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Why is this review different from all other reviews?
Reviewer: mdurshimer
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Punk Rock Hora:
Adventures in Jew-Punk Land
198 pages
November 08, 2018
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

Spans 13 years of covering edgy Jewish culture, with comedic behind-the-scenes anecdotes, insightful analysis of the songs, and unparalleled access to the artists.

It’s a small Jewish world after all. ‘Cause we are all mishpocha.
At the recommendation of a fellow ‘Brew (that’s short for Hebrew), I recently picked up a copy of Punk Rock Hora: Adventures in Jew-Punk Land and immediately had a sense that there was something familiar about it, other than the obvious religious connection. As I’m reading the forward by Rabbi Patrick “Aleph” Beaulier and digesting his words, I realize that he is linked to a dear friend, also a rabbi, through an organization called PunkTorah. Being the yenta that I am, I email my friend and discover that he too was in a “punk-ish band” called The Returns. So my feeling of deja Jew was right!
While I am completely unfamiliar with the Jewish punk movement that currently graces the stages of bar mitzvahs and even synagogues, I know a thing or two about their zeydes: Joey Ramone, Perry Farrell, the Beastie Boys, and a few other alter kockers (or should that be rockers?).  These new kids have taken it to a whole ‘nother level and embraced their Judaic roots in a way that makes me verklempt. Bands like Moshiach Oi! and Golem put their own spin on traditional Jewish songs, perfect for the mosh pit and today’s kinder and a few of us older Yids. What chutzpah!
This book is sort of the sequel to Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, both written by Michael Croland, once a blogger. The guy is clearly a Jewish punk rock maven and he has lots of interesting stories to share, many of them personal. But, he tells those tales more than once and about three-quarters of the way through the book, my mind began to wander. Not kvetching, but a good editor could have worked a little magic.
Though the author of The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGBs: A Secret History of Jewish Punk tackled this niche first, Croland has found his own schtick by focusing on the modern scene. Fans of these bands, the 20 and 30 somethings braving a new world with much more open minds than their ancestors, but with a nod to their past, will enjoy flipping through this mensch’s book. Grab a nosh and check it out. And maybe a Yiddish-to-English dictionary while you’re at it!