Perl Wolfe is committed to the rock and roll lifestyle: she is currently without a home. Wolfe, who was living with her band-mate Dalia Shusterman in Crown Heights, recently moved out and has been couch surfing. The move was business related, not personal, and a testament to their growing success.
Growing up Lubavitch in Chicago, Wolfe opted out of the religious lifestyle in high school, later rediscovering her Chabad roots after going to seminary in Israel.
Wolfe formed Bulletproof Stockings in 2011 as the band’s lead vocalist with Shusterman on drums. The name is a tongue-in-cheek play on a term for the super-thick stockings worn by women in some charedi communities; it also happened to be Shusterman’s email address.
“It fit, we’re chasidic women and we’re in a rock and roll band” said Wolfe.
The most distinguishing factor of the band is that the group plays exclusively for women. “Hashem put this idea in my head, you’re making a woman’s band and you’re going to play for women only,” said Wolfe.
The philosophy behind the gender-specific audience stems from a respect and understanding of the chasidic community, but paramount to that, it is a means to empower women. “It’s about women’s need to rock out without feeling intimidated,” said Wolfe. The band streams live shows for male fans. (Men have joked about coming in drag.)
There is always a diverse group of women who attend shows, both secular and religious, and from all walks of life; the only requirement is having the urge to rock. Wolfe also hopes to inspire women in the Orthodox community to answer their artistic calling.
The band is planning a domestic tour and expects to release an album in the fall. Their next show is June 11th at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint as part of the Northside Festival.
One with nature: When Wolfe isn’t serenading the ladies she takes to the outdoors for camping.
Fellow fandom: Wolfe would love Chris Cornell, of the rock supergroup Audioslave, to perform her music one day.