Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Fresh Off Boat

New York rowdies fronted by an accordionist who speaks five languages

No matter how much the klezmer claque kvells about the genre's hard-partying wedding-band origins, most revivalists favor the musicianly and the genteel. Clearly influenced by the spirit rather than the lineup of Gypsy brass, a wilder outsider style from Eastern Europe, Golem say nuts to that. Replacing klezmer's signature clarinet with Alicia Jo Rabin's violin, they bill themselves as "folk-punk." Although Aaron Diskin and Annette Ezekiel sing mostly in Yiddish, their intense grit, buoyed by tunes they could well have picked up off the street, always conveys a world-weary resolve that will stop at nothing in its quest for fun. Yes, they'll play a slow dance if you ask. But request "Hava Nagilah" and they'll give you "Have a Tequila" in the bargain.

Blender, Nov. 2006