Monday, July 21, 2008

My Robot Friend - Walking Jewish

"there's just something 'bout a man with a talis bag..."

I've mentioned a number of times the absence of a Jewish presence on the radio. Growing up I'd hear all sorts of songs making reference to Christian religion and culture. Sometimes it was pretty explicit, e.g. Christmas songs, but often it more subtle, with lyrics spun from Christian Bible imagery or religious practice. (For some reason U2's 'One' and Tori Amos 'Crucify' jump to mind, but there are zillions). There are lots of Jews in music, where are the Jewish references? Something a little less alienating please? Anyone? Hello? (Thank you Leonard Cohen. Anyone else?)

So I'm pleased and delighted every time I hear a band let their (take their?) Jewish identity out on the public airwaves (or wires). Today I'm particularly delighted with "Walking Jewish" by the band My Robot Friend. Walking Jewish is as raunchy, rebellious, and in your face as it gets. The kind of thing that makes you jam your speakers against your dorm room wall, spin the volume to 11 and drive your neighbors out into the snow*. It's that gleefully obnoxious. The song lyrics are defiantly gay and Jewish at the same time.

"When I turned 13 the cantor took me by the hand. "Forget your Bar Mitzvah, kid, I'll make you a man."
....I may not have the foreskin, by you know I have the balls.

The singer is making a point. I'm here. I'm gay. I'm Jewish. I'm not going away. And the singer is making fun of himself too. C'mon, not only Catholics can have sex scandals. I'm a walking sex scandal. Rock and roll, even squawky, sample heavy, rock, is at it's best in songs like this. Dumb, loud, true to itself, unapologetic, brilliant. Whew. Play it again.

* umm. Don't ask about that one. It was justified. Really.

Hat tip to the ActioNext website for the music player.


Unknown said...

I just listened to this song..and i LOVED it. It was super fun and just what i needed.

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