Empty Bottle, Chicago, Ill.

By: Andrew Lyman

I admit. I have fallen under Golem’s spell. Up until I had to shoot some photos of them the other night, I had never even heard them. I was an instant convert. They are all, every one of them musicians of the highest degree. The fiddle player particularly could easily hold first chair in any symphony of any kind on the planet, but instead she fucking rocks out in smoky and beer soaked clubs with an incredibly talented, explosive, and fun band. It always makes me happy when young people (ah the young people) take up arms for some reason other than indie rock or bastardized punk-garage-space-rock garbage.

I must also confess that I was a little bit intimidated by the whole event; amplified by the fact that it was “Jewish Night” at the Bottle, which was taken much more literally than I would have imagined. The fact of the matter is that I have a deep love for history and culture of any type. Pile culture upon culture on me in all of it’s many forms and I will lovingly appreciate it safely in my room, but I lack the built in protocols to appropriately respond to anything with that much history behind it. I am an atheist Anglo mutt from central Indiana. I possess no cultural identity whatsoever. I can appreciate other people’s, but only vicariously.

Even Golem, a decidedly new band, has the air of legitimacy about them. They perform real classical Yiddish songs, maybe on amphetamines, but the roots are there. When you have no roots, it’s a kind of large thing to be confronted with. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ll work on my Hora and try my best to participate in something which I love but is decidedly outside of my own cultural sphere.


December 2006 : Golem Interview




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