File under miscellaneous...
I made it through Rosh Hashana w/o being subjected to any of the trifecta which needs to be updated to include Rabbi Mottel Twersky's Im Eshkacheich, methinks. Come Shabbos Shuva, the chazzan pulls that one out on us. Dang.
The worst setting this year was "Lakeil Orech Din" to a fast version (think at least 2x as fast as usual) of the Carlebach melody commonly sung to Eilecha. Nothing like a slow melody sung really fast to stir the spirit. On the plus side... no Shwekey.
Cantor Sherwood Goffin has a piece in the YU "Torah to Go" on "misinai" melodies. I can't find it on their website at the moment. The article really needed music notation to illustrate what melodies he's referring to. Also, Cantor Goffin is a staunch proponent/advocate/defender of nusach, but sometimes it comes across as close-minded towards legitimate change.
The Sukkos issue of Mishpacha Magazine has a wonderfully honest interview with Andy Statman. Surprisingly open for a chareidi magazine, it can be found hidden amongst the usual JM PR "interviews" with many chassidisco singers like the one who does hisbodedus daily and is close to an anonymous rebbe in Europe and "Reb X" who would never record any treif rock music because his rebbe would hear it. (The snark isn't about these singer's self-definition as such. It's about the attempt to use it in marketing. "Buy my CD, I'm such a holy Jew" doesn't seem so appealing, but that's just me.)
Had one night off on Chol Hamoed, so headed out to Boro Park to check out the festibities. Danced in the street with Lubavitchers. Watched various Rebbes make brachos in their sukkahs, and checked out the Bobover shul where there was a tnoim underway. Mucho fun. They have some cool tunes. I hadn't been in far too long.
I also got a nice overview of the one-man-band keyboard scene while in BP. Despite using different gear, there's a definite sound that most seem to share. Interesting.
Played an interesting mix of Simchas Beis Hashoevas this year from heavy chassidic (Satmar) to MO. It's always interesting to see what tunes people call at these gigs. This also leads to a peeve of mine about lead sheets common on the chassidic circuit. I'm planning a separate post on that soon. A music lesson for y'all.
Visited a number of shuls for hakafos this year. None particularly inspiring. It's tough to find meaningful ones. I wonder what God thinks of the shenanigans in many chareidi shuls. Seems like it's all about competing egos. And drinking.