A Detroit area native, Daniel Kahn attended the University of Michigan where he studied acting, directing, playwriting and poetry. After finishing his studies he lived, played music, recorded, acted, directed plays and composed theatre music in New Orleans, Detroit, New York and Ann Arbor.
In summer 2005 Daniel moved to Berlin, and, within a very short space of time, became an integral part of the city’s folk and klezmer scene, playing in different groups and musical projects. As a corollary, he soon formed his own band, featuring a rotating roster of some of Berlin and New Yorks best young Klezmer and Balkan players.
"The Painted Bird" concocts a mixture of Klezmer, radical Yiddish song, political cabaret and punk folk, kept together by Kahn's amazing abilities both as a songwriter and a performer; telling stories of outrageous incidents, poetically dark, tragically humorous and politically incorrect.
"Dan Kahn and The Painted Bird’s new album, Partisans and Parasites is an addictive collection by outstanding, creative musicians. Together, the fast-paced, high energy klezmer, and sharp, evocative lyrics - sung in Yiddish, English, German and Russian - are a necessary compass for navigating the endless moral riddles and inescapable paradoxes in which we live.
Some songs are old Yiddish songs that Kahn & co. gift to new audiences with Kahn’s English translations, including the defiant “Yosl Ber/ A Patriot.” Others are brand-new, written and arranged by Kahn, including “Six Million Germans/Nakam” a true story about revenge after the Holocaust, and “Dumai,” “a song of exile & statelessness,” (in his words) and Kahn’s first composition in Yiddish, which he sets against a traditional Chassidic nigun (melody). Anyone who loves music or politics should own this album, which brings them together with delicious precision.
Kahn, raised in Detroit and living in Berlin, says of the new album, “We wanted to make a rock album that was using klezmer and Yiddish, German and Russian. A multi-lingual, multi-national rock album. There’s something about rock and roll that naturally subverts borders that otherwise tend to get reinforced, like ideas of authenticity and entitlement. We wanted to dispense with any kind of nostalgic preciousness. We just wanted to make a punk-rock klezmer record that you can dance to.”
01. Yosl Ber / A Patriot
03. Borsht Revisited
05. Rosen Auf Den Weg Gestreut / Embrace The Fascists
06. Six Million Germans / Nakam
07. A Rothschild In Your House
09. Dumai / "Think"
10. Khurbn Katrina
11. The Destruction of New Orleans
12. Mayn Rue Plats / Where I rest
THE PAINTED BIRD:
Daniel Kahn: vocals, accordion, piano, ukulele, harmonica, shruti box
Michael Tuttle: contrabass, electric bass, back vocals
Hampus Melin: drums, percussion, back vocals
Michael Winograd: Bb clarinet, horn arrangements
Bert Hildebrandt: bass blarinet
Dan Blacksberg: trombone
Vanya Zhuk: 5-, 6-, & 7-string electric guitars, vocals: Borsht & Yosl Ber
Johannes Paul Gräßer: violin
Frank London: trumpet on Yosl Ber, Six Million Germans, & New Orleans
Paul Brody: trumpet on Parasites & Rosen Auf Den Weg Gestreut
Geoff Berner: back vocals on Parasites
Psoy Korolenko: vocals on Vampirn, Rothschild, Dumai