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Me First and The Gimme Gimmes – Ruin Jonny’s Bar Mitzvah

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have finally found their true calling: as a Bar Mitzvah band. Think about it. The cover band, featuring NOFX’s Fat Mike, the Swingin’ Utters’ Spike, Dave and Joey from Lagwagon, and Jackson from the Foo Fighters, obviously weren’t meant to be taken seriously, so now they’ve let us in on the joke.

Imagine Adam Sandler’s band from “The Wedding Singer” punking up their cover tunes, and that’s what you’ve got here. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes cheerfully butcher (“reinterpret”?) everything from “Stairway to Heaven” to “On My Mind,” from Blondie to Helen Reddy. They start off the CD with the blessing from Jonny’s Bar Mitzvah, and finish with a Christmas arrangement of traditional Jewish song “Hava Nagila.” Keep it tuned for the ridiculous bonus tracks.

If you’re unfamiliar with Jewish traditions, maybe this won’t be as amusing to you. The Bar Mitzvah originally was the celebration of a young man’s coming of age, at thirteen. Now, since most people are not considered adults until they’re well over that age, and some never grow up (I would not be referring to any particular punk rock musicians here, I promise), it’s just an excuse for rich Jewish families to throw obscenely large parties to celebrate their child’s ability to stumble through a badly memorized Torah passage in a language that they will never use again. Maybe I find this album more inherently amusing because I grew up Jewish, but it’s still pretty funny, down to the “authentic” Bar Mitzvah footage included. Since we’re drowning in pop-punk bands these days that all sound alike, we might as well listen to some guys that are actually trying to make us laugh.


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