Tel Aviv Squatter’s Map

December 5, 2011

Israel has been among the worst places in the world for squatting over the last ten years, which makes this map of squattable abandon buildings, probably a result of the “Israeli Spring” movement, all the more brazen. Not only are there no squatter’s rights, but inhabitants of a former squatted Tel Aviv community center told me about how several of them are now in impossibly deep debt after the State charged their bank accounts for the estimated back rent of the time the property was squatted.

I have little other information about the map than the translation: “A house without people for people without a house.” I wonder if there’s another version in Arabic?

One Good band in Israel

August 14, 2011

After the trip, Birthright attendees who chose to stay in the region often search of Jewish identity, religion, solidarity struggle, or a spouse. I stayed to find punk rock. My first stop was Tel Aviv, where I wandered the wide and boulevards for three days, seeing barely any signs of counterculture aside from a string of spray-painted circle A’s leading to Tel Aviv’s punk bar and venue Rogatka, which stayed closed every night I was there. Figuring Israeli punk was a lost cause, I ditched town for Jerusalem. I quickly found Cafe Uganda there, a slightly hidden record star, cafe, and venue where Om and Jeff Lewis have played. Outside, an Israeli dude complimented me in Hebrew for my Dystopia patch. A punk! I thought, finally! The only punk I had seen was a guy in a Descendents shirt working at a record store in Tel Aviv, who I asked to reccomend me some Israeli punk. “There are no good bands in Israel,” he told me.

A year later, Elad’s then embyronic project Lanzkron has come to fruition. Their recently released Demo rips through three tracks in just over five minutes. Combining garage punk, deathrock, and hardcore the demo is by far the most innovative and compelling punk I’ve heard out of Irsael, as well as one of the better demos I’ve heard all year. I sent bass player Elad and Orel some questions which they answered semi-collectively and fairly snottily, which is how good punk rock should be.
MMM: Who is Lanzkron?

Lanzkron: Elad plays the bass, Orel plays guitar and does the vocals. Currently Tom is playing the drums and second guitar.

MMM: Your music has a lot of eclectic punk elements going on, what kid of music do you all listen to?

Lanzkron: We listen to punk rock from all kinds and periods, metal, and other irrelevant sorts of music

MMM: What is your name a reference to?

Lanzkron: The name is mostly just stands as the name of the band. We came across that word in an article about one of Judaism’s better false messiahs.We liked the word and preferred it to a “The somethings’ kind of a name, which was our second option.

MMM: And what’s that thing on the cover of your EP? Some sort of demon ghost pig?

Lanzkron: It is a ghost of a dressed up pig sitting inside an upside-down crown, with a pitchfork shaped fork on one side and a knife on the other. Our vocalist drew it.

MMM: One band that comes to mind as similar is another Tel Aviv band, Monkey son of a Donkey. Do you have any notable relationship with them? What other bands are you tight with?

Lanzkron: We went to a couple of their shows when they were active. For other Israeli punk bands use google.

MMM: It seems like a lot of the older punks in Israel have a nihilistic or apathetic attitude towards politics, is this true for Lanzkron as well?

Lanzkron: As far as we know and see, there were and are all kinds of different relations between the political activism movement in Israel at large and the punk scene. Some initiations seemed more reasonable than others at times. Read the rest of this entry »

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