Meshuggener (Yiddish): a foolish or crazy person
From bagel and chutzpah to shtick, schmuck and yenta, Yiddish has given English many a colorful term over the years. Meshuggener is another example of what happens when English interprets that rich Jewish language. Meshuggener comes from the Yiddish meshugener, which in turn derives from meshuge, an adjective that is synonymous with crazy or foolish. English speakers have used the adjective form, meshuga or meshugge, to mean “foolish” since the late 1800s; we’ve dubbed foolish folk meshuggeners since at least 1900.
Meshugga Beach Party brings together many favorite Jewish melodies with the fun, retro-cool sounds of surf music. The band puts on an exciting, high energy live show – dressed like rabbis, synchronized dance moves, the “dead joke scrolls” – it’s surfin’ shtick at its finest. The band features dual guitars, piano, organ, bass and drums, and the occasional holler for good measure.
Meshugga Beach Party has been playing around the Bay Area since 2003, appearing in places as varied as Jewish heritage festivals, local traditions like Bay to Breakers, and hipster havens like Lebowski Fest, Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge and the Hubba Hubba Burlesque Revue. Live performances of the band have also been a hit on the web, with their “Hava Nagila /Misirlou” clip garnering over half a million viewings on sites like YouTube and whatever it is the kids these days use to watch videos.
In 2010, the band were competitors in the Portland semi-finals of America’s Got Talent, and in 2011, the group recorded an original song with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Duane Eddy. You never know where you’ll be seeing these meshuggeners next!