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12/26/2018
Article
Daniel Kahn’s ‘Yiddish punk cabaret’

Publicity for The Butcher’s Share (Oriente Musik), the new album by Daniel Kahn and The Painted Bird, notes that the ensemble lives up to their name as “radical Yiddish borderland bandistas with punk attitude.” The 13 tracks on this record showcase the band’s rebelliousness in the cause of social uplift. The songs, in Yiddish and English, are a worthy addition to the noble culture of Jewish left-wing activism, in the Old World and America. “Arbeter Froyen (Working Women)” celebrates women’s labor “in factories and homes” and declares that “no one should stand in the struggle alone.” And “The Ballad of How the Jews Got to Europe” unspools a pointed history and illustrates the singer-songwriter’s concept of “Yiddish punk cabaret.” Kahn, a Detroit native based in Berlin, is backed by superb musicians, including Christian Dawid, a virtuoso on clarinet. — Mordecai Specktor