink of choice?

What is the most obscure band you’ve ever seen?
You’ve never heard of them. DUH.

Anything else you’d like to add?
My mother thinks I am quite the catch.

Purim is over, but it’s hard for me to come up with subject material to write about that isn’t cats because that’s actually all I care about. So instead, let’s milk that silly little Jew-Halloween for all it’s worth.

In the past, the Motherland has faced some controversy for not showing girl’s faces in Purim costume advertisements. Because they decided that wasn’t weird and sexist enough, they decided to up the ante this year by not showing girls at all.

But why aren’t they showing lil girls in their cute lil costumes? What is the difference between a little boy dressed up as something adorable and a little girl also being dressed up as something adorable?

vet costumeI hear a rhythmic pounding when I look at this image and I think it’s my biological clock ticking.

If you don’t really get how a child can be perceived in such a way, take a step in someone’s shoes and to understand why the ultra Orthodox in Israel find the female form offensive in advertisements of any sort. Those nasty child bearing hips, child-feeding breasts, and child producing vaginas really should be looked as something to be hidden away and not something to be appreciated and yes, loved.

And don’t get me started on showing advertisements of little girls. Nothing is more provocative and immodest than a four-year-dressed as a white, fluffy bunny. Pure sex.

I’m not going to argue against the fact that sometimes children’s costumes are made far too sexy for a young girl to be wearing. However, there has to be a middle ground in between not showing girls in advertisements (but still selling them costumes) and showing pictures of toddlers in weirdly slutty cowgirl getup.


Surriously guys, come on.

Sometimes you see two 8 and 10 year old little California Jewish girls and all you can think is ‘damn, I wish I had that talent.’ Aviva and Tovah Zafrin do. And they’re hilarious.

Seriously. I’m a jaded hipster a-hole and even I find them to be just darling. Look at the video below of their parody, California Jews.

Thought that was good? Their Rehab parody, called ‘Mikvah’, is even better.

Wondering how these adorable little children became such wonderful entertainers? It’s a classic story about Jewish girls getting into gymnastics, then singing and the like. Ugh I hope my kids are this lovely or else I’m gonna send them away to an adoption agency or Isreal or whatever you do with children who are disappointments.

// Thank you to our friends Jew on This

When I think of racial/religious politics in regards to Israel, it’s usually not a positive thought process. Here in the US we have our own problems, and holy shit there are a lot of them, but Israel is also pretty bad. Whether it’s how Arabs, Palestinians, Druze, Ethiopian Jews, or African immigrants are treated, it never sounds particularly positive. In a country that’s supposed to be united by Jewishness, it amazes me how little positive articles I read about the treatment of Ethiopian Jews.

This doesn’t make sense. Maybe I just appreciate African cultures, but you’d think diversity in Judaism, a group of people known for having so much sex with each other they’re susceptible to Tay-Sachs Disease, would want some different genetics. You’d think a group of people that constantly complain about the ‘intermarriage problem’ would be jumping hand over feet to make sure all new Jews were accepted into the Israeli community at large. (Or is this only an American problem? Seems like Orthodox Jews everywhere would identify this as an issue.)

Which is why it’s nice when a Ethiopian Jew wins Miss Israel. For the first time.


I’m not sure, with all the other stupid Birthright trips, there isn’t one for people who are looking to hook up with a black Jew. All the frat bros would be in on that.


Custom made pinball art machines as playable art, bridging the gallery and the arcade… Amazing… There is nothing I love more than playing pinball. Sure, beer and women are okay, but not nearly as great as a pinball machine. Tall legs. Sticky flippers. Pinball machines have it all. So You can easily assume that I am in love with this project. And I am. Which is why I suggest you help fund this and get this going. Who knows, maybe this will catch on and I’ll actually have to wait in a line to play one of these beautiful, elegant machines.

Help them out here


Hooooly sheeit there are a lot of Hipsterjews performing at South By Southwest this year. Maybe I did my research well enough, or maybe it’s just our year, but jeez. Below is the list. All 50+ musical groups.

Do you know a musician/are you a musician who I missed? Put your name in the comments below, and I’ll try to get to you.

Allison Weiss
Avi Avital
Chris Cohen
Elizabeth and the Catapult
Ensemble Yaman
Ester Rada
Ezra Furman
Fort Lean
Golden Bloom
Hank and Cupcakes
Kids From Nowhere
Kol Dodi w. Mika Karni
Kosha Dillz
Marnie Stern
Maya Isacowitz
Miracles of Modern Science
My Jerusalem
Psychic Friends
Ravens and Chimes
Rona Kenan
Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes
Royal Canoe
Sarah Jaffe
Sarai Givaty
Schaffer the Darklord
SHI 360
Simon Rex
Soul Khan
The Andy Statman Trio
The Coathangers
The David Wax Museum
The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet
The Riff Raff
The Wellsprings
The Young Professionals
Vampire Weekend
Wild Belle
Zvuloon Dub System

I’ve been a big fan of Josh Ritter since I first heard “Lillian, Egypt” on The Hype Machine years and years ago. He represents something of a confluence of genres–bluegrass, folk, rock–that has steadily gained in popularity until it finally won a bunch of Grammies this year, although Ritter himself has not. Given Ritter’s complicated and hyperliterate songwriting (the man is also a novelist on the side) and my own predilections for such things, I guess it should come as no surprise that he’s something of a darling over on NPR, where his new (and seventh) album The Beast In Its Tracks is playing on First Listen. I’ve given it six listens since it was posted on Sunday. I’ve been listening to it as I write this post.ritter2

I’ve never been divorced, or even married for that matter, so the album, which is written in response to Ritter’s own divorce from musician/sound engineer Dawn Landes, is full of subject matter that is probably a little beyond me. It’s in a vein to his previous album, So The World Runs Away, and like that one it is more ethereal and less aggressive than Animal Years or The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. My highlights from this new one are “A Certain Light” and “New Lover,” the latter of which I think offers a syncretism of the ballads of So The World and the bounce found in earlier songs like “Hello Starling,” and “To the Dogs or Whoever.” It’s that same syncretism, which I think pervades the album, which give it less of the luster (it doesn’t quite connect in the song “Bonfire,” for instance, which feels both too fast and too insubstantial) found in either So The World or Animal Years/The Historical Conquests. Which is to say that I like it, but wasn’t in love with it instantly in the same way I was with “Lillian, Egypt” and the rest of Animal Years. Which also isn’t to say that I won’t instantly buy it when it drops on March 5th (because I now have money to occasionally buy music created by my favorite musicians).

But maybe I shouldn’t. Perhaps I am being too hasty my support of the music of an artist I enjoy. Let me stop and consider what could be Josh Ritter’s rueful place in history. According to NPR Disqus commenter “Yogurt Head” (who notes he, supposing he is a he, is a professional musician), NPR would be better served ditching such producers of popular music. Indeed, Mr. Head goes on to offer this bit of profound wisdom:

 Just think about how music has devolved over the centuries, and how our cultural decline has been a direct result.

Do think on it. I mean, if we go back a century ago, to 1913, you could note that music was a lot less accessible to many people, as the first radio station in the United States would begin broadcasting in 1916, and the first radio station in the world had only begun broadcasting four years earlier. So most people only experienced whatever music existed within their own ethnic sphere unless they were some place foreign…like Louisiana. So, naturally, there wasn’t as much contribution to culture by people who were, you know…poorer. Which, according to Mr. Head, was better. With less riff-raff, contributing to music and such, “culture” was better and not in decline. And certainly, while there were fewer instruments in the past, meaning fewer different sounds that could be generated, music has devolved. Before, we used to just have orchestral music and early folk. Now we have stuff like jazz-infused post-punk revival music and other simple garbage like that.

So maybe on March 5th you shouldn’t bother buying Josh Ritter’s new album The Beast In Its Tracks. That would be contributing to the horrific cultural decline caused by the musical decline as epitomized by talented singer-songwriters like Ritter.

Because this is the fate the awaits a world with Josh Ritter in it.

Because this is the fate that awaits a world with Josh Ritter in it.

For the rest of the week, NPR will be streaming The Beast In Its Tracks over at First Listen.

*If I were Chicky there’d be some number of Hall and Oates here, but I don’t really like ratings and we don’t have much in the way of an established editorial policy regarding reviews, so if you desperately need a number to go with this review, um…312. You’re welcome.