Dan Kahn: Lost Causes

Daniel Kahn: Lost Causes
Title: Lost Causes
Label: CD Baby

'Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird are to Klezmer what the Pogues were to Folk: shtetl music spiked with a proper shot of Punk. . . Polyglot, Paneuropean Punkfolk. Kahn writes great crooked songs between Leonard Cohen and Mordechai Gebirtig, between Nick Cave and Hirsch Glik. With a light hand, he translates and adapts old songs, making them his own.' -Die Zeit 'Clarinet and accordion are charged with punk rock; trombones march side by side with electric guitars. Archive treasures like Mordechai Gebirtig's or David Edelstadt's radical resistance songs meet the free-spirited attitude of the New York Tzadik circle, the flair of cabaret, and borrowed scatterings from Waits.' -Stefan Franzen, Rolling Stone [German] review of 'Lost Causes' 'Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird play Alienation Klezmer: forward-marching and backward-glancing . . . Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird make truly great art.' -TAZ 'Everyone's bouncing and drinking and Kahn sings of revolution, whisky and Zion, inner emigration and parasitism. He ends with the Yiddish folk song 'Dem Milners Trern,' known from the Coen brothers film 'A Serious Man.' Daniel Kahn, at once moralist and anarchist, is also a man who means it all seriously.'' -Maik Brüggemeyer, Rolling Stone [German] (live concert review) 'When it's comes to wicked freaky Klezmer music, the Americans were always way ahead. Daniel Kahn, born in Detroit, living in Berlin, belongs to this caste of Yiddish music agitators. An absolute must for lovers of unusual, intelligent, challenging, exciting folk music and a blast at every instant.' -Klaus Halama, Sound & Image Spotlighted on the stage and dressed in black, Kahn sang through a megaphone and switched between accordion, piano and ukelele as he chewed up stereotypes and spit them out in an almost in-your-face challenge to the audience. -Ruth Ellen Gruber, Ruthless Cosmopolitan 'Kahn's great and artful songwriting follows in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits.' - DPA 'While many artists in Klezmer (and folk music generally) are concerned with preserving the past, Daniel Kahn seems determined to bend it to his will. . .Without exaggeration, it's some of the best songwriting I've ever come across.' -Jon Patton, Driftwood Magazine. 'Commune-music that is furious, tender, crazy, punky, freejazzy, yet always grounded in folklore [...] and literature. Never before heard on a Klezmer CD.' -Ulrich Olshausen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 'Remixed traditions, globalized identities, criticism of nation-states- these things are the lifeblood of Yiddish. In Kahn's own words: 'I come from Detroit, a worker's city. I love songwriters like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. And especially Yiddish labor songs. You can take a song written a hundred years ago and sing it about unemployment in the US today. It still works. But while I love political songs, I've also translated and sung Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones in Yiddish. You could say I make a kind of Yiddish punk cabaret.'' -New Zurich Zeitung 'Daniel Kahn is helping Klezmer reach a new renaissance, seasoning it with folk, punk, and deep-digging lyrics, full of sarcasm and wicked self-irony. 'Alienation Klezmer' is how he describes it. It reminds us of a time when musicians still had something to say. . . Of course, Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird get you dancing as much as some other Gypsy or Klezmerbands, but they challenge your mind as well. It's almost genius how his music breaks taboos Armed with megaphone and accordion, at the piano or with a guitar, even on the theatrical stage, he fills his music with spirit, directness, and feeling.' -Claudia Frenzel, Folker Magazine 'The Great Depression and gave rise to some of the fiercest critiques of modern capitalism and imperialism in any discourse. Daniel Kahn, a Detroit-born singer-songwriter now living in Berlin, is part of that tradition, while at the same time creating a new musical idiom blending American-folk and Yiddish-protest song. Kahn, 30, is a post-modern folkie just as likely to quote from the Industrial Workers of the World songbook as to cite Marxist critic Slavoj Zizek.' -Rokhl Kafrissen, The Forward '. . .much more exciting than the assimilated, all-too-stable life that characterizes much of contemporary Jewish art. Kahn is reminding us of the roots that aren't even that deep in the ground - echoes of our national unconscious that have what to offer those who hear them. Kahn attempts to pick up exactly at the place where things went wrong for Jewish art, offering a new route instead.' -Jake Marmer, The Forward 'He's like the Jewish Bob Dylan!' -a real old lady at a concert ON THE AWARD-WINNING 'LOST CAUSES': The overtly political material decries the eternal injustices of war and capitalism with their perpetual victims: the working class, the displaced immigrant, the homeless, the soldier in the trenches. Daniel Kahn resurrects several of the noble, passionate songs that were created by Yiddish poets of the last century-- Gebertig, Edelstadt, Beregovski, Sutzkever--as real protest music, and he makes them relevant to our time with his powerful translations: "idle as a CEO"; "the days have congealed into skulls"; "time gnaws you silent and numb." Several of these songs have their original Yiddish texts printed in the accompanying booklet. In addition, he contributes three songs of his own: the haunting "Sunday After the War"; a sardonic comment on global displacement, "Inner Immigration"; and "Görlitzer Park," accompanied by thumb piano and Dylan-style harmonica. Also included are a poignant version of the World War I classic, "Lili Marleyn," accompanied by a musical saw; a classic klezmer piece, the "Zeyde Cohen Medley"; and a hilarious ensemble piece, the anthem of the "Klezmer Bund," created in 2008 for the Moscow Yiddishfest. This CD is at once a masterpiece of current Jewish music and a demonstration of what our music could still be - inspiring. An essential purchase for all Jewish music collections.

1.1 Avreml the Filcher / Avreml Der Marvikher
1.2 Vemen Veln Mir Dinen?
1.3 Sunday After the War
1.4 March of the Jobless Corps / Arbetslozer Marsh
1.5 In Kamf
1.6 VI Azoy?
1.7 Inner Emigration
1.8 Denn Wovon Lebt Der Mensch?
1.9 Lili Marleyn, Fartaytsht
1.10 Görlitzer Park
1.11 Zeyde Coyen [Medley]
1.12 Klezmer Bund
1.13 A Miller's Tears

Dan Kahn: Lost Causes

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