Friday, June 22, 2007

Golem à Paris

My old friend Aaron Diskin’s band Golem performed at the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme last night as part of the Fête de la musique, the highly enjoyable all-day-and-all-night bout of free music that occurs here every June 21st. It was the first show in the City of Lights for the band, who describe themselves as “a 6-piece Eastern European folk-punk band” and sing in a mixture on English, Yiddish and, on this evening, French.

The music is quite a wild mixture of frenetic drumming, driving accordion riffs, trilling viola runs and Diskin’s vocals with seem to race back and forth between the singing traditions of the Lower East Side at the turn of two centuries, the largely Eastern European Jewish former and the rock music filled latter. The setting was quite a beautiful old building along the Rue du Temple and the crowds of several thousand seemed to highly enjoy themselves as the band ended up playing for nearly two hours.

While walking through the streets of Paris after the show with a retinue of friends, hearing music pouring from every street corner, we were amused to remember the floor we shared way back in our college days, which not only included myself, a journalist and author and Diskin, now the singer for this unique sounding band named after a towering Jewish Frankenstein who defended the Jews of 17th Century Prague, but also Enayatullah Qasimi, who did a stint as Afghanistan’s Minister of Transportation in the government of President Hamid Karzai. Now here, many years later, we meet in the streets of a foreign city, thousands of miles away.

Life certainly takes you to some interesting places.

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