Bulletproof Stockings

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Bulletproof Stockings
Also known asBPS
OriginCrown Heights, New York, USA
GenresJewish rock, alternative rock, post-punk[1]
Years active2011 (2011)– 2016
Websitebulletproofstockings.com
MembersPerl Wolfe
Dalia Shusterman
Dana Pestun
Elisheva Maister

Bulletproof Stockings was an American Hasidic alternative rock band based in Crown Heights, New York. Formed in 2011 by lead singer Perl Wolfe and ex-Hopewell drummer Dalia Shusterman, the group independently released its debut EP, Down to the Top the following year. They were noted for their unique sound among Jewish music, as well as their adherence to the prohibition of kol isha by performing for female-only audiences.

Band history[edit]

Origins (2011-2012)[edit]

In 2011, singer-songwriter Perl Wolfe moved from Chicago to Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood.[2] There, she was introduced by a mutual friend to ex-Hopewell drummer Dalia Shusterman, and the two formed Bulletproof Stockings in December 2011.[2][3]

Down to the Top EP (2012-2015)[edit]

The band independently released their first official recording, Down to the Top EP, on April 1, 2012.[4]

A documentary about the band, The Bulletproof Stockings, was screened at the 2013 DOC NYC film festival.[5] On August 7, 2014, the band performed at Arlene's Grocery in the Lower East Side. The show was filmed by the Oxygen Network for the reality show Living Different.[5][6][7]

National tour, Homeland Call Stomp, and separation (2015-2016)[edit]

In the spring of 2015, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their debut full-length album, announcing that they had begun recording at Strange Weather Studios with producers Marc Alan Goodman and Howie Feibusch and would soon release the album's first single, "Mind Clear".[8][9] The campaign was successful, with the album set for release in late January 2016.[10]

In December 2015, the band embarked on their first national tour, the Homeland Winter tour, beginning with a Hanukkah concert at Webster Hall.[11][12] The tour included stops in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland.[10]

On April 8, 2016, the band announced via Facebook that they had disbanded, and that members would be "[moving] on to new chapters."[13]

Musical style and performances[edit]

Bulletproof Stockings was an alternative/indie rock band[2][14] with influences from punk, pop, jazz, blues, and funk.[12][15] They also incorporated their Hasidic faith and tradition, even using the melodic structures from traditional Chabad nigunnim.[16]

Their sound was compared to that of Adele, Nina Simone, Fiona Apple, and Florence and the Machine, while the band themselves cited influences including Radiohead, The White Stripes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jane's Addiction.[2] Lead singer Perl Wolfe was quoted saying that her lyrics, while not always explicitly religious, were nevertheless inspired by "Torah and by Lubavitch’s version of Hasidic faith".[16]

In concert, the band was known for adhering to the rabbinic prohibition of kol isha by only admitting women to their live shows. "The band can't legally prevent men from attending", says Shusterman, "but people are amazed by the fact that we put the word out and it's pretty much respected." Wolfe argued that this was beneficial to their audience: "Women will party and rock out in a completely different way when there’s nobody there but women."[17]

Band members[edit]

Touring member
  • Laura Kegeles — cello

Discography[edit]

Albums
  • Homeland Call Stomp (2016)
EPs
Singles
  • "Frigid City" (Down to the Top; 2012)
  • "Mind Clear" (Homeland Call Stomp; 2015)
  • "Homeland Call Stomp" (Homeland Call Stomp; 2015)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nirenberg, Michael (Aug 13, 2014). "The First Hasidic Rock Band". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Ghert-Zand, Renee (Oct 2012). "Ladies (and not gentlemen): The Bulletproof Stockings!". Times of Israel. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  3. ^ Shire, Emily (Sep 30, 2014). "The Sisterhood of Bulletproof Stockings: It's Ladies' Night for Hasidic Rockers". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Down to the Top". Amazon.com. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b Sara Trappler-Spielman (August 6, 2014). "Hasidic 'Rocker Chicks' Bulletproof Stockings Seek Broader Audience". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  6. ^ Ohlheiser, Abby (August 8, 2014). "Here's what happens when an all-female Hasidic rock band bans men from its audience". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  7. ^ Euse, Erica (August 29, 2014). "Hasidic Rock Band Bulletproof Stockings Just Want an All Girl Party". VICE. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Bulletproof Stockings's First Full Length Album". Kickstarter. 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  9. ^ Dreyfus, Hannah (March 9, 2015). "Chasidic Female Rock Band Kickstart First Album". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b Raphael Poch (Dec 31, 2015). "Hassidic girl rock band makes waves across US". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  11. ^ Victoria Irwin (Oct 6, 2015). "Bulletproof Stockings Announces Winter Tour". Fangirlnation. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  12. ^ a b Tess Cutler (Dec 10, 2015). "Bulletproof Rock". Tablet. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Dearest fans, friends and family..." Facebook. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  14. ^ Tabachnick, Toby (Aug 2012). "Indie band Bulletproof Stockings refreshingly original". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  15. ^ Antoaneta Roussi (Dec 24, 2015). "Bulletproof Stockings, World's First All-Female Hasidic Rock Band, Gets Debut Album". The Forward. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  16. ^ a b Osgood, Kelsey (Dec 10, 2012). "Abrahamic Rockers". The New Yorker. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  17. ^ Marsh, Julia (Oct 2012). "Hasidic girl band Bulletproof Stockings lights up Crown Heights". New York Post. Retrieved 31 March 2013.

External links[edit]