Golem

Jewish and Eastern European ­ethnic-based music has become one of the decade's unlikeliest and liveliest strains of indie-rock. Much closer to the raucous gypsy-wedding reels of Gogol Bordello than the orchestral serenity of DeVotchKa, New York's Golem is one of the fastest-­rising new stars of this burgeoning movement. Founded by singer/accordionist Annette Ezekiel in 2001, Golem bills itself as "where Eastern Europe meets the Lower East Side," and the six-piece deliver on that promise with equal parts frenetic Old World melodies and downtown attitude. This combination pervades its most recent album, 2006's Fresh off Boat (JDub), and turns out to be remix-friendly as well — the reworked "Bublichki" on the group's MySpace page even incorporates a passage from Sheila E's "The Glamorous Life." Even if your knowledge of klezmer begins and ends with Fiddler on the Roof and "Hava Nagila," Golem is guaranteed to have you kicking up your heels to the zemer atik, yaysh and mayim mayim in no time.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray