Thursday, June 25, 2009

From the mailbag...

Psachya writes:
One thing I've learned over the years as a bandleader is that, when it comes to band prep, everything is relative. Two examples:

On a recent gig, the prep said that the choson wanted a "long first dance set". The caterer wanted to give me 15 minutes. I negotiated him up to 25 minutes. In the more yeshivish weddings, 25 minutes is "just getting warmed up" - I hoped the choson (who is a friend of mine) wouldn't be annoyed at the short length of the set.

Sure enough, after the set, the choson came up to the bandstand. "The music is great," he said, "but try to keep the next dance set shorter. The dancing went on forever!"

Go know.

The following night (a yeshivish wedding), the prep included requests for (count 'em) 13 hora/disco-type tunes. Followed by the statement, "Please don't overdo the horas." (!!)

What can I say? Everything's relative.
Shloime Kaufman emails about his new release to raise funds for A T.I.M.E. (an organization helping couples with infertility issues.):
Shloime Kaufman's Avodos Tzedakah album is in all Judiaca stores or the CD is available for download on, and features Dovid Gabay, Baruch Levine, Abie Rotenberg, Michoel Pruzansky, A.K.A. Pella, Sholom Jacobs and contains songs composed by Yitzy Waldner and Baruch Levine. The CD is presented by and PROCEEDS WILL GO TO BENEFIT A T.I.M.E., which is the premier, internationally acclaimed organization that offers advocacy, education, guidance, research and support through our many programs to Jewish men, women, and couples struggling with reproductive health and infertility.
You can hear audio clips and buy the album here.

Steven I. Weiss emails:
Jewish Punk Rockers. I thought you might enjoy some of what's said in this week's newscast.
There's a lot more in the broadcast version, though we'll be posting some additional clips on the Web soon.
Zal Schreiber writes:
THAT said….I know the gist of what was said here was perhaps a bit sarcastic in tone (at least, at times), but I think the comment the Xmas Music is Avoda Zarra needs to be mitigated a bit.

My Rov knows music, world philosophy, real Kabbalistic zaachen, and about the waltz….and has his favorite Classical Music composers (Sibelius is his favorite, I believe) , and I asked him about music (I have some relationship with that being a Levi from both my parents, a”h, growing up with Chazzanis and Presley, and classical music, playing in wedding and, ahem, other bands..and then working for a/thee major secular music corporation in the world for 16 years…..)

So I asked my Rov about music, and he said, MAYBE Handel and his Messiah are not to be listened to, otherwise, I don’t think popular Xmas music is really something to be stoned for…for listening to, and is (real) Avoda Zarra. (Church hymns for JC MIGHT be a no-no….)

And he also said that Waltz music has roots in things we shouldn’t really speak about in public, BUT, because we really don’t know about those particulars and because it’s a way bygone issue, that we’ve embraced it in Jewish music (and shouldn’t worry). Otherwise, we would toss out Shlichey Tzibur on a regular basis.

PS. You should take Dovid Kerner’s music, seriously, folks, as he composes and records it l’Shaim Shamayim. He’s a man with a(n important) message, and he puts it to song.
In the dangerous world we live in, it’s his own way of letting other to know to take heed. For the sake of Klal Yisrael.
Greg Wall forwards a link to a J-Post writeup of Pioneers for a Cure.