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January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
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The Groggers: It Ain’t Your Uncle Moishy’s Rock N’ Roll


The Groggers

The Groggers
Photo Credit: The Groggers promotional image

Staiman: It’s really kind of an interesting dynamic, because one would think that there for the non-Jewish crowd, and, surprisingly, we just got some radio play on 102.7 F.M. in New York.

Yanover: (This time audibly) Wow…

Staiman: Yeah, it’s a big station.

Yanover: Wow, I’m impressed…

Staiman: That was a big deal for us.

Yanover: Did they play “Get”?

Staiman: No, they played the new one, Jewcan Sam, the nose job song.

That’s how I first heard about the Groggers, through a press release I received from Dr. Schnoz – “The doctor who commissioned a band to make a music video featuring the ‘nose job’ love song. The lead singer of the Groggers made a music video in exchange for a nose job from Dr. Michael Salzhauer, a leading Miami Plastic Surgeon who touts himself as the Nose King of Miami.”

It’s all true. I verified. And the good doctor is currently in an itzy bitzy bit of hot water with his fellow plastic surgeons, on account of his innovative approach and on account of their absolute lack of a sense of humor (Groggers’ Yidvid Nose Job Doc in Trouble with ASPS).

Jewcan Sam

I want her, but she don’t want what I am. She says you got a beak like Jewcan Sam. She says I only go with guys, With perfect upturned noses, so cut yours down to size

And I’ll be everything you wanted I’ll be everything you need Watch the passerby’s will flash their eyes When we walk down the street

And we would live like we were famous With the stars all in our eyes And I would love you till forever If you got your nose circumcised

I want her unconditionally But she’s got one big condition to be with me Sometimes I sit and say if only, I looked more like Tom Cruise And less like Adrien Brody I’d be less lonely

She said a guy like you and a girl like me Only happens in the movies No matter what you do, or how hard you fight Pinocchio never got Snow White

And I’ll be everything you wanted I’ll be everything you need Watch the passerby’s will flash their eyes When we walk down the street

And we would live like we were famous We would be forever young And I would love you till forever If you just got your nose done

Staiman: They (Fresh 102.7 FM) had watched a bunch of our videos, and they were into all our video, which was really interesting, because you would think that they wouldn’t get what was going on.

Yanover: In New York it stands to reason there’ll be one Jewish person around to ask what things mean, how to say “chootzpa.”

Staiman: Right, exactly. But I think even without asking, they understood. If you’re writing a love song, or whatever you’re writing, everything is your personal view anyway, so your audience is never going to fully get exactly what you’re saying. So they take what they take from it. It might be the melody they’re enjoying.

Yanover: You also don’t have a Jewish agenda. You’re not there to convert anyone, you’re not there to teach anything, you’re just there to sing about your life. It’s disarming.

Staiman: I didn’t want to be preachy. I’ve seen so many Jewish bands try to be preachy. The worst part is when a band is preachy and then you see them out in the street and they’re the antithesis of everything they preach.

“We tried that. there are certain things we feel passionate about and there are certain things we try not to do, in our music and in life in general. I never wanted to be one of these bands that criticizes other people…

“Oddly enough, there has been some good that came out of our songs. Particularly “Get.” I’ve gotten a couple of emails at this point from people who said they used it as a tool to secure a get.”

Yanover: You can put it on a Power Point presentation…

Staiman: Totally. I’ve gotten word back that it was successfully used, that someone sent it out to a guy that was holding out on a get and a couple days later he ended up signing.

“I wrote it as a very dark song, it’s very sing-songy, even as at the same time the message is very, very dark. People interpreted it as having a big social message. It became something different. It totally evolved into something different.”

Yanover: So, what do you want to do when you grow up? Do you want to remain a band?

Staiman: Yeah. I have my hands in a bunch of different things right now. I’m involved in acting and screenwriting as well. I’m taking New York for everything it has to offer. I also produce other acts and I have my own studio. We record most of our stuff there. I’m doing a bunch of different things to survive at this point. I’m not married, I don’t have any kids…

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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2 Responses to “The Groggers: It Ain’t Your Uncle Moishy’s Rock N’ Roll”

  1. Adam Dalgliesh says:

    As I pointed out in an earlier posting, the Groggers an “Orthodox” or “Frum” band. There is nothing Orthodox or frum about urging young Jewish men to get “nose jobs” in order to improve their chances of hooking up with (probably Gentile) “blondes.” The stereotype that Jewish noses are ugly and therefore need to be “fixed,” far from being frum or Orthodox, is antisemitic tref. As to wanting to hook up with “blondes?” Does anyone in their right mind imagine that this is “frum?” Shame, shame, shame on the Jewish Press!

  2. Adam Dalgliesh says:

    Correction–I meant to write that “The “Groggers” are not an Orthodox or frum band. Thanks for your patience. Adam.

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