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The Shondes

Who? Elijah Oberman (fiddle), Ian Brannigan (guitar),Louisa Rachel Solomon (bass) and Temim Fruchter (drums) is a band benton putting politics back in punk. Just a year out from their union incollege, the foursome caught the crest of a foamy blogger-hype wavewithout so much as a single pressed. Their self-released LP, The Red Sea, is out now.

What’s the Deal?Shonde is Yiddish for ‘shame’, or a ‘disgrace’, a concept of which theyreadily embrace, twist and reincorporate in their tales of queer andJewish identity trappings. “Being something ‘shameful,’ to your family,to your culture or whatever for your identity or your beliefs, that’ssomething that’s pretty real for each of us…and a lot of people outthere. But it’s also an opportunity to reclaim that, be proud, havefun, laugh at ourselves and laugh off the people who make us feel thatway,” Oberman tells When these four take the ideology to theamps, things fall in line with the queercore movement in which theyhave spawned from — the speed-crunch power chords, a couple f-bombs,the call-and-response chorus (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Lesbians onEcstasy). But the three vocalists (Solomon, Fruchter and Oberman) allhave a deep Patti Smith inflection, that slathered with Oberman’sfiddle and Brannigan’s grungy leads, make the band sound like theminor-key, Yiddish version of Garbage, wailing anti-downtrodden bymeans of mounful manifestos like “What Love Is,” asserting, “I hatemyself / So you can / And I police myself / So you can …You don’tknow what love is.”

Fun Fact: Every Shonde holds aday job, in addition to promoting and managing themselves. Two aresecretaries, and three work with Jews Against the Occupation.

Now Hear This:
The Shondes – “Let’s Go” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
The Shondes at MySpace

Talk: Will these Shondes be shunned?