Friday, August 31, 2007

Jewish Waves: What they're listening to in Wisconsin

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WTKM 104.9 out of Hartford, Wisconsin, is my kind of station. Polka first. Polka second. And then everything else. And that everything happens to include Jewish Waves, a weekly radio show hosted by Marge Eiseman and Andy Muchin. Jewish Waves provides a "blend of music, commentary, interviews, maybe a recipe, a story or a studio visit with a musician." Those of us not in the Wisconsin listening area can listen to recorded shows. Right now the website only has about 15 shows from February 2007 to May 1 2007. I'm going to email them and see their still on the air.

I heard from Marge Eiseman, one of the show hosts, and they are still broadcasting. They'll either catch up on posting their shows or switch over to a podcasting format sometime soon. By the way, it turns out that Eiseman is singer with one album sold-out on CD-Baby and available for download on OySongs and a new one on the way.

Here's a playlist from their March 4 show. (note the Kinky Friedman. I love these folks!)

Yiddishe Cup - Knish Doctor from Meshugenah Mambo
Joel Chasnoff - The Purim Song from Hannukah Guilt
Carol Reiner & Mel Brooks - Famous People from The 2000 Year Old Man In the Year 2000
Lil Rev (Marc Revenson) - Az der Rebbe Zingt from Can’t Keep the Past Behind Me
Kinky Friedman - The Top Ten Commandments from Sold American
Joel Chasnoff - Haman on the Couch from Hannukah Guilt
Yiddishe Cup - I Am a Man of Constant Blessings from Meshugenah Mambo
Terry Lieberstein - God is in the Checkout Line from Center of the Storm
The Kabalas - Photograph of Aunt Rachel Doing the Cha-Cha-Cha at Cousin Ira’s Bar Mitzvah (circa 1963) from Time Tunnel
Judy Caplan Ginsburgh - Nosh, Nosh a Hamentash from Amazing Songs for Amazing Jewish Kids
Jack Gabriel - Doobie Dance from Living Tree
Joel Chasnoff - My Name is Elijah from Hannukah Guilt
Robbi Sherwin - Eliyahu from Todah LaChem (Thanks Y’all)
The Kabalas - Freilach 2 from Time Tunnel
Kenny Ellis - Celebrity Seder from The Man Behind the Matzoh Ball

(By the way, I grew up a bit south of Hartford, Connecticut which is the Connecticut state capital. I was always amused that name Hartford is just a polite way of saying 'damp deer crossing'. Yes I know that's a really obscure joke. I was an English major in college and it scarred me. Maybe some day I'll tell joke about the cat and the comma. Or maybe not...)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Morris and the Doves (Mati Caspi gets animated)

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In my post about the Ralph Bakshi move 'American Pop', I mentioned that I'm a big fan of animation. It figures that I would almost immediately run into another entertaining example of animated Jewish music. In this case, it's "Morris and the Doves." The YouTube video notes give credit for the "skit" to Mati Caspi, the Israeli singer/songwriter. Since I can't read Hebrew, I'm not sure who the animators are.

Morris and the Doves

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What they're listening to in South Central (Florida)

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South Central Florida is Jewish World Radio territory. I got hip to JWR thanks to Mort, the manager of "Levitikus, a Jewish-American rock band that bases its music on classic and modern rock". It seems that Levitikus is JWR's band of the month. He also sent me copy of the first Levitikus album. I started listening to it today and will let you know what I think once I've had time to live with it a bit.

Jewish World Radio is joint venture of Sephardim and Ashkenazim Othodox Jews in Orlando, Florida. According to the JWR website "Jewish World Radio is the first Jewish bilingual, English and Spanish, Internet radio station for all the Jews. We netcast Jewish music, news and Torah teachings in English and Spanish through the Internet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

JWR polled their listeners recently and put up a "billboard" list of their favorite tracks. I always love seeing what other folks are listening. Particularly when I don't know so many of the groups. I've been listening to the Orthodox/Chassidic side of Jewish music enough now that I can tell Avraham Fried from Eli Gerstner (Fried sounds like Las Vegas R&B and Gerstner sounds like contemporary disco)(No I don't care for either much. Could you tell?). I'll report back if I hear anything interesting from these groups.
<
SongArtistAlbum/Source
1Gorito CosmicoHip Hoop HoodiosThe You Tube
2JerusalemAlpha BlondyThe You Tube
3Am Yisrael ChaiYehuda Glantz Na'ale
4 Habibi Yehzkel SuibAhaba Ve Ahava Boys Choir
5Ani MaaminWorld of BelzWorld of Belz
6Australia Tour ShevaThe You Tube
7 Ani Lo Mesugal Yehuda GlantzGotta Dance
8 Adon Olam Yeshiva Boys YBC
9 Judgement DayJordan Chaviv Baal Teshuva
10 Veahavta Miami Boys Choir Around the Campfire
11Shabbat Shalom Pey Dalid Garden of Eden
12 Sea to Sea Matisyahu Live at Stubbs
13 Azamer Jeff Horvitch Jewish Jazz Cafe
14Klezmer Chicas TsimbiChicas Tsimbi Radio Sefarad.com
15Kadus Kadus Blondie You Tube

Lawrence Dermer - Third House Rising

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"A Jewish musical renaissance is bubbling and the sound is getting so loud..."

I got a nice email today pointing me to Lawrence Dermer's new album "Third House Rising." According to Dermer's website, he's "a BMI Award winning and Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, producer who is best known for his work with Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Cher, Lenny Kravitz and Barry Manilow." The new album, composed with is wife Robin and performed with his sons, is "a unique blend of Jewish Pop combining elements of R&B, Latin, Chassidic, Middle Eastern and soulful sounds with fresh contemporary lyrics."

The video below will give you an idea about the sound that Dermer's going for, but you need to listen to the sample tracks on his website or on his myspace page. This is great stuff. Check it out.

Music Goes Round

Justyna Steczkowska

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Here's are some lovely tunes from Polish singer Justyna Steczkowska. Definitely in the 'big production number' stage show vein, but nice. The "Alkimja" (Alchemy) referred to in the title of the second is an album of Jewish material released in 2002. The Warsaw Voice has a review of Alkimja, noting that it
"is a combination of truly kosher melodies and harmonies, with oriental, Latino, Balkan and African influences-a true alchemy of sounds, seasoned with a light dose of electronica....The lyrics for Alkimja, written by Roman Kołakowski, refer to the metaphysics of Jewish culture. Numerous quotations in Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Yiddish and Ladino don't pose any real difficulty for the listener-they sound like magic formulas or spells which help us find the sense of life, love, goodness and optimism."
Huh? I'm not so thrilled with Jewish culture being channelled as the Polish equivalent of new-age crystals. There's been lots of discussion lately about a growing interest in Jewish culture as local exotica among non-Jews in countries like Poland and Germany. (See posts here, here, and the Gruber's book "Virtually Jewish") but Steczkowska is supposed to be a bit more earnest in her appreciation for Jewish culture than some others.

And she does seem to put on an entertaining show. If you like these, there are lots more Steczkowska videos on YouTube and Amazon has "Alkimja"

Justyna Steczkowska "Graj, klezmerska kapelo!"


Justyna Steczkowska ALKIMJA LIVE Austeria


(I found the first video on YouTube this morning, but when I was checking some sources I realized that Steve Weintraub posted the second video and started a great discussion about Steczkowska on the Klezmershack Jewish Music Mailing List back in March. So hat tip to Steve, even If I was months late).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

American Pop

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I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I'm a big animation fan. I used to be able to list the last ten years of Oscar winners in the animated feature and short film categories. Great way to kill a conversation at cocktail party. Trust me. Somehow, though, I missed the obvious connection between my love for animation and my love for Jewish music until this clip from American Pop was posted to YouTube last week. I did a quick check and I do have a dusty copy that I haven't seen in years. The YouTube clip reminded me of what a cool film it is.

On the director of the film, Ralph Backshi', website, American Pop is described as "allegorical tale about four generations of fathers and sons - using a retrospective of American pop music." The four generations in question, though, are a family of immigrant Jewish musicians. Not much Jewish music, per se, but Jewish themed material is peppered through the film. The American Pop wikipedia entry has a detailed description of the storyline, following the family from Tsarist Russia to American prohibition era clubs, to the heights of pop stardom.

Bakshi was born in Haifa 1n 1938 to a family of Russian Jews, and moved with them to the US in the 1940's and produced a series of influential, and controversial films in the 1970's and 80's.

"American Pop" animation movie clip, 1981

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lipa goes on a diet

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I've been pretty busy this past week and haven't gotten any posts out. I've got a backlog of great stuff, including a few long pieces and a couple of reviews, but just no time to write them up. But when I saw this video (hat tip to Dos Music and Metal Jew) I knew I had to share it. How often do you see a Chassid sing about laying off the kugel and kiska in a video that quotes' the pop band "Ok Go?"

Lipa Schmeltzer (usually just referred to as Lipa) is one of the most popular Hasidic Jewish musicians right now. He has a bunch of solo albums available (see Jewish Jukebox or Mostly Music for a good assortment). He's also performed many times at the annual HASC benefit concerts and has a bunch of music videos.

Like many traditional Jewish performers, he's raised some controversy in his own community by incorporating contemporary pop music forms into his music. (check out this letter from condemning his music.) I'm only mentioning the controversy because I'm fascinated by the struggle that the traditional communities have in deciding which outside influences are appropriate and which are not (e.g. the debate over Matisyahu).

You can get more info on Lipa at his Wikipedia entry. Lipa also has ahome page, but it looks pretty non-functional at the moment.



Lipa Schmeltzer sings Diet 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Soulico: Tel Aviv Hip Hop

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SoulicoThe best part of writing a blog (hint hint) is getting comments or emails from fellow Jewish music fans. I got one the other day from another North Coaster (i.e. from Michigan) interested in pointers to Jewish Hip Hop. I was able to rattle off some of the main players, including Socalled, Balkan Beat Box, and Y-Love, but I know I was missing a bunch so I went on the hunt. (I love going on the hunt.) And I found Soulico:

Soulico is from Tel Aviv. I'm not a enough of a hip-hop fan to play the 'sounds like' game, but this is how they describe themselves:
"Soulico is a 4 member DJ Crew from Tel Aviv, the first DJ's in the Middle East to master the trifecta of production, turntablism, and party-rocking skills. Soulico has garnered incredible respect and critical acclaim both for their original songs and their unique mash-ups that blend Israeli folk and Jewish melodies with American hip-hop tracks.
My Hebrew isn't nearly good enough to keep up with the vocals, but I like how they kick back and forth between pop, hip-hop, and various folk music licks. I dig it. You can hear a few of their tracks on the Soulico myspace page and hear a full live show and one of their mix-tapes on the JDub Records website. If you're lucky enough to be in Boston or New York at the end of the month you can catch them in concert. Check the JDub site for details.

Soulico Live Concert and Radio Recordings

Jewish Cowboys Part 2: Scott Gerber

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Scott Gerber Jewish Cowboy The Jewish immigration into the US from Eastern Europe, as are most I suppose, was a strange experience for all involved. When the dust settled America had acquired professors and gangsters, cantors and shopkeepers, orthodox enclaves, reform communities and leftist Petaluma chicken farmers. All of whom inherited pieces of old Europe and transformed it into the American Jewish experience. And yeah, I wasn't kidding about the chicken farmers.

Scott Gerber, subject of the Bonnie Burt's documentary "Song of a Jewish Cowboy" is the grandson of chicken farmers and cowhand who "didn't know Jews were a religion until I got to be a teenager" and spent a"decade or so living in flophouses from Montana to Nevada to the San Joaquin Valley, herding cattle on the hot, dusty plains." (quotes from the article Yiddisher cowboy: 'I'm not the stereotype' by Andy Altman-Ohr). But Gerber takes his tradition seriously. In addition to his skills as ranch hand, Gerber plays guitar and sings Yiddish tunes such as "Bin Ikh Mir a Shnayderl (I'm a tailor)" and "Zog Nit Keynmol (don't say never)." Gerber has an album available at CD Baby featuring both "traditional yiddish songs about working people and familiar social justice songs by Woodie Guthrie and Earl Robinson."

By the way, Bonnie Burt has a number of Jewish-themed documentaries including ones on Jewish Cuba, Jewish China, the Sephardim, and of course, the leftist chicken farmers of Pateluma.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Jewish Cowboys Part 1: Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys

4 comments:
Kinky Friedman, Texas JewboyIn an unpublished (and as yet unwritten) history of Jewish music, in a chapter that connects the Yiddish dialect parody of Mickey Katz's 'Haim Afn Range" to the Hip Hop Hoodios sardonic Latino rap "Dicks and Noses", the attentive reader will find a paragraph or two on one of the great troubadors of the American west: Kinky Friedman, Texas Jewboy.

Along with his compadres, Little Jewford, Big Nig, Panama Red, Rainbow Colours and Snakebite Jacobs, Friedman played an off-kilter, Frank Zappa-esque Country Rock with biting songs such as "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore," "We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To You" and "Ride 'Em Jewboy", a tribute to victims of the Holocaust. Friedman recorded a half-dozen albums in the 1970's, received a reasonable amount of media attention (including a Saturday Night Live episode) and claims to be the first "full-blooded Jew to play the Grand Ole Opry."

And Friedman's still out there, smoking cigars and causing trouble. After his musical career wound down in the early 1980's, he took to writing detective novels and recently ran for governor of Texas with the goal of the "dewussification" of Texas" and the campaign slogan "How hard can it be?" He didn't win, but with a serious platform that included "higher pay for teachers and working to lower Texas's dropout rate", "harnessing Texas's alternative fuel resources", and "increas[ing] the number of Texas National Guard troops on the border (from the current 1,500 to 10,000), impos[ing] $25,000 and $50,000 fines on companies that hire illegal immigrants and requir[ing] foreign nationals seeking employment to purchase a foreign taxpayer ID card once they have passed a criminal background check" he got serious voter support. See his wikipedia entry or his website for more on his platform and current activities or check out Shout Factory for "Last of The Jewish Cowboys: The Best of Kinky Friedman"

Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jewboys


Bob Dylan and Kinky Friedman - Sold American - Chadad 1991

"'Chadad' is the title given on YouTube. Should that really be 'Chabad'?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Aish Tamid Music Stream

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Aish Tamid of Los Angles is currently streaming a lot of great Jewish music on their Music Stream page. Aish was set up in 2001 to support Jewish youth in LA.

The music is solidly in the frum chassidic tradition. I haven't listened to all of it yet, but what I've heard is wonderful. It opens with a live concert hosted by Aish Tamid featuring some Aish folks and the performer Chaim Dovid. It continues with albums by Chaim Dovid, Nochi Krohn, Shmuel Brazil, Rabbi Mordechia Dubin, Schlomo and Eitan Katz, Etan G, and the Moshav Band. Not being knowing these artists very well, I had a hard time figuring out who's album was whose. But there was some tracks that I really liked, the opening concert in particular.

So, check out the stream and check out the Aish Tamid website. They sound like a great organization worthy of support.

(hat tip to Life of Rubin)

The Israeli Folk Music Archive: The Place Where Out-Of-Print Israeli Folk Music is...Alive! Alive!

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Israeli Folk Music ArchiveMost LP records never made it to CD, much as most 78's never made it to LP. Every time there's a switch to a new format, a new generation of music fans turn into archaeologists and archivists. Once such archaeologist/archivist loves old Israeli folk music and wants to share the love. The Israeli Folk Music Archive specializes in out-of-print 1950's and 1960's Israeli folk recordings and has a smattering of other genre's including Folk Dance, Youth Groups, Spoken,Comedy, Documentary, Orchestral, Liturgical, Choral, Chassidic, Holiday, Compilations, Festivals, and Soundtracks. The goal of the archive is to preserve the memory of these recordings, both by providing listings of their holdings and by transferring the LPs to CD to the enjoyment of us all.

Bezalel and the Sabras Album CoverThe LP to CD thing has gotten me pretty excited because I found the archive while researching the band Bezalel and the Sabras. I ran across the Sabras on the PCLLinkDump blog, which covers odd audio/visual finds. PCL referenced the Acid Archives of Underground Sound 1965-1982. According to Acid the Sabras are a "Jewish garage band featuring melodic guitar folk instros and reverb rockers, some fuzz. One track from the "Jerusalem" LP (released as by the Sabras only) appears on the "Riot City" compilation." So how cool is that?

And The Israeli Folk Music Archive is going to sell me copies? What a great start to the day. (And it's a great day for a little perk. An elderly family member is very sick. My wife's already flown back East to visit and I may need to fly myself and the kids in for a funeral soon.) I'm going to order one and will let you know how it goes. I may even try to post a few sound samples once I get the disc. Greatness like this should be shared.

Anyway, go check out their listings. Lots of great stuff and maybe just the album you need to perk up your day.

By the way, there's a real question about the legality of an 'out-of-print' LP to CD service. You can read their explanation here along with prices and other policies.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

OHEL 5757 concert online

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The entire Ohel 5757 concert (all 2.5 hours of it) has been posted online. The concert headliners are Avraham Fried and Mordecai Ben David (aka MDB). This is frum shiny-shoe music at its best.



By the way, I hadn't realized that full concerts could be posted to Google Video. I'll have to dig around and see if there are any other goodies hidden in the GV archive.

(hat-tip to Life-of-Rubin and the Jewish Music Review)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Janet & Jak Esim Ensemble

3 comments:
Eva Broman recently sent the Jewish Music email list a pointer to YouTube videos by the Janet & Jak Esim Ensemble. (Thanks Eva!) The Esims have recorded a series of albums of Turkish Sephardic music, are included in the Putumayo 'Jewish Odyssey' compilation, and have performed around the world. Check out the Oz-Ist website for their discography and some sample .mp3 files, CDRoots to purchase recordings, and, of course, YouTube for more videos.

Janet & Jak ESİM - Por Amar Una Donzea

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Going to camp with Ahavat Haaretz

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My summer camp experience as kid never included concerts from Israeli pop stars. Bug juice. Bugs. Surviving archery. Getting rained on a lot. All of that, I had. But no pop stars. Jewish kids these days have it made.

According to their website, Ahavat Haaretz (love of the land) "is the creation of Roi and Osnat Levy. As a founding member of the Israeli supergroup Shotei HaNevuah (The Fools of Prophecy), Roi's songwriting skills are most evident in this exciting new ensemble.
Roi won the prestigious "Composer of the Year Award" in 2004 from ACUM, the Israeli version of ASCAP. His compositions for Shotei HaNevuah helped both of the band's albums reach "platinum". Osnat has been studying music her whole life and her abilities as a vocalist and instrumentalist are most evident."


They spent July bopping across the US visiting Jewish summer camps. The YouTube video below catches them at Emma Kaufman Camp in Morgantown, West Virginia and elsewhere. You can hear some more clips of their music and (if so inclined, book them for your venue) at JArts and catch more of their videos at YouTube.

Ahavat Haaretz Summer Mini-Tour 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

'The Chosen Ones' are coming

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The Chosen Ones'The Chosen Ones' are coming to a theater near you. That is, if the theater near you happens to be hosting a Jewish film festival. According to the promo for the film posted on the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (I miss San Fran)...
"Music is a calling, divine or otherwise. For some the calling is entirely secular, for others it is profoundly spiritual, but all the talented young musicians featured in Wendla Nolle's documentary The Chosen Ones feel deeply and undeniably the intertwining of the music they make and their religious experience."


I haven't seen the film yet and was really excited about it until I saw this review on the SFist website:

"...Tooth-grindingly frustrating! [The producer's] complete lack of any background in the subject drove us CRAZY. Why doesn't [the producer] seem to know anything about Judaism or Jewish history if she's so interested in learning how faith informs popular music (as she repeated on the voice over fifty bazillion times)? For instance, she seems startled to hear that a member of a Jewish acoustic-folk band she interviews doesn't buy German products. What could they possibly have against Germans?

And who were these guys? What did any of these musicians have in common besides being Jewish? Why didn't she translate any of the Hebrew lyrics? Why even make this movie if no one had anything interesting to say about their faith and music (beyond "I live in two worlds")? And why didn't she tell anyone any of the names of any of the bands? ..."

Sigh. I'll still go see "The Chosen" if it comes to Detroit or Ann Arbor, but my expectations have dropped a bit.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Beyond Recall - Recordings from Berlin 1933 to 1936

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Beyond Recall Album CoverHere's a box-set I'd love to add to my collection. It's called Beyond Recall and includes 11 CDs and 1 DVD capturing the tail end of pre-war German Jewish music. It's available through Bear Family Records and Amazon.com. Unfortunately neither Bear Family nor Amazon offer sound clips, but ere's the Bear Family Records description of it.

"After Hitler's seizure of power in 1933, anti-Semitism became a state doctrine. The National Socialists' aim was the physical destruction of the Jews. Every memory of the sound and voice of Jewish artists was to be consigned to oblivion in the same way as the Yiddish language. On being liberated from Theresienstadt concentration camp, the Berlin Rabbi, Leo Baeck, stated his conviction that the 1,000 year history of the Jews in Germany had come to an irrevocable end. This documentation is proof of the victory of life over death - priceless sound documents have been rescued, then restored with a great expenditure of technological effort and, after sixty years, made available once more for all time.Under constant surveillance by the Gestapo, the members of a Jewish Cultural League [Juedischer Kulturbund] in Berlin were able to pursue their artistic activities and make and distribute records. Some of the titles recorded in Berlin were released in Palestine from 1934 to 1936 - forming part of the early history of Israel's record industry. These records that are scattered throughout the world for the most part exist only as single copies or test pressings. The repertoire is wide and includes classical music, Yiddish comedians, German cabaret, Palestinian folk songs and, above all, cantorial singing of enormous eloquence."
Both Bear Family and Amazon offer full listings of the tracks. If you're interested in knowing what musicians and what kinds of music were happening in Berlin in the early 1930's, this list may be invaluable. The box set is a bit pricey, but not unreasonably so considering the size of the collection. It still out of my price range for the moment. Ah well, it's good to have a wish list.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Responding to a Jewish Punk rant

2 comments:
So, one of the regulars on the Jewish Rockers myspace group recently posted a long rant against Jewish punk. He'd already received some excellent responses from folks like the rapper Y-Love and Jewish rocker Moshie Skier, but I thought I'd add my two cents. Here's an excerpt from the rant followed by my response.

"...Punk rock, as defined by good old Merriam Webster, is rock music marked by extreme and often deliberately offensive expressions of alienation and social discontent. Originally it was played by misfits of various types; in both the tone and the lyrics, this was the way these misfits expressed themselves and spewed their venomous attitudes toward society and the system. Mind you, I don't mean this as a value judgment - G-d knows I was a misfit for much of my life, and in some sense I still am, even though I never was a punk rocker.

This, however, is a value judgment: Punk rock is NOT a valid way to express your love for G-d and Torah. ... Punk is about anger, venom, frustration, angst, nihilism, hopelessness, "no future." There are lots of issues in the Jewish world that could stand a dose of punk piss'n'vinegar. ... The Biblical prophets dealt with just such issues in their day, and their words speak to the world today as well - why not adapt some of their words to a loud, hard, and fast punk rock song, instead of a silly punk version of "Hineh mah tov" or whatever that narishkeit was?"
Hesh,

You've already gotten better responses than I can offer (particularly from Y-Love and Moshe Skier) but, well, beating a dead horse is about as punk as you get so I thought I'd add my 2 cents.

You heard punk and are not moved and so condemn punk. But was the problem with the music or with your connection to it? Punk is a form of music with a particular sensibility to it that calls to certain people. I grew up in the punk scene in CT, NY, and MA in the 80's. Describing it as nihilistic and looking to Sid Vicious and the Ramones as touchstones isn't wrong, particularly if that's your primary image of it, but it's a gross over-simplification. Punk was always more about unbridled individual passion in an age of conformity that it was about alienation. Some punk bands and songs were pretty obnoxious, but some were really smart (Dead Kennedys), and some even uplifting (check out the 7-Seconds and Fugazi). If you, personally, don't connect with punk that's fine. But don't confuse your lack of connection with a lack of merit in the music or the musicians. For me, growing up in that music and resonating with it deeply, and connecting the individual passion of the music with my loneliness of being Jewish in a Christian culture, it works great. Revving up a punk Hineh Mah Tov sounds great to me! The point is, you're entitled to feel that punk is a silly way for YOU to express YOUR love for G-d, but don't judge me or anyone else for feeling that it can be great way to do it.

To me the image of a room full of wound-up, pent-up, kids spinning in circles, crashing into each other and singing/yelling 'Hineh Mah Tov Uma naim, shevet achim gam yahad!" (Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!) with all their hearts gives me the shivers.