Is It OK To Dance After the Holocaust? Absolutely, Says the Band Golem
The klezmer punk rockers cover lots of ground on their rollicking new album, ‘Tanz.’ They want you to get crazy to all of it.
Known for frenzied takes on Yiddish and Eastern European music, the members of Golem bring the party with them wherever the band plays and no matter what they’re singing about. Their new album, Tanz, which means dance in Yiddish, covers religious rites, anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union, dark children’s poems, and more, in a mix of rollicking interpretations of classic songs and original numbers.
Golem’s founder and accordionist, Annette Ezekiel Kogan, and its violinist, Jeremy Brown, join Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to talk about the band’s surprising Mexican fan-base, how painful it is to sing the song “Odessa” now that Ukraine is in the throes of Russian occupation, and their ambivalence (now overcome) about singing about religious topics when the band members themselves are not particularly devout.
New English translations of the 90-year-old’s Israel Prize-winning work remind us why he’s the doyen of postwar poets