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Bulletproof Stockings / Press

“Its two worlds some assume could never collide; Hasidic women and rock and roll music. Fans of Bulletproof Stockings jammed at Arlene's Grocery on the Lower East Side Thursday night, minus any men. "It was amazing to see an all-women's gathering at a concert like this" said Shoshana Cohen, a fan, "I kind of like it, no judgments, you get to do whatever you want. It was a lot of fun."”

“Fans were blown away by a rock concert at a Lower East Side venue Thursday night that was reserved for women only. As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Friday, Arlene’s Grocery, the popular Lower East Side music venue, banned men from entry as they hosted Bulletproof Stockings – an all-female Hasidic rock band. The group told 1010 WINS on Thursday that they follow traditional Orthodox rules about not performing in front of men. Women of all faiths rocked the place.”

"The media vultures are spazzing out, man," the tattooed, rockabilly-pompadoured door guy at Arlene's Grocery told me when I arrived last night. He was being pressed on every side by news cameras, lined up on the sidewalk in front of Arlene's. The line to get inside was spilling out the door and down the ramp, and the bar at the front of the house was packed so tight it was hard to move: Women in long glossy wigs were crammed in next to women in black lipstick, women in tank tops with bra straps showing, women in headscarves and long sleeves next to women in jeans. Metallica's Ride the Lightning was blaring over the speakers.

““We were hesitant, because of their limited experience in the NYC live scene, and the fact that we would have to turn men away from the band room during their set,” Arlene’s Grocery’s general manager Julia Darling told the Wall Street Journal. The ladies of the band, Dalia Shusterman and Perl Wolfe, proved to Darling they were determined to get a full house by getting signatures from New York women promising to attend a Bulletproof Stockings show if it were to happen. And now it’s happening.”

“Wolfe, 27, and Shusterman describe their music as drawing influences from classical, blues, jazz and rock — as well as the women’s Hasidic backgrounds. The band’s sound has been compared to Florence and the Machine, Fiona Apple — and even throwback rockers the Black Keys.”

“Although the audience was limited to one gender, those who showed up provided an incredibly diverse sight: there were women with shiny wigs and women with short hair and stud earrings. There were old women, young women, devout women and agnostic women. There were women who spoke English and women who chattered in Russian; women with afros, women with jewfros. There were women in sheitels, taking selfies.”

“To grow its fan base, the band is trying to cross over to new audiences of women. Thursday’s gig at Arlene’s Grocery, on the Lower East Side, was the group’s highest-profile attempt to do just that. The alt-rock part of the group’s set hardly revealed anything about the religious adherence of the performers. But Wolfe also sang several nigunim, religious songs that are emblematic of the Hasidic worship style.”

“Until now, the band has played mostly at women's universities or private shows, and it was the subject of a documentary, also called "The Bulletproof Stockings," that screened at last year's DOC NYC film festival. Arlene's Grocery, which can accommodate up to 150 people, will be its highest-profile venue yet, and the event will be filmed by the Oxygen Network for a coming reality-television series called "Living Different."”

“It was Tu B’Av, which is the closest thing the Jews have to Valentine’s Day, and there was cake. The two-piece Hasidic alt-rock girl band Bulletproof Stockings, whose name refers to the opaque hosiery worn by the observant, climbed onstage. ...Perl’s a twice-divorced makeup artist whose pipes have been compared to Fiona Apple’s. Dalia is a widow and mother of four who, before becoming observant, was “the only girl in an Italian Catholic boy band.””

“They even sound bulletproof – jamming unabashedly, belting out lilting lyrics & representing Brooklyn...Their shows have become a kind of liberation for other women in the Hasidic community through music & dance...Like all music with soul, the message is universally relatable. Just don’t try showing up at any concerts if you’re a man. But hey, that’s why G-d invented the internet”

“The two women are Lubavitcher Hasidim, living in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York. That seems to make them unofficially the first all-girl, all-Hasidic, alt-rock band. That, and many other reasons, makes Bulletproof Stockings anything but your typical group.”

“Hasidic girl band Bulletproof Stockings lights up Crown Heights”

“Ladies (and not gentlemen): The Bulletproof Stockings! From Brooklyn, the best two-piece Hasidic alt-rock girl band you’ve never heard of”

“Sure, a Chassidic indie rock girl band is a bit of a novelty, but that is not the reason to take a listen to Bulletproof Stockings.”

“The unique sound of Bulletproof Stockings blends Hasidic melodies with an eclectic range of musical influences from classical to early R&B to indie rock (see Amy Winehouse, Adele, Regina Spektor). Hasidic Jewish women and local hipsters alike are drawn to the music and message that Bulletproof Stockings has to offer.”

“Art, fancy food and all-girl rock bands: Welcome to Crown Heights, the Hasidic SoHo”

“We know what you’re thinking: Another all-girl Chasidic alt-rock band from Crown Heights?! Bulletproof Stockings hosts a women-only record release party for their new EP, “Down to the Top.” Songs like “Easy Pray” and “Vagabond Wagon” show a band under the influence of Regina Spektor and Florence and the Machine, among other indie rock and jazz-pop goodness”

“...that evening featured a private performance by the Bulletproof Stockings, a girl band whose lead singer sounds like a less angst-ridden version of Fiona Apple...They could have been typical Williamsburg denizens except that their long dresses with elbow-length sleeves conformed to the Jewish code of tznius, which means modesty. ”

“Bulletproof Stockings is quite enjoyable to listen to, and full of clear talent. Their sound is compared to Florence and the Machine and Adele, among other such talented, and successful, artists. The two wish to be an inspiration to other observant women to express themselves through music, and see the performing boundaries as a positive thing rather than restricting.”

“Since Chulent started, other free spaces have followed, including a monthly Brooklyn supper club called the Hester, where the women-for-women rock band Bulletproof Stockings performed recently”

“Rocking custom sheitels and opaque tights, and walking the sidewalks of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Dalia Shusterman and Perl Wolfe have the Hasidic world talking – and singing along to the tunes of their Hasidic alternative rock girl band, Bulletproof Stockings.”

“With luscious sheitels and a rainbow of lipstick colors, Wolfe and Shusterman keep things classy in more ways than one.”

“Meshing traditional themes and liturgy with new age music, the band sees itself as establishing itself in a very niche position and hopes to inspire other Jewish women to express themselves specifically through music”

“The world of religious Jewish music has been shaken up by a duo of Lubavitcher women – humorously titled ‘Bulletproof Stockings’ – who perform emotionally expressive songs in a modern rock musical setting”

“Bulletproof Stockings is made up of singer/songwriter Perl Wolfe, drummer Dalia Shusterman, and an assortment of other frum female musicians depending on the gig. They’re new, but they’re killer. Perl is a powerhouse frontwoman with a voice that takes no prisoners. Dalia is a passionate drummer with the chops to match. ”

“My favorite part of Bulletproof Stockings is that although they’re openly religious Jews, they don’t feel the need to write overtly pro-God and pro-religious lyrics. Double props. ”

“…In the few months they’ve been gigging, Bulletproof Stockings concerts have turned into radically expressive spaces. The band plays for a community where women don’t dance or sing in front of men, and their shows provide a safe space for women to try both activities (minus the men). In a way, it’s similar to women-only spaces established by feminist groups in colleges and urban centers–a comparison which might be a surprise to both.."”

“The girls of the alternative group Bulletproof Stockings aren’t your typical rockers, and they share why their Hasidic roots makes them a standout in their Brooklyn community.”