Vox Tablet

Female Trouble

Alicia Jo Rabins writes indie rock ballads about biblical bad girls

November 2, 2009
Alicia Jo Rabins(Hilary Hulteen)

Alicia Jo Rabins(Hilary Hulteen)

Alicia Jo Rabins has been around the block, musically speaking. She began as a toddler, with Suzuki violin lessons, then went on to play in punk rock bands, klezmer ensembles, and, in 2003, released a solo album of original and traditional Appalachian and shtetl-influenced songs on fiddle. She also performs with the gypsy-klezmer-rock band Golem.

Now, she’s formed a new band, Girls in Trouble, for a project by the same name. It’s a song cycle based on stories of women in the Bible. Rabins wrote the songs, and on a new album she sings, and plays electric and acoustic guitar, violin, and viola. She sees these works as a form of midrash, and bases them on extensive readings of commentary ranging from the popular to the obscure.

Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry speaks with Rabins in her Brooklyn apartment about betrayal, exile in the desert, loneliness, and seduction, as experienced by the likes of Bat Yiftach (Jephthah’s daughter), Miriam, and Tamar.

Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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