Shloinke / (eponymous)

Album cover: nice b/w lino of band playing. awesomely bad lettering

Carrot Top Records, 1998

1573 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Box 450, Chicago, IL 60622

When I first set up the klezmer shack, back near prehistory, oh, about three years ago in 1995, there was only one klezmer band on the 'net. It was this mysterious group from Chicago with a name that was entirely unfamiliar, "Shloinke." They were my first neighbors, so to speak.

I did get some foreshadowing that they were not your average klezmer band, or even overly picky about practice or arrangements when they put up a recording of "Unterhund" a couple of years ago. Now, having in hand their premiere recording, I can only reflect, listening to the Johnny Cash guitar licks with which they introduce their opening number, or the tribute to Catskills entertainers and Jim Morrison all in one bizarre "The End/A Nakht in Gan Eyden" medley, that this band is definitely, as the Chicago Reader notes, "The best possible band at their skill level."

What I find especially scary is how much I identify with much of what they write in explaining their music. (I like to think of myself as more of a quality kulchah type, and I'm more of a socialist, not such an anarchist, but why do we quibble?) Here's part of their notes on their Hava Nagila/Baym Rebn in Palestina medley:

... "Hava Nagila" being an Israeli song, the advent of Israel having led to the colonization not only of Palestinians but of Jewish politics--against which revived klezmer is, for many, music-to-rebel-by, music-to-take-back-our-progressive-heritage-by.... Totaled that sucker.

Is this good enough to be called "garage klez"? Certainly, their approach to "Firn de Mekhutonim" with the screaming grunge guitar takes klez to places it's never been, and may, god willing, never be again. Dig it.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow, 3/27/98

Personnel this recording:
Sarah Allen: drums
Tim Peterson: trombone, accordion
Dave Buchez: clarinet
Jeffrey Dorchen: vocals, guitar
Julie "Gitl" Pomerleau: violin
Tony Atoms: bass


  1. Dem Ganefs Yiches--the Thief's Genealogy 2:55
  2. Have a Mission in Palestine 9:59
    Hava Nagila / Baym Reben in Palestina/li>
  3. Ot Azoy / Baym rebns sude 4:08
  4. The End / A Nakht in Gan Eyden 7:47
  5. Der Gasn Nign 4:35
  6. Trink Medley 10:35
    Trink Bruder, Trink Oys / Dem Zeydns Nign / Eyn Kol Vayn
  7. Firn de Mekhutonim Aheym / Mazurka 6:42
  8. Unterhund! 5:20

to top of page To top of page

the KlezmerShack Ari's home page
to About the Jewish-music mailing list
to The Klezmer Shack main page
to Ari Davidow's home page