Ok, maybe Monday night is not the ultimate concert night but you do it when it is worth it. Monday, Sept 14th starting at 9 there will be one of those not to be missed events. Daniel Kahn and The Painted Bird will be passing through on tour. They are from Berlin, Moscow and parts of the USA. Those who have heard Daniel play solo or with David Symons and others know what kind of a riviting concert he can do. With his whole group, who knows what to expect. They also have a new cd. Come and make them feel welcome! Come listen and dance!
DANIEL KAHN & THE PAINTED BIRD
A Detroit area native, Daniel Kahn attended the University of Michigan where he studied acting, directing, playwriting and poetry. After finishing his studies he lived, played music, recorded, acted, directed plays and composed theatre music in New Orleans, Detroit, New York and Ann Arbor. He has received awards for his playwriting, poetry, acting, and composing.
In summer 2005 Daniel moved to Berlin, and has became an integral part of the international yiddish and klezmer scene, playing in different groups and musical projects. He soon formed his own band, featuring a rotating roster of some of Berlin and New York's best young players.
"The Painted Bird" concocts a mixture of Klezmer, radical Yiddish song, political cabaret and punk folk, kept together by Kahn's amazing abilities as a songwriter, translator and performer; telling stories of outrageous incidents, poetically dark, tragically humorous and politically incorrect.
"The Painted Bird" has brought "Yiddish Punk Cabaret" to rock clubs, theatres, festivals and shtetls, from Berlin to Boston, Leningrad to Louisiana. The band has been called "The Yiddish Pogues," and Kahn was once described as "someone between Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits - but yiddish." On tour premiering his new album of old and original songs in Yiddish, English, German, and Russian, "Partisans & Parasites," Daniel Kahn challenges the borders between radical & traditional, lyrical & political, east & west, folk & punk, mama loshn & loshn hora.
NOT YOUR GRANDMA'S SHTETL By Anat Heffetz Corny, clichéd Yiddishkeit suffers hard blow from young Jewish musicians who take century-old Yiddish songs to a whole new level See you next Monday nite! Ben 802-863-6713 email@example.com
We got to the club half an hour after the show was scheduled to start, knowing full well that music shows at this venue always start at least an hour late. However, when we walked into the dark, but surprisingly not smoke-filled basement of Levontin 7, we were stunned to discover that the band has just taken the stage and was about to begin.
The place was packed, and although parts of the crowd seemed closer to my parents' age, the atmosphere was nevertheless intense enough to get one's energies up and running. When Oy Division, a klezmer ensemble of four funky Israelis who perform wonderful Yiddish soul and rock songs started doing their thing, you could see smiles gradually beginning to cover the faces of everyone in the audience.
Oy Division plays the kind of music that anyone who grew up with Yiddish as his childhood soundtrack (however remote and distant it might have been) would find hard to resist. The soft and comforting sound of this old language, which is currently undergoing a fantastic revival, inevitably struck a chord with my nostalgic heart, but it was the vibrant and genuine way in which it was played and sung by Noam Inbar (vocals) and his band members with their violin, accordion and double bass that took Shtetl music into a whole different level.
Love song for borscht
After about three songs, and with the crowd practically eating out of the palm of their hand, the charming klezmers invited to the stage another irresistible character, Psoy Korolenko, an eccentric-looking Jewish-Russian singer-songwriter who was wearing a Stalin T-Shirt and opened with a 19th-century song (in Russian) calling on Jews not to serve in the Tsar's army. The chemistry between him and his Israeli counterparts on stage was apparent, but the evening really peaked when another guest joined the party.
This was Daniel Kahn, a young Jewish-American living in Berlin who does everything from acting in and directing plays, to composing and performing Jewish folklore songs, political cabarets and radical century-old Yiddish songs. Kahn performed partly with his partners on stage (including a hilarious love song for borscht, and an even wilder hymn for pizza, rapped by the incredible Psoy) and partly alone.
The highlight of the evening was, in my eyes, Kahn's solo performance of an early 20th-century song about the Jewish Bund – sung half in Yiddish half in English, glorifying the Jewish laborer, slamming the rich Zionist activists and calling for workers' solidarity across the globe. The pathos and emotion Kahn has put into this anthem almost convinced me that if the Bund was still a viable political choice, I would have run to sign up.
Another memorable moment was Kahn's performance of the song Six Million Germans, inspired by the story of a group of Jewish partisans, Nakam, founded after World War II to avenge the Holocaust. Written by Kahn, the song relates the avengers' story, while debating the morality of their actions (an attempt, which some historians say succeeded, to poison thousands of SS officers in an Allies POW camp in Germany). The lively, even cheerful music of the song stood in stark contradiction to its lyrics, creating an eerie, but fascinating combination.
A beer in hand, and a craving for gefilte fish in heart, we parted with the wonderful, somewhat crazy Yiddish revivers and promised ourselves to return for the next "Jewish evening" at Levontin 7.
NOT YOUR GRANDMA'S SHTETL
By Anat Heffetz
Corny, clichéd Yiddishkeit suffers hard blow from young Jewish musicians who take century-old Yiddish songs to a whole new level
See you next Monday nite!
Ben 802-863-6713 firstname.lastname@example.org