Friday, October 28, 2011

Jewish Music Fridays: The Groggers

Hello and welcome to what will hopefully be a regular feature here on Shades of Grey. Based on my checking hit-counter statistics, Fridays don't seem to be a very big day for serious blog post reading, which has led other bloggers to also pursue some form of lighter reading on this final workday of the week. In addition, everyone can use a little musical pick-me-up to get ready to leave the stress of the week behind and get ready for Shabbos.

My solution will be to post short snippets about Jewish music artists out there that I enjoy and feel need a bit more exposure to the public, hence really big name Yeshivish singers/groups and Maccabeats need not apply.

To start off, we've got The Groggers. Here's their bio from their website:

“The Groggers are a unique Jewish pop-punk band with a comic twist. Based out of New York, the band formed in early 2010 and took the internet by storm with their controversial music video, “GET.” The song, which brashly dealt with the delicate issue of a Jewish husband withholding a ritual divorce from his separated wife, sparked much controversy surrounding the video and the band. The uproar caug…ht the attention of several prominent bloggers and websites, including those dedicated to the resolution of such sensitive domestic complications. After surviving their tumultuous internet debut more determined than ever, The Groggers began work on their first full-length album and unveiled their second video “Eishes Chayil” in November of 2010. The new video featured Jewish music legend Rav Shmuel and was well received by critics and fans alike. In August 2011 they released their debut album “There’s no ‘I’ in Cherem” which harnessed a powerful blend between unrelenting pop-rock melodies and cleverly entertaining lyrics. With their highly eccentric, yet accessible, messages and authentic musical chops, The Groggers are able to captivate both Jewish and Non-Jewish audiences alike."

I must say, "GET" was particularly interesting, and definitely on the controversial side. These guys are very talented, produce great-sounding music and write some pretty creative lyrics. Their videos are also top-notch and are released with a refreshing regularity, almost akin to secular musical artists. The lead singer L.E. Staiman started out as part of Aryeh Kunstler's performing band, though I'm not sure if he is still with Aryeh and co or not. The last song/bonus track on Aryeh's first album "The Chevrusa Break Up Song" (preview it here, it's #12) features Staiman's characteristic creative lyrics and sense of humor. I tend to think it's the precursor that began the evolution of The Groggers.

Anyway, I'll stop talking and let the readers check out their music (and videos) for themselves. I particularly like "The Shidduch Hits the Fan" the recently released "prequel" of sorts to "Upper West Side Story." The introductory story/lyrics/Jewish culture reference are quite funny


"Eishes Chayil"

"The Shidduch Hits the Fan"

"Upper West Side Story"

I don't have their album yet, but I will definitely by watching The Groggers' musical career with interest.

UPDATE 12/16/11:

L. E. Staiman, the lead singer and creative genius behind The Groggers has put together two hilarious songs inspired by recent events in the Jewish world.

First, based on the recent Anonymous Stern girl controversy from The Beacon, we have an acoustic song titled "Anonymous Girl":

And here is a song composed by Matisyahu's shaven beard called "View From the Sink."

Update 2/13/12: "Jewcan Sam (A Nose Job Love Song)" depicts the tale of a young man trying to win the affections of a girl he likes, but requests that he first get a nose job. I like the music, though the lyrics/theme may be a bit much for me. The ending of the story line is a little too borderline sketchy for me... but The Groggers' style tends to push the envelope.

1 comment:

  1. Hate to love them but really they are onto something fresh, funny and original.


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