Thursday, December 31, 2009

Shabbat in Liverpool Is Coming!

From the Shlock Rock newsletter...
Breaking News! Prepare for Shabbat in Liverpool!
Hello everyone! After five years it has finally happened! We are proud to announce that we have acquired licensing for Shabbat in Liverpool! This project which takes twenty seven songs from the Beatles and puts them to Shabbat prayers and Shabbat zemirot have received the green light for production! It has taken a long time but when you hear it you will know it was well worth the wait!  This new album which will be released sometime between this coming June and August 2010 sets the table for the greatest year in Shlock Rock History! The 25th Anniversary of Shlock Rock will begin on January 2011 and what better way to start off the pre-celebration with this unbelievable new album! So all Shlockers spread the word! Shabbat in Liverpool will be coming to an IPOD near you very soon. Tell the Kraz – tell everyone! Shout it from the rooftops! Prepare for Shabbat in Liverpool!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12/22/09 Link Dump

Here's Ortho-rapper Rinat Gutman's 1st music video. She's pushing the envelope on this hip-hop kol isha thing. Interesting to see how this will evolve.

Beth Schafer posts about post-release marketing.

Avraham Fried sings "Song of Miracles", a fundraiser to benefit Rofeh Cholim Candr Society.

Finally, here's Keith Jarret the way you really want to hear him for the holidays.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chanukah Music Links

Poppa's Kitchen writes:

Just thought the blog world would like to know that Poppa's Kitchen has been rockin the house of Hanukkah since 2006 with “A Rockin Hanukkah.” Also for your viewing pleasure please cast your curious eyes on our most splendid Hanukkah video.

Have a Rockin Hanukkah!

Teruah posts "Yidcore does Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song."

Meanwhile, as we're sure you know, "Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Hanukkah Song Is Tearing Up the Charts." Download your free mp3 at Amazon via this link.

Tablet Mag has posted a roundup of reactions to Senator Hatch's song.

Honestly Frum attended a pre-Chanukah YBC concert and asks "YBC or Milli Vanilli?"

DovBear posts a nice video of Pharoah's Daughter performing Maoz Tzur.

Friday, December 11, 2009

12/11/09 Link Dump

MyJewishLearning asked some of theirr favorite singers and musicians to record versions of their favorite Hanukkah songs for us. You can listen and download the music here.

FYI, "Five Towns Newspaper Quotes Rabbi: Kol Isha No Problem if Listener Doesn’t Know What Singer Looks Like." It's always fun when editors demonstrate their ignorance.

The Jewish Worker: "Satmar Rebbe: Children should not be sent for music lessons."

Here's a new Jewish music blog, "The Chazzan's Tish."

Finally, Chana posts a link to a Yiddish version of Brtiney Spears 'Three.'

From the mailbag...

A. forwards a comment posted to Emes Ve-Emunah
Thought you'd like this- it's a comment on his blog, related to the newest Satmar takanos:

Yerachmiel -

This is what I call the "Lipa maneuver." When you want to distract attention from anything that matters, go after the Jewish musicians. They're an easy target, they're the source of all that's evil in the world, and bashing them may help you forget how the followers of the two claimants to the old Rebbe's throne are beating each other up in the street, or how your kids' yeshiva never got around to firing that pedophile rebbi, or how, thanks to having gazillions of kids with no parnassah prospects, your holy little shtetl is the dead-last poorest municipality in the U.S. of A. No, by all means let's trash the musicians, who lost their jobs playing your weddings because of all your takanas, and therefore have to rely on giving music lessons for a living, so let's take that away from them too so they can starve to death. And then all the other problems will just go away. Right?

Sorry if I sound bitter - it's only because I am.
open the gates | 12.08.09 - 1:14 pm | #
Psachya writes:
Check this out for the inside story on Orrin Hatch's Chanukah song. Three money quotes:

"...I for one have tired of the Adam Sandlerization of Judaism in America." (Hear, hear!)

"...[Having a] Mormon senator in a studio with an Arab singer and a bunch of New York Jewish background vocalists recording a Hanukkah song of his own making...counts as a minor American miracle."

"I have always felt that the song canon for sparse and uninspiring...because Jewish songwriters spend so much time writing Christmas music." (Ouch!)
Dovid Kerner writes:

Wouldn't you know it - just in time for Chanukah - the second installation in the Jambalaya Trilogy is out - Chanb'layla. Our gift to you. Download it in its entirety here: Chanb'layla.

Have a lichtiger Chanukah!
Zal forwards a link: "Guy Demands to Be Arrested for Ripping His Own DVDs."

Avi Septimus writes:
I compiled the following list of Jewish music resources which I use on the web. I most frequently use the Dartmouth archive for learning old chassidic nigunim, and would like to advertise its existence amongst Jewish musicians. While I was at it, I added some other sites which I have used as well. I discovered many of these sites when I started to convert old Chassidic LP's to digital, and discovered that much (but not all) of the work had been done.

Please add this to your blog.

Thanks, Avi Septimus

Here is a list of Jewish music resources which I use on the internet.


Dartmouth Jewish Sound Archive:
Dartmouth Jewish Sound Archive

Old recordings from LP and cassette have been converted to digital and can be listened to on this site. There are currently around 12,000 songs. You must request access to the archive and agree not to download anything for copyright reasons. There is really a lot of good stuff here. I use this site constantly.

Modzitzer Nigunim

There are many Modzitzer nigunim here which can be downloaded in Real format. Most are from the original Modzitzer albums, but there is some other material as well. Highly recommended!

Florida Atlantic University Judaica Sound Archives
FAU Judaica Sound Archives

Does not require membership. Many chassidic and cantorial albums available for listening. Most (all?) of David Werdyger's albums are here, as well as tons of other material.


A site with many different tunes from all over the world for piyutim, zemirot, etc.

Chabad Nigunim: -Jewish Music and Song

Includes the entire audio for the 16 volumes of the "Chabad Melodies" set, plus other albums as well.

Jewish Music Resources

After starting to make this list, I found this site which obviously includes a much bigger list than mine. That said, I list some sites which he doesn't.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It's Been A While - JM PR

A while back, I used to run a feature called JM PR Watch, wherein I'd quote actual JM PR, usually without comment. It's time to bring it back.

The following is cut/pasted from an American (not Israeli) promotional email I received today.
If you love the music of Shlomo Carlebach, the this is the cd for you. If Carlebach is not your taste, then Efraim Mendelson spectacular vocals with Shlomo’s world famous song will en enough of a reason to add this cd to yuor ever growing collection. Eli mandelbaum presents “Carlebach Kumzits” niggunim of Reb Shlomo Carlebach  featuring Efraim Mendelson.

Here's a link to a Jewish Insights posting of the text.

Senator Orrin Hatch: The Next JM Star?

Rokhl says: "You won't find me singing this around the khanukiah." I think it's a tremendous blessing that we live in a country where politicians feel comfortable doing things like this.

Eight Days of Hanukkah from Tablet Magazine on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The East Village ‘Wailing Wall’

Rabbi Greg Wall is winning the contest for most Jewish Week profiles this year.

Here's the latest: "The East Village ‘Wailing Wall’." I wanna guest lecture with my band.

Monday, December 07, 2009

12/7/09 Link Dump

Here's an embarrassing Mishpacha Magazine Profile. The answer is no. And the question ought not be asked. Green has released exactly one CD with only three or four original songs.

Klezmer Guy blogs about O.J. Simcha. Check out Shawn Fink's comments. A sad criticism on contemporary Chareidi yeshiva boys.

Boy, I'm glad these scientists were able to confirm their ground-breaking theory. Otherwise, no one would have had any idea!

This one's a gimme! Bob Dylan Revisited - Must Be Chanukah!!

Hey, look! Men at Work plagiarized music for Land Down Under.

Here is House of Pain vs Amsterdam Klezmer Band! This and other Chanukah mixes at Menorah Mashups. is ISO Jewish and/or Israel-oriented Metalheads...

Mark Rubin Inteviewed: Part Deux!

This has been going around. Too Much Joy posts My Hilarious Warner Bros. Royalty Statement.

Gawker posts NBC Universal's Version of the Payday Loan Scam for Freelancers. Many bands have increased their turnaround time on payments from two weeks to a month or more. Not cool. They haven't tried this yet, though.

It's a Breslov Hip Hop video. Here's another Breslov rap video with Breslov female rapper Rinat Gutman and Y-Love.

Shlock Rock's Lenny Solomon is Walkin' The Land!

Over at the Yahoo JM group, someone is criticizing Matisyahu for not having other Jewish bands on the bill at his Chanukah shows. Sour grapes or valid critique? We report, you decide. BTW, I'm pretty sure David Gould of John Brown's Body is Jewish w/ a record out on Tzadik.

Az Der Rebbe Iz Gevoren Freilach!

The headline is self-explanatory. "Satmar Rebbe Tells Followers: No Videos, Don't Send Children to Music Lessons." (Hat tip, E.)

I presume this is a direct response to the current revival of musicianship among young post-ban Satmarer chasidim. The attempted alienation of musicians continues apace. This time around, it's likely to continue to backfire.

Remember this?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

From the mailbag...

MoC writes:
Interesting letter from anon re being asked to play overtime for less than scale.

I guess my question is, does a band leader have to require union scale for himself? As a business owner, shouldn’t he have the flexibility to negotiate a price different from scale in order to land a gig as long as he pays his players scale for their part of a gig)?

In the current economy, everything is negotiable when it comes to service providers. And I mean everything. My firm puts on a number of big conferences every year. We have been able to negotiate favorable deals with hotels that used to do you favors by letting you book them.

I have also been able to negotiate fixed rates at very steep discounts with major law firms on a number of litigation matters. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. I’m just saying it’s a fact of the current economy.
In general, the union sets the wage scale for musicians. Not every band is a union band. Only union bands are contractually obligated to pay that scale. That said, the going rate for musicians even among non-union bands has typically been at least scale, which is not that much, relatively speaking. Most in-demand musicians typically command a premium above scale. The office is free to mark up the price they charge the client as they whish. There are no union schedules for that.

For a mitzvah tants, typically the only person staying behind is the keyboard player and many band leaders don't charge a mark-up on that, in my experience. So, what this guy is complaining about is that he’s being asked to stay and play for less then what he considers the reasonable going rate. Personally, after having played a 5-6 hour wedding, I think the keyboard player deserves a fair hourly rate for a mitzvah tants. Based on this letter, it sounds like that’s what he was saying too.

I do agree that in this economy people need to be flexible, but they also need to be appropriately compensated for their work.

The problem, is that some people are negotiating gigs at less then scale (in other words, at less than cost). The only way to do this is by underpaying the musicians. This can be done if the musicians agree to it, and might occasionally be done by an office for legit reasons, say promotion. More often though, it is being done by bands who then screw one or more musicians after the fact, by not paying them.

The economy is forcing some painful, but much needed changes on the simcha band industry. I do think there are areas where the community can be helpful, or at least not harmful, to people from the industry in financial distress. (Not everybody is feeling the pain to the same extent.) And, there’s a difference between negotiating a fair price in a down economy, and taking advantage of someone in need. It’s legal, but also unethical. It is quite ironic to do so for something called a mitzvah tants.

E. writes:
Who is this United Tzedaka Group? How much will each charity actually receive?
Not a whole lot, I'd guess.