The Schmooze

Monday Music: Making a Loving Mockery of Modern Orthodoxy

It all started with a video that went viral.

Shortly after The Groggers’ frontman L.E. Staiman got back from studying in yeshiva in Israel, he began recording punk songs with quirky Jewish-themed concepts. The demos got positive feedback from friends, but he was told that there was no demographic that would “get” his songs.

Then he wrote “Get,” an anti-love song about how a husband in a failing marriage needs to give his wife a get (bill of divorce). The song featured a hooky chorus: “You gotta get, get, get, get, give her a get… ’cause she don’t love you no mo’.” A quickly produced, low-budget music video for the song, directed by a film school student and featuring a pick-up band of musician friends, went viral when it was released in early 2010.

Agunah activists quickly adopted “Get” as an anthem and the response convinced Staiman to create The Groggers, a Modern Orthodox pop-punk quartet. The current incarnation of the band features Staiman on guitars and vocals, together with guitarist Ari Friedman, bassist C.J. Glass, and a drummer who prefers to remain anonymous due to the controversial nature of the material.

A few months after “Get,” the band released a follow-up video, “Eishes Chayil,” which featured a cameo appearance by Jewish singer and guitarist Rav Shmuel, followed by another single called “Upper West Side Story.” All of these tracks are included on The Groggers’ debut album, “There’s No ‘I’ In Cherem,” which was released last month.

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Monday Music: Making a Loving Mockery of Modern Orthodoxy

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