Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Gershon Veroba - "Rabi Nachman"

Gershon was an early influence. He still sings very nicely here, but this tune doesn't speak to me. In general, I like the songs he writes more than the tunes he's bought from contemporary frum-pop writers.

Leonard Cohen w/Cantor Gideon Zelermyer & the Shaar Hashomayim Choir

More details at the Montreal Gazette: "Montreal Cantor Collaborates On Leonard Cohen’s New Album."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Nachum Segal Says Good-bye To Radio


... and there goes a large chunk of WFMU's fundraising income too... Interesting to see if/how they will hold on... developing...

I Totally Relate

A few years old, but well worth seeing. The lack of understanding of artists in the frum community, musicians, dancers, writers, is soul-breaking. The high-school I attended viewed the creative impulse as a yetzer hara to be stifled, rather than a gift to be cultivated.

A Little Girl Was Kicked Out Of Class Because Of What Her Mom Does. But Her Mom Will Never Stop.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Yoseph Nigun - Achiya Asher Cohen Alloro‬‎

An incredible tribute to Yossi Piamenta Z"L.

I've been thinking about why this resonates so much, and I think that it's because it works on multiple levels....As an homage to Yossi's style...  as a creative song in its own right... with an inspired arrangement with multiple modulations... and because, unlike much of the contemporary Jewish music, it not only requires "chops" to play, but also has soul, which to much of the contemporary material lacks. It's hard to ID it, but like indecency, you know it when you see/hear it. Oh, and of course, klezmer clarinet! Check it out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Middle East Groove All Stars Got Game

Over at Tablet... Shai Tsabari Storms the Heavens, from Bat Yam to New York

I Am Woman, Hear Me...

In the Forward... Jewish Orthodox Women Singers Can’t Sing for Men but They Sing Anyway

אין עוד מלבדו | שלומי שבת | דודי קנפלר | מקהלת שירה

אין עוד מלבדו | שלומי שבת | דודי קנפלר | מקהלת שירה

Not sure what to make of this. It's a beautiful rendition in Yiddish of a Shlomi Shabbat song. One the one hand, it's neat that there's a Chassidish version. On the other, the Hebrew original is so beautiful and stands on its own. It didn't *need* a Yiddish translation to kosher it, as it were. Thre's something about that genre of Israeli pop spiritual -- Sarit Hadad's K'shehalev Boche, Eyal Golan's Malchei Hamlachim etc. -- that stands on its own. These songs don't need to be "frummed up". That said, this is quite well done for what it is.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Now That's A Chumash Play

At my school, for our Chumash party we had Morah Breindy teaching us a few songs. (I know, I know, but I couldn't resist.) Stevie Wonder rocks the Chumash casino resort

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Renaissance Is Over

Child Care Center To Take Over Site Of Well Known BP Catering Hall

I played some memorable gigs there, including one chassidish wedding, where the chosson requested REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling" for the mitzvah tantz because "it's our song." Other then that one request, it was a typical Chassidish event, with no secular music whatsoever. I'll never forget the stares I got while playing that one, before segueing into the traditional tune.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Musicians' Reference

Rav Eitam Henkin HY'D is quoted in the the Seforim blog post "Torah Under Wraps":

“The definitive assignment of each person into specifically this community or that one is often artificial. It is absurd that the public considers many comedians, musicians, and low-brow entertainers (for purposes of this example) as “Haredi” because they attended heder and wear a hat in the synagogue, while thousands of families who give their all for Torah and are punctilious about every jot and tittle (not to mention that for them television, secular newspapers, and the like are not even up for discussion) are “not Haredi" because they wear a colored shirt and also rejoice on Yom Ha-‘Atzma’ut. Although people can only see externals, they can ascertain what they will have to account for in the Heavenly court, whether they will be asked about Torah study, honesty in business, and hoping for the redemption,[5] or whom they cast their vote for in national elections.”

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Peeps in the mailbag...

A. writes: Got a few peeps of my own all from one chasunah. "The loud key-changer" Violinist leads the guests who are singing the Alter Rebbe's Nigun (at a Chabad wedding) to the badekenish. Until one very large and very very loud singer becomes the leader, moving the entire crowd from D to D# and eventually to E. Poor violinist tries to override him, then tries to play along, then gives up. "The faster faster guy" Beginning of the 2nd set, band is about 2 minutes into an upbeat funky hora medley, crowd is having a great time. One younger brother/cousin/nephew/friend starts yelling at me to play faster. When ignored, starts gesticulating wildly. Still ignored, actually gets up on stage to yell right next to me about which fast songs I should play right now and everyone will go wild. I resist the urge to go punk rocker on him; anyway I'm wearing earplugs so his ranting is barely detectable. Eventually he gives up and disappears. "The interminable tribute/parody singers" Two family members play instruments, so we've agreed to let them take over on guitar & drums, and sing a tribute song they've written TTTO "Just One Shabbos." Except it turns out it's the 2 musicians plus 3 singers and the monitor mix is totally wrong for them, so it's a complete trainwreck, at about 80% speed, with even more verses than the original. Oh well, at least the band got 15 minutes to get dessert and drinks.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Some Links

A completely over the top review of Eleanor Riessa's new collab with Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars, The Glorious Debut of Yiddish Songbird Eleanor Reissa as the Jewish Beyonce, that contains both factual inaccuracies -- Delilah wasn't Jewish -- and super schmaltzy writing. But schmaltz is appropriate, no? There's a great clip at the link.

Meanwhile, WNYC is Remembering Elie Wiesel, and you can hear him singing in two short snippets.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Kosha Dillz's 'Dodging Bullets' Video Feat. Matisyahu

Premiering on Billboard: Kosha Dillz's 'Dodging Bullets' Video Feat. Matisyahu

From Chabad to dancing girls (Tznius warning), but an Israel supporter (of sorts), which is not easy these days.