Friday, January 30, 2004

Concert Ad

Protocols has the Only Simchas ad for the Fried/Blue Fringe concert being presented by Yeshivat Noam next month.

One of these things is not like the other...

The Edutainer!

Here's the Baltimore Jewish Times interview with Avraham Rosenblum.

On Working With Vocalists

Frequently, in the "club-date" end of the business, bands often have to back up JM singers they don't regularly perform with. This happens either when the client has a special request for a "name" vocalist, or when said vocalist is a guest at the affair and is either asked to/or decides to come up and sing.

(I'm not referring here to the friend or relative who "has a good voice." I'll leave that can of worms for perhaps another post.)

Oftentimes, these vocalists show up without sheet music and want to sing their latest "hit" with the band. These are not complicated songs, and usually, the band has no trouble 'comping' them sans music. It is annoying though. The assumption that the band is familiar with their music is presumptuous -- especially when it's not a "hit" song. Also, the music would sound better if the band had the chart in front of them. I think that if a vocalist knows that he's going to sing a few songs at a gig he ought to bring sheet music for the band -- not because we can't get the job done, but because we'll sound better if we know what we're playing. It's much easier for musicians to voice chords and play appropriate melodic fills when they know where a melody is going, and the end result will actually be musical.

During the dance set at one recent gig, the vocalist segued into a tune no one in the band knew. Following him was challenging because his intonation was off and he was singing almost a quartertone off. It's not that easy to comp a tune you've never heard before when you're not sure what key it's in and the vocalist is singing "in between" two keys. I know that he had the lead sheet to that song at home and it would have been simple courtesy to bring it. In general, musicians do their best to make these vocalists sound good, sometimes under extremely adverse conditions, and it would be nice if it were reciprocated.

Some vocalists do bring charts when they are singing at a wedding or performing at a small concert, and invariably, they sound better then their peers who don't bring music. In general, these performers appear to have much more respect for their audience –as well as the band – and it shows in the way the audience responds to them.

Also, as I've noted in the past, some vocalists send their new CD's and the accompanying sheet music to musicians/bandleaders so that they can familiarize themselves with the material and perhaps play it at gigs. For those who don't do this, sending these to a bandleader before an upcoming gig would ensure that they have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the tunes that will be performed.

If the artist does bring sheet music, then he should make sure that it is correct. A bad chart isn't better than no music, and quite often is worse!

One time, the band was hired to back up a vocalist at a concert. He showed up with a bunch of lead sheets, handed them to us, and started the show. While we were playing one song, we realized that it was missing the second half. It was a two page lead sheet, and the performer had only brought the first page. Of course, we only realized this when we got to the high part of the tune, which we didn't have music for. We got through it just fine, but the lack of professionalism was startling.

More than once, a vocalist has handed us a chart for one melody, and then proceeded to sing a totally different melody with the same words -- sometimes in a different key. These glitches are easily avoidable. A little bit of prep before the gig will go along way towards making sure everyone sounds good.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this and a good "jam" can be a lot of fun, but there's a time and place for everything, and in general, a little respect for the band and the audience will go a long way towards helping a singer sound as good as possible.

Re: Performers Contact Info

I've been getting a bunch of emails asking for various singers phone numbers/email addresses.

I really don't know what I'm supposed to think when I get an email from someone I don't know that says:
Can you please forward me Abie Rottenbergs email adress.?
I want to wish him a big Yasher Koiach on journys 4. I think he did a superb job.
yakov shwekey 2 is good!!!! Do you know Shwekey's phone number???
Folks, most artists have contact info on their CD's. Please use that info to get in touch with them. I simply don't feel comfortable giving out people's private contact info. If the artist wanted be reached them that way by the public, then they would have included the info in their album liner notes.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Free Sheet Music

Here's the lead sheet to the Voices For Israel anthem "Chazak Amenu."

Playing With History

The Forward has the details on the newly opened musical "Crown Heights" and they are quite disturbing.
In the play, Scheerson's own car hits the child; both his car and a Jewish ambulance leave the scene immediately, implying that the Jews are guilty of leaving the children to die. 'There's a black boy bleeding,' actors sing, 'as the rabbi just runs.'"
Disgustingly, the play's authors claim "the play is pro-Jewish."
Naturally, because misrepresenting facts to represent Jews in an unvavorable light is pro-Jewish. Shameful.

The play is produced by the All Stars Project. According to the article:
The All Stars Project recorded an income of $2.5 million in 2002, without any government funding, thanks in part to support from a roster of Fortune 500 companies including Bear Stearns and New York Life Insurance Company.
I think these corporate sponsors ought to be made aware of how their money is being used.

Here is Bear Stearns contact info.
Here's the contact info for New York Life Insurance Company.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Fun With Plagiarism

Back Row Of The 'Beis notes an apparent plagiarism of the text of his website article on MBD's plagiarism of "Yidden."

Ironic, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Not One of the Shiva Devarim

This NY Newsday article on 'hip' Jews includes the following:
"Annette Ezekiel, of the klezmer rock band Golem, comes from a nonreligious background, but says she is now studying ancient Jewish texts, along with Yiddish, to deepen her appreciation of the music. 'My Yiddish teacher says that you don't have to believe it, but you have to know about it.'"
If some of the "frum artists would have taken a look at the context of their source material before they recorded a lyric, they might have avoided the embarrasment of having recorded a pasuk ("Chazak") talking about Jews encouraging each other to worship idols, or a pasuk ("V'haya Machanecha Kadosh") about the obligation of a soldier to carry a shovel to war in order to dig a latrine outside of the encampment. The words in both cases sound nice when viewed in isolation, but the context is indisputable.

For that matter, looking at the text might help artists to realize that they are omitting words and thereby making their lyric meaningless. For instance, there is a popular version of "Hamalach Hagoel" which omits the words "viykareh vahem sh'mi." As a result, the lyric on the high part, "V'sheim avosei ..." bears no connection to the lyric on the low part and is essentially meaningless!

Musicians Unveil Digital 'Manifesto'

The Miami Herald reports on Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno who are starting a new musicians' alliance that would let artists sell their music online instead of only through record labels.

Monday, January 26, 2004

eBay item

It's still available folks!

Attention Bandleaders!

Need a female Chinese vocalist to sing Broadway, Xmas carols, and the Carpenters?

Thoughts On the New Sameach Music Mag (for A.G.)

A lot of people have been asking about my thoughts on the new Sameach music magazine. I picked up the new free magazine last month. It's called the Jewish Music Review, and is essentially a magazine full of promo articles on recent Sameach releases. It's a great concept, but the execution is disappointing. Hopefully they'll make some (major) changes in the next one.

Unlike some, I have no problem with the concept of a music distributor – in this case Sameach – promoting their own artists and products; that is, as long as it is done transparently. As long as Sameach is open about their goal -- to increase awareness of their artists and spark interest in their offerings; I believe that there is no inherent conflict of interest.

For the past ten years or so, Tower Records has been doing something similar with their magazine, "Pulse", which is a free giveaway in their stores. (They're ceasing publication soon as Tower is having massive financial difficulties.) I think that Tower's customers understand that the point of the magazine is to sell CD's, but, since the writing is interesting, descriptive, and accurate, they have an interest in reading the articles and frequently purchase some of the music they've read about. Now, there is no doubt that Tower works with the record companies to promote certain artists and recordings, but since "Pulse" is genuinely informative about the artists and CD's, the customer has a good idea of what they're getting when they buy a featured CD.

In general, this is something that has been missing from the Jewish music PR typified by the ads in Country Yossi Magazine, the Jewish Press, et al. In general, these articles are a combination of poor writing, clichés, silly analogies, and meaningless descriptions that rarely if ever give the reader a sense of what is truly unique about a given album or artists. In a sense, these articles are kind of like "Mad-libs" where the writer simply plugs the artist's name, album title, and song titles, into a preconceived framework that is meaningless at best and condescending or dishonest at worst.

The idea of a promotional magazine probably makes a lot of sense for Sameach from a financial standpoint too. Given the high cost of advertising in Country Yossi magazine and the Jewish papers, Sameach will save money in the long run, assuming that the new mag can pick up readers. I think that it can be successful because people are interested in reading about Jewish music – I think that the music "articles" are a big part of CY's appeal -- but they'll need to make some changes to really make it work.

The debut issue of Jewish Music Review uses pretty much the same writers/writing style as Country Yossi magazine. These writers have developed a style that is simply foolish. The articles generally manage to be meaningless, condescending, and dishonest all at the same time!

I think that Sameach ought to hire good writers to write the articles for their magazine, and it would help if they were musically literate too. It frequently seems as though the CY-style writers have no understanding of basic musical concepts. The general MO these writers use is to pick a few themes or ideas to emphasize in their articles.

These usually emphasize such inane ideas as:

(This is a representative sample taken from recent JM PR.)

The 'artist' "knows what we want to hear."

The 'artist' has " his finger on the pulsebeat [sic] of the Jewish listening public."

"Today's audience will not be fooled"

"We'd like to congratulate 'the artist' on his outstanding achievements so far."

The album, artist, or song being promoted is "unbelievable."

"No matter what your taste or background, there's something on this album that's perfect for you."

And they typically include foolish and/or condescending statements like:

"Just call him the King Midas of Jewish music." (As an aside, the King Midas story is a parable about greed, which is not something I'd want to bring up in association with an artist.)

"That's a very powerful message" about a song that mentions the z'chus of davening in Yerusholayim.

"Artist "X" exploded onto the scene…" (Brings an unpleasant image to mind, doesn't it?)

"The album contains multiple harmonies and chord progressions."

You get the idea…

It shouldn't be that hard for Sameach to find good writers who have some musical knowledge (and possibly even like this sort of music) to write for them. I think that if they hired writers who could write interesting and descriptive articles without resorting to inanities, clichés, and a general over-hyping of the product, the new magazine will do quite well, and will help to increase sales of their CD's well beyond the possibilities of its current incarnation. It will also help positively impact the state of JM PR, which is currently quite low.

Having established the framework, it should be quite easy for Sameach to raise the quality of their mag in both style and substance. It seems that, as with much in JM, when it comes to PR, people simply emulate what "everyone else" is doing. If Sameach decides to publish a magazine which features quality writing and insightful interviews, it would have quite an impact on JM marketing in general, and on Sameach's bottom line in particular.

Etan G Goes Shopping!

The Yada Blog posts that J-rapper Etan G is going to be a contestant on the PAX network's "Shop Till You Drop" game show this week.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Superbowl Ad Preview

Read about Pepsi''s iTunes promotion featuring teens sued by the RIAA for illegal downloading here.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

More Fake News

ScrappleFace reports that the "International Brotherhood of Vocal Metal Workers (IBVMW)" is suing Dean.

Fake News From The Onion

Some music articles you probably missed:

"Parents' Record Collection Deemed Hilarious"

"Phish Collapses Onstage"

"Five-Disc Jazz Anthology Still Unopened"

"Area Man Hasn't Told Co-Workers About His Billy Joel Fanpage Yet"

" 'Weird Al' Yankovic Nears Completion Of 'Livin' La Vida Mocha'"

Business Opportunity

Maybe this trend will be good for business!

On a serious note, read the comments where Ephraim writes:
As usual, the goyim look at our customs and religion, think "Hey, that's pretty cool, let's copy it", and promptly get it wrong.
Of course, it's really our fault in this case. The kind of Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties the goyim are aping represent the kind of garish excess in which social climbing, noveau-rich Jewish parvenus indulge when they want to show they've "arrived".
Now, if the goyim saw a real Bar/ Bat Mitzvah ceremony and said "My, what a beautiful, spiritual, and uplifting experience" and copied that instead, we might have something here. Instead, we show them our cheap and vulgar side, and like fools they copy it.
We really ought to treat our own traditions with more respect.
The other comments (two at this time) also make good points.

But Will They Still Pay The Band?

NBC reports that Ben Affleck and J. Lo have broken their engagement after postponing their wedding last September 'cause they feared the overbearing media presence would "compromise the "happiest day of their lives."

There's one gig I'm glad I didn't book!

Watch What You Say!

Howard Dean gets remixed!

Looking Forward

Andy Statman update!


Fun! Listen here!

These guys sound great and I love their Israeli accent!

Feelin' Groovy has an article up on Art Garfunkel's being busted for marijauna posession. The article summary on their front page is titled "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Pot."

Music Education

These guys obviously need to brush up on their Jewish music knowledge.
Their website includes the band's supplication to
"pick up your own copy of the first true Jewish rock album."
I recommend they check out the following bands and performers:
(A by no means complete list of J-rockers.)

Even Sh'siyah
Reva L'Sheva
Rick Recht

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention Issac Bitton and Raya M'hemna's seminal work Songs for a Brother.

The list goes on...

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Messing With 'Tradition'

Here's the Jewish Week article on the revival of "Fiddler On The Roof."
The relationship between Tevye and Golde (Tony Award-winner Randy Graff) will be more nuanced, Lane said. “She’ll be more than a wise-cracking fishwife.”
Ah, but does she love him?

More Reader Email

One reader sends in this thought-provoking letter:
Any thoughts about the use of the musical stage to promote your own political agenda at the possible expense of your audience? Moral obligation or unfair treatment of a captive audience?
I was at a concert on Saturday night, to see the The Afro-Semitic Experience.
It was a pretty decent show. Some of it was really good and other parts were a little sleepy.
To introduce a song, the bassist first mentioned how all the proceeds from one of the albums goes to Magen David Adom. Then he started talking about polical walls throughout the Torah and history. He contrasted it with all the love stories in the Torah that start around wells. Then two of the guys from the band went around the room and passed out buttons that say, "wells not walls." He didn't mention anything about the security fence in Israel specifically, but the more I thought about it, the more obvious it was. Within a few minutes into the song, I got myself too worked up to enjoy the show and had to leave.
I don't know what your political views are and that doesn't matter.
The venue was at a Conservative synagogue in a very liberal area of town. I realize that I was probably the biggest right-winger in the room. But I saw no indication beforehand that they would blindside me like that.
I'd love to hear what people think about this.

Peace In Our Time?

Powerline has this post," "Road map": charting with a bullet" about the Egyptian pop singer who had a huge hit with the song "I Hate Israel."

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


I received the following as part of a longer correspondence about my "HASC Story" post.
I'm surprised though that HASC has not done anything to try and change this reputation.
I'd like to clarify.... my post wasn't about HASC specifically, the HASC concert is simply one of the venues at which the behavior I criticized occurs. It's the same at many of these big events.

There is a culture in the Jewish music scene that is driven by a handful of producers, promoters, bands, and entertainers. It's a relatively small group, but they're the ones who promote these big concerts and the work atmosphere that they create doesn't jive with their public pronouncements. They act all pious in public, like for instance on the Nachum Segal show, onstage at these concerts, etc. but it doesn't match with what they're selling or how they're selling it and it certainly doesn't match with how they comport themselves. I've experienced it firsthand throughout my career, and I know that many others on the scene see things the same way I do.

I don't know if there is much that HASC can do that would stop people from speaking in an inappropriate or vulgar manner, or being unethical in ways that HASC knows nothing about. I suppose they could set boundaries and refuse to promote events with performers who have "misbehaved" in the past, but it would be tough to stick to for many reasons. I think the most effective "policing" as it were must come from those inside the industry who are aware of exactly what goes on, and are in the best position to actually do something about it.

Att: Bandleaders

Need a violinist? And he sings too!

Apparently, he is certified kosher by the OK.

I'm not sure how well a guy in a loincloth will go over in Brooklyn though.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Song of Jerusalem

Brian Blum has an interesting blog post.
Final 'graph:
But I was still thinking about how Mati warbled out the last line of that Louis Armstrong number earlier in the night. He had changed only a single word, but in that change he had demonstrated the kind of fusion that could only happen when a religious Yemenite with a red tallit spends the better part of the disco years in a Tel Aviv bar.
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful Jerusalem."
Thanks, Zev!

It Really Is Lo Alecha...

Jeff Klepper of "Kol B'seder" comments on Josh's Jewish OLGA:
Lo Alecha Hamelacha Ligmor is by myself (Jeff Klepper) and Dan Freelander, performing together as "Kol B'seder" since 1974. Sheyibaneh is by Motti Giladi and was added by some camp Ramah kids many many years ago. We also wrote the popular versions of Shalom Rav, Modeh Ani, and a bunch of other Hebrew and English songs...
Kol B'seder's versions of Shalom Rav and Modeh Ani are not known in the "frum" world, but are actually quite popular and are both included in the NFTY Fifty songbook. There are several Conservative/Reform artists who have had one song cross over to the "frum" community, but who are not well known within that community. It doesn't help that they aren't acknowledged when their songs are used. In addition to Lo Alecha, another example would be Debbie Friedman's "Alef Bet" song.

Jeff's post explains why the "Sheyibane" part of Lo Alecha is missing from their songbook. The Kol B'seder songbook is a great resource, especially if you teach elementary school and/or Reform, Conservative, or unaffiliated kids. Two songs I'd recommend are "Ten Commandments" and Etz Chayim" which are both a lot of fun.

Amazon has their songbook here:

Via Protocols

Well, You Needn't!

Thelonious Moog sound clips.

They don't do 'Round Midnight, though.

Medical Malpractice

George Harrison Autograph Case Settled!

More on 4'33"

I referenced John Cage's 4'33" in an earlier post. Here's some info on the copyright infringement case his estate won.

Here's more on John Cage.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

HASC Story

The big HASC concert is tonight, so I thought I'd share a HASC related story.

Years ago, a woman who I didn't know called me to try and set me up with someone. When I asked her how she felt she could set me up even though we'd never met and she didn't know me personally, her reply was that she was very involved with HASC and had seen what goes on backstage at the annual HASC concert. She told me that she "knows" what kind of lifestyle we "frum" musicians lead. Her impression was that "frum" musicians drink, get high, are promiscuous, and don't take yiddishkeit seriously. As a result, she was trying to set me up with a woman who was compatible with those "values" or lack thereof.

Frankly, her assumption, although in many cases unfair, is an accurate assessment of some of the JM people involved in the HASC event. For instance, it is widely known that one of the big "stars" drinks like a fish and gets plastered backstage before appearing onstage.

Incidentally, this behavior is being emulated by some of the younger singers now, too. I have heard about the members of one younger group swigging vodka backstage during intermission at their debut concert from a bottle they'd hidden in the restroom wastebasket.

Based on my experiences with many of these people and their backstage behavior at other concerts, I can totally understand how this woman arrived at her conclusion. The tone and general atmosphere behind the scenes at many of these events is quite low, however, it is by no means reflective of the many in the business, including performers at those events, who do try to keep to a higher level. Many musicians have complained to me recently about the atmosphere backstage at these events. Specifically, many are disturbed by the wholly inappropriate language and comments coming from "frum" and even "Chassidish" producers, performers and the like. The JM industry needs to hold itself to a higher standard.

eBay item

Yet again...

...and again!

Saturday, January 17, 2004


The BBC Symphony Orchestra performs John Cage's 4'33".

The concert will be broadcast live.
Seems that the BBC has taken steps to make sure that the transmitters don't switch off, as they are set to do when a prolonged silence is encountered. Mind you, how would we know!
Via the other blog in D minor

Att: Flautists

The Virtual Boehm Flute.

Kibud Eim!

Frank J. has written a poem,"THANK YOU MOM FOR NOT BLOWING YOURSELF UP."

Now someone has to set it to music.

New Job

Binyomin Brafman's got a new client.

Mazel Tov

Here's a link that includes a picture of the exhibit at Stockholm's Museum of National Antiquities that Israeli ambassador Zvi Mazel "destroyed." One of the "artists", Israeli-born Dror Feiler was supposed to perform a musical piece, but refused to play until the ambassador was ejected.

We are our own worst enemies.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Buy German Products?

Amazon has the original German pop tune, "Dschingis Khan", that was plagiarized by MBD as "Yidden", here:

Incidentally, Mostly Music still credits Yossi Green as having composed "Yidden." He didn't and perpetuating the deception is wrong.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

On Yanni

Yanni gets dissed!

Pavarotti and the Spice Girls


Via Back Row Of The 'Beis

Fringe in Israel

Here's a Jerusalem Post article on Blue Fringe's Israel concert.

Notable 'graph:
"Rosenblatt, however, is quick to clarify that unlike some Jewish bands he knows, Blue Fringe is not trying to preach to anyone. On the contrary, he says, the band aims to appeal to religious and secular Jews and non-Jewish audiences alike. Rosenblatt says they have achieved their goal."

Upcoming Concert

Uri Caine is performing with Dave Karakauer's "Klezmer Madness" at Carnegie Hall. Wish I could be there, but I have a gig that night. Oh, well!

I've met Caine and Krakauer --I took a master class with David -- and am a huge fan of both.

For those unfamiliar with these artists, I recommend Krakauer's "David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness!: Klezmer, NY" recording on the Tzadik record label which explores the hidden connections between Jazz clarinetist Sidney Bechet and Klezmer giant Naftule Brandwein, and Uri Caine's "Urlicht/Primal Light" which features his innovative arrangements of Mahler's music, available on the Winter and Winter label as great introductions to their work.

Amazon has them here:

Oy Vey!

Tanz mit mir - Yiddish Ballroom Dance
Just what we needed... the "Oifn Pripitchik Cha-cha."

Easy as Alef, Bet, Gimmel

Guess who's Jewish!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Don't Eat The Yellow Challah!

The Yada Blog has the scoop on a new television series featuring food-loving rock stars Dweezil Zappa and Lisa Loeb.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

On Moral Responsibility

This piece by Greg Sandow is quite thought provoking and relates to this JM issue. I think everyone in the industry ought to reflect on this.

Key 'graphs:
But even without a full investigative study, here's a question worth asking. Never, in all my years in this business, have I talked about all this with anyone who thinks the stories aren’t true. Why, then, do we treat this musician with such respect? If we praise his performances, why don’t we do it with reserve? How can we support him for major appointments, as many of us have done? Including me, I have to say; I need to rethink my own behavior, just as much as anybody else.
One thing at stake here is classical music’s credibility; our need, which I think is very urgent, to show we live in the same world as everybody else. So enough with the artistic piety, the pretense of loftiness, the wish to be judged by higher standards than those of everyday life. Which is more important -- the glory of classical music, or the safety of our children?

Life On Mars!

Here's the proof.

White Men Can't Dance!

Bandleaders, need a trombone player?

Music to Campaign By

Songs for Dean.

Apparently, JM isn't the only niche market capable of coming up with vapid English lyrics. if there wasn't enough reason to reject Dean already!

Friday, January 09, 2004

The Jazz Bochur

Here's a JPost article/update about Danny Zamir an incredible sax player I played with while he was here in the States.
Best line:
As an observant Jew, Zamir feels his on-stage behavior has to reflect his spiritual yearnings.
I'm glad to see that he's still writing and performing. His Tzadik releases are quite good.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Spritual Composition

Here's an interesting Forward article on composer Daniel Asia.

Ineresting 'graph:
"It was his introduction to the chasidic niggun, a wordless vocal chant, at an Upper West Side minyan in the late 1970s that steered Asia back toward the old-fashioned idea of viewing music as a means to connect with a higher power. The intense davening of the shtiebl-like minyan opened up a wellspring of creativity for Asia that imbued the very act of composing with spirituality."
I've heard similar sentiments expressed by many other Jewish composers and musicians. What's interesting is that no one appears to view the JM coming out of the Brooklyn scene today in the same way. It would seem that the religious community ought to be producing the most spiritual Jewish music, but with rare exception it doesn't.

Bloggin' In The Wind

Nelson Ascher revamps the Dylan classic.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

This One's A Classic!

Greg Sandow has an interesting post about Columbia House's (one of the biggest record clubs) decision to stop selling Classical music recordings.

Monday, January 05, 2004

But What's Her Jewish Name?

Yuter's OLGA!

Update: His version of Baruch Hagever includes the notation that "the words are from Yirmiyahu 17:7, but Yirmiyahu 17:5 works well too! (Arur hagever asher yivtach ba'adam, vesam bassar zero'o)"

Music Appreciation Day

It's "Music Appreciation Day" at Blog in Dm.

Here are some memorable musical moments for your listening pleasure.

Our top pick: "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" (scroll down) by "Those Darn Accordions."

We also recommend Pat Boone's version of "Smoke On The Water" (scroll down) and this version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" performed by the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra (scroll down).

Sunday, January 04, 2004

eBay item

It's back again!

More Reader Email

One reader writes in response to the YU Battle of the Bands article:
"That was the worst article I ever read ... So this girl doesn’t like mainstream music like Emes, but alternative music like the Jason Caplan quartet. They were terrible, and Emes was actually great. Go figure…"
While another one writes:
"That review was priceless. If I weren't married happily, I would want to marry her!!"

Friday, January 02, 2004

New Musical

Sing for Your Seder - The Musical! begins its run.

Here's the plot summary:
Sarah Goldman's boyfriend isn't Jewish, so in order to impress her parents she hires a Jewish actor to join them for Passover dinner. But it turns out the actor's only Jewish background is appearing in a production of Fiddler on the Roof.
Oy! ... or should that be L'chaim?

Mistaken Identity

Jimmy Beaumont is alive and singing the classics!

What Wrong Note?

Here's an interview with banjoist Tony Trishka. I heard him play once and he is quite good. He describes a concert he once played:
The interesting thing is that some guy in Kansas, Paul Elwood, who was a banjo player and a modern classical composer, said he’d like to write a banjo concerto for me with a percussion ensemble base on “Avondale” So, innocently, I said, “sure”. The next year, around ’84, he came up to me and he had actually done it. He handed me all this crazy music. I ended up doing this three movement piece with the Wichita Percussion Ensemble in front of 500 people, and it’s the most nervous I’ve ever been. It was the first time I ever wore a tuxedo. The whole piece was completely atonal. It was called, “The Void Beneath the Coffee Table”. It’s a great piece of music. I made a mistake right at the beginning of it, but no one could tell because it was atonal.
Via the other blog in Dm.

Heavy Metal with a Hechser

Here's a review of the album by Pesach Chaim titled "I'm A Baal Teshuvah." The reviewer writes:
Chaim's vocals are wobbly, echoey, and for many tracks offkey and offbeat. Half singing and half spoken word, the lyrics are all in English except for Hebrew and Yiddish terms. Sample lyrics include: "When you're thinking of that/cute shiksa or shaygetz/Just learn Chumash with Rashi/learn Chumash with Rashi/learn Chumash with Rashi!"
The review also notes that:
The album was verbally approved by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, son of the famous Rabbi Moshe Feinstein who, according to the liner notes said the album was very "original". With a smile on his face, he also said he liked it."
According to the artist's page on CD Freedom (which has soundclips):
"I know my singing isn't the greatest but I did the best I could. You have to give me credit for it."
The story of how he taught himself to play heavy metal is interesting.
"Pesach Chaim is disabled. He has a neurobiological disorder. Please support disabled artists."