Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Golem @ Prospect Park

Sunday was a celebration of the Jewish record label J Dub, so I headed over to see Golem, whom I saw last year at After the Jump. I was under the impression that they were going on first, but boy was I wrong. First was a DJ crew called Soulico with some Jewish rappers. They were actually pretty cool, even though very little was in English so I couldn't necessarily understand it. They had insane energy considering the heat and they were a lot of fun. They jumped around a lot and it was kind of fun to just listen to the rhythm of their voices without getting wrapped up in the lyrics. After that, Michael Showalter began MCing (see pictures below), and I have to say, for someone who wrote a movie as genius as Wet Hot American Summer, he's not very funny in person. This is the second time I've seen him (he introduced the movie at McCarren Park Pool) and it was excruciating both times.

Next was a band called Sway Machinery. They were pretty good. The lead singer is kind of crazy, but they were fun to watch and they utilized a lot of different genres of music, and tied it all together with a Jewish sound, which is cool. I'm not sure I would listen to their music on a regular basis but they put on a good performance. I felt bad for them all wearing suits in the heat (which I also didn't think really fit with their music), especially the guy with the giant bass saxophone (see left).

After Sway Machinery was DeLeon. They had a really enjoyable energy, and a few really good tunes. My favorite songs were the ones that they said were 500 years old or so. I think it's neat how they're adapting traditional Sephardic songs. The drummer was an interesting character. He got up and stood on a chair between each song. I believe he also played the drums standing up. And I have to say that the tambourine girl was one of the most animated band members and I enjoyed watching her.

And finally, Golem headlined with their fabulous high energy klezmer punk. They are so dramatic and fun to watch. I must've taken 20 pictures just of singer Aaron Diskin and his amazing facial expressions. Drummer Tim Monaghan also makes some pretty entertaining facial expressions. He literally puts his whole body into his drumming, including his face. I also love the violin player Alicia Jo Rabins, because she is constantly smiling, laughing and just having a good time. Or well, really, I love them all and they all seem to enjoy themselves immensely. They had a big fan base show up and people were dancing in the aisles. Everyone was quite merry.

They also had a guest star - a British punk rock legend whose name I sadly didn't catch... (see right) He was fun though, and it was funny when he was reading the lyrics off a sheet of paper and still messing them up. Accordian player/ frontwoman Annette Ezekial enjoyed mocking him a bit for that, but he laughed it off and just went with it. Golem finished the show with a big grand finale and brought all sorts of people on the stage - probably 30-50 people in all - drummers, horn players, baton twirlers, hoola-hoopers, and dancers. It was a party. A great way to end the show, despite the fact that there was no encore. It made me think of the Dresden Dolls New Year's Eve show and I think Golem and The Luminescent Orchestrii would be the best of friends.

More pictures (and even more HERE):

Warsaw is Khelm [mp3] - Golem - "Fresh Off Boat" (iTunes)

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