Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Just got off the phone with a yekke (German-Jewish) client who hired me for an upcoming event. He booked me for three hours from precisely 6:20 to 9:20. I told him I don't mind giving an extra few minutes until the party ends at 9:30, but he insisted that a three hour booking mean exactly three hours.
"The Foodie Waiter"
Offers us soup. Comes back 10 minutes later with another bowl to say "I gave you the wrong one. Try the squash soup, it's much better!"
"The Fat Couple"
These overweight peeps stroll past the bandstand on the way out. The caterer has helpfully placed a shelf unit full of deserts right next to the band. As they pass it, and keep going, the wife looks longingly back at the display. "You don't need that!" says the husband. They continue on towards the door, until, in one swift maneuver, the wife does a 180, heads straight for the shelves and grabs an eclair. Whereupon, the husband looks at us, shrugs, heads over to the shelves, and downs an eclair whole. Sated (for the moment) the two exit stage left.
"The Color Commentator"
This guest stakes out a place against the wall near the band. Casually leaning, he provides color commentary to an imaginary audience, about all of the guests entering the room. Sample quote: "Hehey! Captain Homo is here! Oy!
"The Roach Observer"
This peep handles janitorial services. When the bandleader arrives to set up and notices a dead roach in the middle of the band's space, he points it out to this guy. "Yeah!" The peep laconically responds. "He's still moving a bit. I been watching him all afternoon!" Naturally, it doesn't occur to him to remove said roach until specifically asked to do so. For fun, here's a pic of said hypothetical roach.
This peep will come up to the band at an affair and inquire about a date in the immediate future, say within the week or so. The sole concern is price, and their budget is not realistic. Sample inquiry/offer: "I'm running a singles event next Sun. I'm expecting 100 or so people. Can you come play for the first half hour of socializing and then the last hour of desert. I don't need you to play for two and a half hours in between. I can offer $100 and you'll get exposure."
"Bathroom Phone Call Dude"
A word to the wise. If you're a waiter skipping out on the gig for a few minutes to make a romantic call to your girlfriend, a center stall in the bathroom is not the place to go. Even if you're not actively using the bathroom, the folks on either side of you sure will be. The constant bathroom noises -- urinals flushing etc. -- will not be conducive for romantic talk. Not to mention the fellow who just had too many tacos at the buffet, and who is now in the next stall...
"The Hapless Sound Tech"
We're setting up to play at a dinner, and there's a sound tech next to us setting up a wireless mic/speaker for speeches. "I can't get it working", he complains loudly. "It was working fine yesterday." After a couple of complaints, we take a look. He's got the wireless mic switched on, the portable powered speaker switched on, but no receiver and he had nothing connected to the speaker inputs. Um, think that might be the problem right there?
"The Demanding Client"
We need music now! We know you just played for over an hour straight and there's a long dance set coming up right after this short video presentation. But, our audio isn't working, so we need you to put down your dinner plate and come play background music for the video. No break for you! Oh, and we'll hit you at the end of the gig with the "Check Bearer"
"The Check Bearer"
This peep works for the organization hosting the event. He is not the contact person you've dealt with before/at the event. His sole job is to bring the check to the gig, and hold it all night (in case you don't play appropriate background music?). This peep inevitably leaves before the event is over, without handing over the check. It will take at least a week before you receive said check in the mail.
"Get On With It"
This peep, a parent guesting at the end-of-year senior dinner will not put up with the school administrator's bloviating. When said adminstrator, after a long and meaningless intro, announces that he will not proceed until there is absolute silence in the room (some students were whispering), this peep shouts out: "Get On With It!" It took the flustered admin 20 minutes to recover, and things moved quicker after that.
"Mrs. Dropped Skirt"
Ladies, a word to the wise. If you've lost weight or have an issue with the clasp on your skirt, you might not want to wear it for dancing at a wedding! Just saying!
"Can't We All Just Get Along?"
Played a wedding where there were four separated seating sections, each walled off by mechitzos. One for men, one for women, and two for mixed seating, separated by side, since there was a divorce in the family and apparently his & her relatives/family members could not be seated in view of each other. So sad.
"The Trailer Park Chupa"
Played a backyard chupa, where the host decided it would be a good idea to decorate the yard in trailer park style. Seriously. They brought in a Port-a-Potty, which was so not needed. Then, they "decorated" the potty by hanging old flowered bedsheets from clotheslines around it. The day-long rain didn't help, things. Neither, did the yellow and blue striped tent they had installed for the chupa. Or the handmade "exit" signs they felt compelled to add to the white tent the cocktails were in...
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Thought you'd appreciate this:Indeed.
Forbade "Jewishly gloomy lyrics" and "mutes which turn the noble sound of wind and brass instruments into a Jewish-Freemasonic yowl"
The language is so similar to some Jewish bans (I have The Torah is Not Hefker in mind) that it's outright disturbing.
E writes: Heard the one about the "Jesuit football cantor?"
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I've been following the ban trend on this blog for quite a bit, and here's an interesting attempt by Mishpacha to counter a ban. Very Alinsky.
The same logic would apply to the Lipa ban, the ban on Rabbi Slifkin's books, etc.
Of course, since we're not dealing with logic... In any event, the fact that Mishpacha's people will make this argument publicly is quite relevant. Attitudes in the community have been shifting and the end result is a decrease in Kavod Hatorah (a bad thing), as well as a reduction in the effective authority of the gatekeepers and those rabbis who rule on matters they don't understand (a very good thing).
Incidentally, there's still time for you to win an exclusive T-shirt with my commentary on bans here.
Here's the shirt:
Monday, January 02, 2012
NY Times - "Adrienne Cooper, Expert on Yiddish Music, Is Dead." Money quote from her daughter, Sarah:
“She was interested in people expressing their Judaism through their language and their culture,” Ms. Gordon said. “She taught people how to do that.”Indeed.
Forward - "Adrienne Cooper Embodied Progressive Spirit."
The Jewish Week "Adrienne Cooper, Mother Of Yiddish Revival Movement."
I recently found the following on your archive (March 27, 2008)
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.  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. 
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:  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.
 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.
I can now answer the above question (and request). In 2009 the original Mark 3 LP (after being re-mastered digitally) was released as a CD, with the original front cover. the back cover was also reproduced - but in a lighter gray, and superimposed on that was a text, AND ALSO A LISTING OF THE ORIGINAL MUSICIANS.
In addition to Ben Hulkower (drums), Sy Kushner (accordian), and Jordan Penkower (alto saxophone), the musicians were: Chizik Epstein (clarinet), Harvey Goldin (tenor sax, clarinet - solo on Mizmor L'Dovid, flute - solo on Dabeir Eilai Bifrachim, piccolo - solo on Omdos), Rick Heckendorn (Bass), Jack Leone (guitar), Hy Simon (trombone).
The singers were: Mike Chernik, Jackie Gross, Monty Penkower.
This CD is available at Nulite Music, Inc. - The New Jewish Sound- The Mark 3 Orchestra and Singers (CD)
In addition, i take this opportunity to inform you that just recently in 2011, the two LPs by Jordan Penkower and The Sterling Sound: (1) The Return to Jerusalem; (2) Jubilation, were remastered digitally, and released as CDs, together with the original front and back covers.
These CDS are available at: