Monday, March 07, 2011

From the mailbag...

Ben writes:
I thought you'd enjoy this new music video for Purim. It features 100 Israelis from all different backgrounds dancing in the desert.

It's called Raise Your Mask - a parody of Pink's Raise Your Glass.

Happy Adar!
E. sends a link to the Maccabeats "The Purim Song."

He also forwards a link to this VIN exclusive.

Jew Man Group writes:
Hi there!

Big fan of your site. We’re a new “Kosher comedy” venture that just released our first single – it’s “Bar’chu!”, a remix of “Forget You” by Cee-Lo, and we’re hoping you’ll find the video worthy of posting. It’s going viral as we speak. J

Please check it out and let us know what you think!
Psachya writes about Mikis Theodorakis:
The sad thing (for me) about the Mikis Theodorakis debacle is that he,at one time, was rather popular in many Jewish homes.

Those of us who grew up listening to Art Raymond's "Morning Simcha" radio program were very familiar with some of Theodorakis' music. Art didn't play it himself, but for years his program on WEVD ("The Station That Speaks Your Language") was immediately followed by a Greek language program. And, every morning, the first sounds heard after Art signed off was a selection from Theodorakis' score for the movie "Z". As a result, Theodorakis got a bit of a following in the Jewish music-listening community. My grandfather A"H had an LP of the "Z" soundtrack, and I've seen it in many other LP collections beside Shlomo Carlebach, Jo Amar, Ruach Revival, and other early-'70's Jewish music icons.

So it turns out that the guy was an anti-Semitic jerk all along. It just makes me sad. This is music I grew up with.
Shalom writes:
You wrote: "In case you had any doubt... "

No, I never had any doubt. Ever since I read, years ago, that he composed a so-called "Palestinian national anthem", long before the PLO had morphed into the PA, I kind of got the idea.

Shame, because the soundtrack to "Z" has got some great music on it; now I feel uncomfortable listening to it.

You think this is gonna stop Jewish musicians playing his music, though? I'm not altogether sure they even should. I remember the controversy a couple years ago regarding the move to rename Corbin Place, which was named after a notorious anti-semite; I think the biggest "shtoch" you can give them is to have Jews living peacefully on "their" street, or enjoying "their" music at a Jewish function.

(For other self-proclaimed anti-semites, check out author Roald Dahl. Personally I prefer to say "Jew-haters", because that was the original term before the PC folk got a hold of it, and because some of the worst Jew-haters are themselves Semitic.)
Hinei ma tov...

Shalom also fowards some more Al Hanisim clips:
First of all, how'd you know it was me?

Second, I've uploaded yet another Al Hanisim, this time really the original (it came out before the composer's own version).
YouTube - Really The Original Al Hanisim (Izhar Cohen, 1974)

(Someone else has uploaded a live performance at YouTube - אודי דוידי- על הניסים. Good stuff.)

Also, I've put up the original version of Tanchum Portnoy's Eitz Chaim, so the folks who sing it wrong can learn the right way.
YouTube - עץ חײם (The Original "Eitz Chaim" (Tanchumim, 1975 - composed by Tanchum Portnoy
A valiant attempt, but there is no chance that'll help.

Bob writes:
I think many Shlomo Carlebach tunes would go really well with a Caribbean-style steel band. Has this been done? I'd pay for a CD like this.
Yehudah Mond writes:
Tribute to Moshe Yess A"H:
Although it has been two weeks since the passing of Moshe Yess A"H, he deserves honorable mention for the major influence he's had on JM. While some might argue that he has gone off the deep end during the last few years, his musical style and personality is inimitable. For those old enough to remember there was Megama, and even the younger generation knows "My Zaide", with many a budding guitar player picking out the chords to that song (can't miss that CMaj7). His voice added a whole lot of feeling to Journeys 1 through 3 (e.g. The Ninth Man, No Place Like Home, Ride the Train, The Rebbe of Lublin, Pesach Blues and more), The Amazing Torah Bike, Miami Experience 1, and of course the immortal Marvelous Middos Machine...
Like Dr. Doomshtein, whom Yess played to perfection on MMM, Moshe Yess was also a ba'al t'shuvah who became involved with Jewish music while in Yeshivas D'var Yerushalayim. The bold, daring characteristic of his unique bass voice, and his personality, which shone through every recording, will be sorely missed.
Shmuel writes:
With all the brouhaha surrounding the passing of Debbie Friedman, it seems that the untimely passing of Moshe Yess, one of the seminal figures in modern Jewish music has gone unnoticed. Having worked with Moshe and Megama on several occasions back in the day, I can truly say that he was perhaps the finest singer/songwriter to cross over from the secular world. The man had real chops and he knew how to craft a pop song. His approach to Jewish music was original and totally out of the box. Lyrically, he had the soul of a poet. The effect that his song “My Zayde” had as far as lighting up Jewish souls across the world is simply incalculable. I still get requests for it almost every time I play out. (I frequently play for older crowds). Simply astounding. On top of that he was a really, really nice guy – just wanted to sit and jam.