Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lipa - The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

The Jewish Press has another "Letter To The Editor" about the Lipa ban. This time, it's another regular JP correspondent, Rabbi Moshe Shochet, defending the rabbonim. Actually, to be more accurate, he's not so much defending the rabbonim as denying the right to question them. The Wolf From Da Hood fisks this one too.

(We'd previously encountered Rabbi Shochet here.)

From the Jewish Weak Purim spoof, here's "33 Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Ban Purim." The lede:
Fresh from their success in canceling a chasidic music concert that would have benefited orphans in Israel, 33 fervently ultra-Orthodox rabbis have decided to cancel the holiday of Purim because it could lead to “spiritual joy, brotherly love – and worse,” they said in a statement today.
A. writes:
See Daas Torah for Danny Eidenson's quote of the Chazon Ish, re saying negative things about influential rabbis who need to be "outed".
Menachem writes:
To me, #21 on your list is worst than most of the others combined! Keep up the great work
Psachya forwards a link to "Ban Banning" and writes:
The article I just sent you was the last article that Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum published in Country Yossi Magazine before his untimely passing. I think it's worth sharing. The frum community - and, more specifically, the frum musical community - has lost a beyond-great advocate. He will be sorely missed.
Shalom writes:
I am saddened to hear of the loss of Rabbi Teitelbaum; he was my 4th grade rebbe, and one of the very few people I can remember-- be they faculty or students-- from the 5+ years that I had to attend that school, whom I have (some) fond memories of.

It wasn't just his wonderful stories, or his electronic wizardry. I remember vividly one class where he was teaching hilchos Shofar, when he demonstrated graphically that there was no set limit to the number of blasts in a teruah by pulling out a shofar and blowing a teruah that just went on and on and on (I lost count after 49 blasts); the whole class was rolling by the time he finally ran out of gas. Wasn't he a clarinetist once?

On another topic, and you can edit this for length if you want: I was recently listening to the first Mark 3 album, "The New Jewish Sound", with an ear toward dubbing it to CD so I can listen in the car. [1] This was one of my favourite albums back when I was a kid, playing it on my parents' Voice of Music stereo hi-fi set (ceramic cartridge, three tubes). Even on modern equipment it sounds perhaps a bit primitive by today's standards, but remember this was cut 42 years ago, and it was literally the first of its type: modern JM, as we know it, started here. [2]

I was wondering, though, who exactly played on this record. The only musicians credited are Sy Kushner (accordion), who is or was until recently still in the business; Jordan Penkower (alto), now a professor in Israel; and Benjamin Hulkower (drums), who's now a well-known psychologist in California. There are, however, five other instruments audible on the record: trombone, clarinet, trumpet (or other horn in that approximate range), bass, and electric guitar. None of these are credited. (There is a note that says "Special thanks to Mike Chernick and Jackie Gross", but no indication of what they did, or even if they were musicians in the first place.) I'd guess that there weren't any overdubs, given that all eleven tracks were cut in one day (6/13/66), so they were probably all separate musicians.

Do you, or any of your readers, have any idea of who these sidemen were?

footnotes: [1] Not successful. Of the three copies I was able to lay my hands on, only one was stereo, and all three were worn to some extent. I do have noise reduction software, but it made things worse, given that a trombone's waveform looks like noise to a noise-filter plugin. It would be nice to see this remastered, if anyone can find the master.

[2] Yah, there were folk-type albums like Shlomo Carlebach's first two, chassidish stuff like Nichoach (and the first two Pirchei albums, which were in the same style and probably had the same personnel, if I'm not mistaken), Modzitz, maybe Chazan Dovid Werdyger's Gerer stuff, and maybe a couple of Rudy Tepel wedding albums, but the pop-style, wedding-band-style albums that are so ubiquitous today weren't around yet, at least I'm not familiar with any older ones that have survived. Even the Rabbis' Sons were still a year away from making their first LP, and Neginah's first release wasn't until '71.
Meanwhile, this Purim, Lipa apparently dressed up as the lead singer for Yidcore.

Hey L-o-R, it was Purim, give the guy a break. He's had a rough few weeks. When, if not on Purim, is Gospel traditional Jewish music appropriate?

Besides, we've already clarified that calling a performance something else like "rally" instead of "concert" makes it permissible. So, let's see... humorous outfit, women sitting in the same room as the men with no mechitza... hmm... I've got it... just call it a Mitzvah Tants. Yeah, that's it, it was a Mitzvah Tants. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, Lipa's main approved income source is as a badchan. Just another day at the office...