The Painted Bird has been evolving since 2005. Named after Jerzy Kosinski's grotesque holocaust novel, the band has been called “the Yiddish Pogues.”
Their music, which Kahn calls Verfremdungsklezmer (Alienation Klezmer), is a concoction of traditional Klezmer, Kahn's original songs, radical translations of Yiddish songs, Brechtian political cabaret, and multi-lingual punk folk. The international kapelye includes Daniel Kahn, Michael Tuttle, Hampus Melin, Jake Shulman-Ment, Michael Winograd, Dan Blacksberg, and frequently features guest players from all corners of the Klezmer world.
Their third album, “Lost Causes” (on Oriente music) won the German Record Critics' Association's Record-of-the-Year Prize for 2011. Their latest album, "Bad Old Songs", released in January has already won a spot on the quarterly "Best List" for 2013. The album is a departure from the band's familiar bombastic sound, creating a more intimate and dark atmosphere with bluesy ballads and covers of Leonard Cohen, Degenhardt, and Heine/Schumann.
Photo: Adam Berry