I’ve been very much enjoying the new album, Transangelic Exodus, by Ezra Furman, although I miss the 50’s rock and roll influence of his previous barnstormer, Perpetual Motion People, which I fell in love with ever since BBC Radio 6 plugged me into it. I came across this great interview on Pitchfork that has a lot of interesting discussion in it, but I was particularly struck by this section on how Furman’s queer identity was not for him a clash with his Judaism. Here’s an extract:
…it takes some defiance, I guess. But maybe what feels to you like the spirit of religion is something that’s become rote and habitual and divorced from its access. But if you read the Bible and if you read like, Jeremiah or Isaiah, those are people who are railing against authorities and rich, complacent people, cause—the core being abuse. They’re outraged at violations of justice and the way that human dignity is being trampled on. And what religion serves—to me the reason the access of religion is about human dignity and it’s—it is depressing that most people think of it as this oppressive universe of conformity. Because to me, it’s a protest against much of the worst in our society—imperialism and nihilism, those are the enemies of at least real Judaism. I’m interested in God. I’m not interested in religion for religion’s sake.
You can read the whole interview over at Pitchfork.