Jew York. The big Jewish apple. The center of the world, both secular and Jewish (yeah I went there Jerusalem, deal with it). Presenting our final installment of our HJs @ SXSW 2013 series – Jew York City.
Self proclaimed ‘negative Jewish girl‘ Marnie Stern is as New York as one can get. Marnie’s Stern tans formation from singer-songwriter to modern day rock and roller…well it can be well summed up in her song ‘Transformer’.
“I never want to become that bitter musician who is pissed but there is a part of me that is just like, Motherfucker! Put some effort into it!” She says. “I want to hear effort. You can tell when something has been slapped together in five minutes.”
Marnie sighs and let’s out an “Oh God” so nasal and drawn-out she sounds like Fran Drescher. “I’m very comfortable in the underdog position,” she sheepishly admits. “I don’t know how to be anything else.”
Up and coming band from Brooklyn. The video below says it all.
Allison Weiss is a five-person band under the moniker of the 25 year old Brooklynite front-woman Allison Weiss. Her best solo credit is when she toured with Lou Reed in Europe this past summer. Listen to her indie-pop below.
This folk-rock duo, comprised of Talia Osteen and Dov Rosenblatt live in LA but were originally from NYC. Their biggest credit to date is a song that played on House, below.
Elizabeth and the Catapult
Elizabeth Ziman is the leader of this musically beautiful group. Below is a soft, sad song ‘Thank You‘, which is the perfect way to end this unpredictable winter. Winter blues, good bye and fuck off!
Michael Gerner hasn’t written a a raucous album since 2007, which is why their next album, An A.merican D.ream, coming out sometime in 2013, should be delightful and should be on your radars. Welcome to My Room, off of their 2007 work, is an indie-rock, foot stomping indie rock anthem.
Ravens and Chimes
Ravens and Chimes are a bunch of NYU grads who decided to form a band in 2005. Asher Lack, the singer, is the son of artist Stephen Lack. They’ve opened for lots of great acts, including The band Dan Deacon, Frightened Rabbit, and Sondre Lerche at SXSW 2011.
Andy Statman, one of his generation’s premier mandolinists and clarinetists, thinks of his compositions and performances as “spontaneous American-roots music and personal, prayerful hasidic music, by way of avant-garde jazz.” This modest man takes for granted that a performer might embody several worlds in his art, and seems humbled by the fact that his music, like his story, is extraordinary.
Andy’s musical journey began early, when he was a child in Queens, not far from his current home in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Born into a family with a long line of cantors and some well-known professional musicians in the family tree, Andy grew up singing hasidic melodies in the afternoon Jewish school his parents sent him to, and listening to show tunes, klezmer, and classics – along with every other variety of music playing within earshot.
Below is Andy Statman playing the Chuppah March. Mazel tov.
Miracles of Modern Science
Miracles of Modern Science formed at Princeton, but is now resides in Brookyln. They play a lot of antique instruments. Below is an awesome video of theirs, covering She Drives Me Crazy. No idea how it doesn’t have tens of thousands of views.
Trummors are from Jew York, but they aren’t city folk. Hailing from West Saugerties, their music reflects their country lifestyle. These folks aint masquerading folksy hipsters. The real deal.
Holy shit there are a LOT of Israeli bands playing at SXSW this year. Is cultural BDS worth it? After listening to the bands below, I’d have to say ‘no’, but I’m a Jew silly!
This Israeli dubstep duo, 3421, happens to be my PIN number. (Don’t worry I haven’t changed it, I’ve sent them a cease and desist because I’m pretty sure mine was first.) Coming out of Haifa, signed to Anova music (a favorite Israeli label of ours), they are the only dubstep that I wont turn my Hipster-nose at.
If you missed them the 13th or 14th, catch them Friday the 15th at the Brooklyn Vegan Showcase, at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop @ 8pm.
This electro-disco Israeli dance pop duo is blowing up all over the U.S. Paste, MTV, NYPost have all mentioned them. Hank & Cupcakes are electrifying, giving you all the pop music you can handle without feeling guilty about its mainstream appeal. Not sure how these two haven’t become fucking huge, but maybe all good things take time.
Just crazy Israelis with crazy face paint. This is how all Israelis put on makeup, right?
Borgore is obscene. Just ridiculous dubstep/electronica. The song below, Nympho, is the type of song that you love ironically, but then begin to actually love and then you have to live with your music decisions for the rest of your life.
If that song somehow didn’t do it for you, see him in a music video with Miley Cyrus about how ‘bitches eat cake and want it all so they get it all’.
The Young Professionals
The Young Professionals are another Israeli pop/electronic band. Because, let’s be honest, when I first think of Israel I think of catchy dance-y pop music. The video below is definitely my favorite of theirs (what can I say I’m a sucker for a man in drag). The duo is pretty much Israel’s Justin Timberlake and DJ Dangermouse (sure, that sounds good). Ivri Lider went gold or platinum 6 times, and Johnny Goldstein has produced with Hadag Nahash, Avishai Cohen, and others.
Kids From Nowhere
Kids from Nowhere is literally a band like no other. Not because they’re a multi-national band that plays Texas country/rock. Because the band members come from everywhere. Singer Zach from Texas, drummer Yves from Côte d’Ivoire, bassist Elad Avni from South Africa, and an Israeli guitarist.
Not sure why this band isn’t approved by the UN, but I expect it to happen soon?
Catch them March 14th at 11pm @ Rebels Honkey Tonk.
The West Coast (mainly LA and Seattle) have a shit ton of indie-rocking tat-wearing Jews. And we’ve compiled the best of those who will be at SXSW this year. Presenting SXSW 2013 – West Coast is Best Coast.
Let’s start with Seattle, a town built on grunge but sustained on Indie.
Guitarist, keyboardist, and flutist Matthew Reid-Schwartz is the powering force behind Kinksi. They’ve definitely got the grunge/industrial influence, and as a Rhode Island native, I’m partial to their song Rhode Island Freakout. Sabbath fans, behold some heavy fucking rock!
Catch them March 14th, midnight @ Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room.
Telekinesis is a one-man wrecking crew, reminiscent of other Washington natives Death Cab for Cutie. Michael Benjamin Lerner is a man that every nerdy Jewish girl would want to marry. It’s not just his rugged, boyishly charming good looks.
Catch Telekinesis March 14th, midnight @ The Parish.
Now for the LA bands.
A group of four musicians, two of them the Goldsmith siblings, Dawes in an Americana band LA. Little known fact, The Duckman smoked next to them at the 2010 Xponential music festival. They have a new album coming out April 9th that you should buy before everyone else because you NEED to introduce your stupid friends to them. Although I will be unable to attend, they will be performing in super fucking cold northeast, and you should see them live if you can, at your local indie record store.
They are playing 9 fucking shows, so look them up here and make sure you see them before all your friends do.
Gliss played SXSW last year, and it’s great to see them return for a second year. Their shoegazing music has taken a Beach House-y turn, and it’s change in direction is certainly enjoyed. Here is a song called ‘Weight of Love’ off their new album.
If you go to Home Slice Pizza on March 14th you can catch Gliss at 1:35, and if you stick around you can catch Telekinesis AND Psychic Friend (below). Three Hipsterjew bands in one show? It’s a Hann-fucking-kah miracle.
Gonzalo Bergara Quartet
Are you a hipster who enjoys the finer music in life? Like 1930s gypsy jazz? Do you need something a little lighter, after being blackout drunk for the past 3 days? Then this is the mellow band for you.
Catch them at the Elephant Room, March 14th @ 10:10pm.
Kisses are the type of 70s-inspired dreamy duo that will always make your day feel better. Oh wait. No, I mean they’ll make you feel sad, in that remorseful/nostalgic way about love. Ah, as a 70s-loving Hipster, I do recommend them.
If you wanna feel a little sad, see them March 15th, 10:30pm at The Old School.
The South isn’t known for the Jews that live there, but two bands outside of Texas at SXSW are proving those twangy Jews have musical skills. Presenting SXSW 2013 – The southerners.
Julia Kugel of the Coathangers is a Georgia girl who knows how to fucking rock. The all-female band (no, I will not call them a grrlll band, because they transcend that stupid label) know how to fucking rock out like it’s 2013. Seriously, their music will be timeless, like the Pixies. Quote me on that.
The Coathangers played SXSW in 2010, they played last year, and they return again. Don’t miss them, and don’t be afraid to bang your head like you’re back in high school and have only discovered ‘good’ music a few months ago. Go wild.
Catch the Coathangers 4 different times, below. And check out another song of theirs, Go Away, here. This is a band you definitely want in your iTunes when your record player breaks from over-usage.
Hurray for the Riff Raff
The band was started by a young woman named Alynda lee Segarra. She plays dainty folk music with the help of fiddler Yosi Perlstein. (How Jewish of him!) From New Orleans, they’ve toured the country and are signed to a UK label. Needless to say, you should put this song, Junebug Waltz, on the next mix tape you send to a girl/boy/animal. It’ll totally get you laid.
Catch Hurray for the Riff Raff 6 times (so you don’t have an excuse to miss them…do more coke if you’re really worried about it): - March 12th, 7pm at Blackheart (Newport Folk Fest SXSW Show) - March 13th, 1pm at SXSW NEXT Stage in Convention Ctr. - March 13th, 1am at The 512 - March 14th, 130pm at The Stages on Sixth - March 14th, 3pm at Yard Dog - March 14th, 515pm at Willie Nelson’s Ranch (Heartbreaker SXSW Party)
The lonesome crowded Midwest has some Jews – as does middle of no where Canada! Who would have guessed that music exists in ALL parts of the country? Presenting the Hipster Jews @ SXSW – The Midwest.
Formally with the Harpoons, Ezra Furman is on a musical solo mission of greatness. He’s returning to SXSW for a second year, and this time he’s dropped a bit of the Dylan. He’s emotional, his voice is shaky, guitar chords sharp and short. It’s fucking wonderful.
Coming out of Chicago, this brother/sister duo is the next band you want to know about first. Elliot and Natalie Bergman just came out with their first studio album, and it’s better than most band’s second or third albums.
They totally ‘get’ retro. See them March 13th, 8pm @ Haven.
Straight out of Winnipeg (it’s like Canada’s Midwest!), Royal Canoe is a 6-piece band using pop music and every other type of musical influences to craft some music that could be described as ‘Animal-Collective-y’.
Catch them: - March 14th @ 2pm at Burnside’s Tavern, 4:30 at Friends, 10pm at Club Vice - March 15th, @ 1pm at Brew Exchange, 3:45 at Homeslice Pizza
Klein looks like the Jewish WWF Wrestler Mick Foley
We’ve saved the best for last. It’s no secret that The Duckman and I have a bit of a love affair with My Jerusalem. Sometimes you can’t explain love. You can’t explain the flusterings in your heart. You just know something’s destined for greatness. Words don’t do justice. Enter: My Jerusalem
They’re from Austin, Texas. Jeff Klein, frontman, is a naturally funny guy (wonder how that always happen with Joos). During a recent twitter conversation, he told me 2 important bits of information. 1) He once wanted to start a clothing line called Shmata. 2) Klein wants to do an HJ photo shoot wearing 2 yarmulkas as a bikini top. He’s my type of man.
I could try to give a bio of the band, but I wouldn’t do justice, mainly because I’m a hack blogger and whoever wrote their bio is a damn good writer. Here’s the first paragraph on the website, you should check the rest of it out here.
What’s a nice boy like Jeff Klein doing on the Lower East Side, doling out bruised rock anthems instead of taking up a nice, steady dental practice? Instead of being corrupted by cigarettes and whiskey, and transforming himself into one of the most accomplished purveyors of urban Americana, Klein could have maybe put down the guitar and pursued the rabbinical study. But after years of going it alone with critically acclaimed solo albums and working with fellow tarnished souls like Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan, Klein is finally making up for whatever heartbreak he’s caused his family by revisiting the Holy Land of My Jerusalem—though as the possessive indicates, it’s still on his own terms. Hey, it could have been worse, Papa Klein. He could have been Philip Roth, and spent 40 years writing about his penis.
They recently played Daytrotter. They played SXSW last year and in 2009. Their latest song, Shake the Devil, is catchy as fuck. The raw, scratchy emotional vocals. The simple yet elegant folksy guitar picking. The brass. Jeff Klein’s massive BEARD. It’s all there. For your entertainment. (Seriously just listened to it 6 times in a row.)
Jeffrey (Brodksy) Jerusalem works a double shift at SXSW this year. He’s the drummer for the YACHT, a dance indie band from Portland, OR that loves synth. If you haven’t heard YACHT I suggest you do before they become huge. They’re riding the synth/dance train all the way to the bank, and it’s best to get on that train before it leaves the station (Yay shitty metaphors!). This is party music, people.
Jeffrey Jerusalem played SXSW last year, and he’s back at it again. Bigger, better, stronger, and more likely to kill. His solo stuff is more of an electronic-meets-percussion discussion. Fun times will be had by all.
Tanlines is the only band at SXSW this year composed entirely of Heebs. Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm are the musical force behind this pop/indie/world duo from Brooklyn, New York. Their music is heavily influenced by the 70s and 80s. Cohen’s other band, Professor Murder, is a post-punk band also influenced by new wave. Below you can listen to their first song off of their new album Mixed Emotions, due March 20th.
They’ve opened for many big named musicians in the ‘indie’ scene, but ff you haven’t heard of them, don’t worry. Now’s your chance. Watch their latest music video below, in 360 degree angles, and feel like you’ve been transported to 1985!