America, what a country! The assimilated young New Yorkers in this Gypsy-punk sextet sure think so, jury duty and ESL classes notwithstanding. Previous Golem discs rewired traditional klezmer (raucous Jewish wedding jazz), mainly with vocals in Yiddish. Their fifth disc’s originals, based loosely on Ukrainian immigrant songs collected by singer Annette Ezekiel-Kogan, are in English and just about every tongue spoken East of the Danube, with rock and reggae underpinning whirling dervishes and Old World lover’s laments. The universality comes from carefree comic irony: Ezekiel-Kogan brassily nails a mock citizenship exam (Q: “Can you name the 49th state in the Union?” A: “Al-aaaaa-ska!”) and cosinger Aaron Diskin rhymes kosher and fo’ sure in a song about how much he loves tuches. Pretty soon, the space between exile and arrival starts sounding like a hot spot."

"This 6 piece Gypsy Punk Gem is renowned for electrifying dance floors with their globetrotting goulash of Jewish, Slavic, and Gypsy songs. Mixing old world and new without compromising either, the album is a startling portrait of an ideal world where there is no need only to ghettoize or assimilate. Citizen Boris winds through the struggles and triumphs of immigrant life in America, with the wild energy and panache that characterizes Golem's Gypsy-punk sound."

Spin Magazine

"Instantly accessible!"
The Washington Post

01. Train Across Ukraine
02. Mirror Mirror
03. Tucheses and Nenes
04. Come to Me
05. Meat Street
06. Zingarella
07. Tell Her You Love Her
08. Citizen Boris
09. Lullaby
10. Chervona Ruta
11. Balkan Espanol

Annette Ezekiel Kogan, Aaron Diskin (vocals)
Alicia Jo Rabins (violin)
Curtis Hasselbring (trombone)
Taylor Bergren-Chrisman (bass instrument)
Tom Monaghan (drums)
Emery Dobyns (percussion)




Anonymous said...

i LOVE when folk(ish) bands not only do their homework musically (i.e. do fieldwork recordings with elders) but also record oral history with interviews. golem takes it one step further -- they actually weave the materials gleaned from the interviews into their songs. the citizenship exam questions, the lament in mirror mirror -- phenomenal! oh and the music's good too :)
thanks for this find!

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