Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dm on the Radio

Dm was interviewed today on Ben Bresky's "The Beat" show on Israel National Radio. You can listen to the interview all week on their website.

There's A New Blog In Town...

Here's Yitz's blog, "Heichal HaNegina."

Kol Hakavod!

Here's one reason why I respect Avraham Fried.

Matisyahu Cartoon


Friday, July 29, 2005

Even Moasu

Mobius interviews Matisyahu.

Holocaust Violins

The Jerusalem Post has an interesting article about violins that survived the Shoah. Here's a bit:
In one now famous story, a 12-year-old boy named Motale used his musical talents to murder over 200 German SS officers in Russia. As the story is told by Seffi Hanegbi, his grandfather and father were members of a Russian and Jewish partisan group operating in the forests of Belarus. They found the sleeping boy in the forest with a violin case by his side. They took him in, but he refused to admit his Jewish ancestry, until he overheard the men saying Kaddish for their mother and sister.

One day, the men sent Motale into a town square to eavesdrop on German officers. As a cover, Motale played his violin in the square and the German officers were so enchanted with his music that they asked him to play at a concert in the coming weeks. Motale continued to play in the town square every day during those weeks while secretly stashing TNT into the pillars of the building where the ceremony was to be held. On the day Motale was to perform, he blew up the building instead, killing many of the officers inside.

Although Motale was killed in a later operation, the Hanegbi family preserved his violin and brought it to Israel where it now resides in Yad Vashem's collection. His violin will be played this Sunday in a concert given at Yad Vashem by participants from the Summer 2005 Keshet Eilon Violin Masterclasses.

Make Music: Don't Install Mac version of Finale 2006

Peter at createdigitalmusic reports.

Taking Stock (not Viacom)

Ever since I began reading blogs, I have believed that they have the power to change the Jewish community in profound ways. The CBS Rathergate brouhaha, among others, illustrates the ability of bloggers to powerfully affect public discourse. The same holds true for the Jewish community. I am convinced that blogs can change the community for the good. They can, of course, also be used for negative means and bloggers need to be careful to use their medium wisely.

A little history…

When I started Blog in Dm, there was little to no coverage of the Orthodox Jewish music world online. And, I believe that aside from the Klezmer Shack which covers mainly Klezmer, Yiddish, and Balkan music, there were no blogs dedicated to Jewish music.

What started out as an attempt to explore the possibilities of writing online evolved rather quickly from anonymous critiques of the state of the Orthodox JM community, to pseudonymous commentary on many aspects of Jewish music and the JM industry with a healthy dose of humor, music technology writing, and miscellaneous pop music culture links added to the mix.

I had assumed that few if any people would be reading. As I was experimenting and finding my “blog voice”, something interesting happened. People began to share their thoughts, and I discovered that many people, both inside and outside the industry, were reading the blog and shared my opinions, and I realized that there was a large audience interested in the topics I was writing about. Even in cases where people disagreed with me, a dialogue, long overdue in my opinion, began to take place. Then, other Jewish music blogs started popping up, and before long there were many diverse voices engaging in a give and take on issues that had not been publicly discussed previously.

As I continued writing this blog, I became convinced that this blog had the potential to have an impact on the Jewish music industry well beyond that which I could personally have. In particular, I came to believe that it could serve as a useful tool for countering the deliberate misinformation put out by some in the industry and helping to improve the general ethical state of the industry. . I believe that this blog, and others, have achieved some measure of success in addressing these issues.

A few comments…

I believe that people who lie (I use that word deliberately) to the public do not have the right to complain when said untruths are responded to in public. I also believe that when people insult the public’s intelligence in their ad copy, the public is entitled to point that fact out -- especially, when it is part of an industry-wide practice that has negative impacts on our community as a whole. And, I believe that those who misrepresent Judaism or Torah publicly should expect that their misrepresentations are going to be corrected in public. The undisputable reality is that within the halachik tradition, there is a wide range of opinions on issues like the appropriateness of using secular tunes etc. People are entitled to follow their posek, or choose to follow a more stringent path for themselves, but that doesn’t entitle them to disparage those with opposing views.

In general, I tend to focus on the “macro issues” rather than on individual misdeeds, although I will highlight some of those on occasion to illustrate a particular issue: usually only when they are already public knowledge, or those involved are the ones publicizing it.

I should point out that I believe that most who engage in these improper practices are simply emulating what they’ve seen others do. I believe that these people, if challenged to think about the appropriateness of their behavior, will in fact consider the issues and change their ways. However, there are some who deliberately and cynically use these techniques and then act all self-righteous when they are called on it. This is something that occurs in many areas in our community, not only related to music, and the community needs to strongly speak out against such behavior. People who cynically manipulate concepts such as lashon hara, beis din, hasagas g’vul, etc. ought not be allowed to benefit from their corrupt actions.

I’ve been amazed at the response this blog has gotten both in the sheer volume of readers, as well as in who is amongst that readership and I’d like to thank all those who have emailed to share their thoughts and opinions.

I still haven’t gotten over the fact that I can pen a review of a music software program and hear from the program’s creator or that I can write about an interesting CD I’ve read about and have the composer contact me the next day. Among many interesting contacts, I’ve had a well-known rabbi send me mp3’s of his compositions, a singer I wrote about asking production questions about recording with certain musicians, and I’ve “met” many interesting musicians (and some non-musicians and rabbis too) from around the world. The publisher of one of the JM advertising mags has asked permission to reprint some of my content (I decided not to give permission) and a business associate of one of the most egregious JM PR abusers has written to express agreement with criticisms of said JM performer. It’s been incredible to meet Jewish musicians from all over the world, playing many different styles of Jewish music, from Klezmer, Rock, Folk, Jazz, and more, who share my passion for Jewish music.

It should also be obvious that my readers, some of who have not wished to be identified, have sent many of the links and tips that have been posted here. I’d like to thank them all for their assistance.

I’d also like to thank all of the bloggers who have linked to my posts or blogrolled me, and those websites that have added this blog to their resources list. It has also been gratifying to see bloggers that I have directly inspired, as well as their “blog-children” (can I show you pictures of my “blog-grandchildren?”) adding to the positive side of the J-blogosphere.

Mistakes, I’ve made a few…

Early on, I “fisked” a number of articles and interviews. For those unfamiliar with the term, Samizdata defines it as:
verb. To deconstruct an article on a point by point basis in a highly critical manner. Derived from the name of journalist Robert Fisk, a frequent target of such critical articles in the blogosphere.
I’ve come to realize that his approach, although in common use among the blogs I was reading at the time, frequently comes across as bitter or nasty to people who are not personally familiar with the writer, or who haven’t read much else that they have written. In some cases, it appears that my message was obscured by the style or form I used to deliver it. Context is everything, and in this case, especially for those readers who hadn’t previously read other blogs, they lacked the background information necessary to understand that approach.

With regard to the “JM PR Watch” feature I occasionally run which simply quotes over-the-line hyperbole from Jewish music PR.… I believe that the outrageous PR really needs to stop, and, as I mentioned above, I believe that highlighting specific examples of it is a fair way of drawing attention to the problem. After all, the artists/producers put this material out in public for people to see, so the public is certainly entitled to say that it’s untrue or inappropriate. There’s a huge difference between public and private speech. “JM PR Watch” generally consists of selected excerpts of the actual PR text; with few if any comments. It speaks for itself.

In one case though, I probably should have approached things differently. A while back, when one singer updated his website, he included his old PR “articles” (paid ads, actually) on the site as news. A portion of one of those essays was forwarded to me, as is often the case, for inclusion in JM PR Watch. This was perhaps the most outrageous piece of JM PR I’ve seen (it involved the glorifying of deceptive behavior) and so I posted it. In retrospect, though, given that I know this artist well (the piece included a story about two JM personalities), and the story is so out of character for him, I probably should have emailed him first to see if he’d remove it from his site prior to posting. I’m reasonably certain that he simply hasn’t thought about the lesson being given over by that story, in which he was mostly a passive participant. I do still think that it is inappropriate and that he should remove it from his website.

Another JM PR Watch piece also created a buzz. I linked to an artist’s website that claimed that his debut CD had hit the stores for Lag Ba’omer and was selling well. The only problem was that it was weeks before Lag Ba’omer. My comment was “eizehu ashir, haroeh es hanolad.” This relatively innocuous posting resulted in the artist being sent several emails (that I know of, there were probably more) calling him a liar. (One of these was even tiled “Email to a Liar.”) One blogger posted an email exchange he’d had with said artist, and I later linked to it, although in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have because it wasn’t clear to me that the artist knew that his emails would be made public. The comments section of another blog then took off on this performer, with commentators posting many personally unflattering comments about this singer.

In short, what was most likely a time of anticipation and excitement at the start of a new career by this performer was marred by an influx of negative comments and publicity. Although the criticism was legitimate, the overload or cumulative effect of the many emails and comments seemed excessive to me, especially given the fact that he’d not done anything more egregious than others in the industry.

This leads to my next point. Today, there are many blogs that focus at least partly on Jewish music and have joined the discussion. For the most part, this is a good thing. However, in some cases, the “noise” that has erupted over specific issues -- whether through these blogs, or through the comments section on other blogs -- has resulted in a clouding of what my position on that issue is. I have found that some people tend to “blur” the many different things they’ve read on the JM blogs into one “meta-view” and ascribe the same position to all of us. The reality is that the JM bloggers each have their own opinions, and it is simply unfair to hold one blogger responsible for a view or position expressed on another blog. Sure, there are often commonalities, but even when we agree, there are frequently differences of nuance within our respective positions.

On criticism…

I welcome criticism and my general policy has been to publish critical emails. To the best of my recollection, there have been two exceptions. In both of those cases – they were sent months apart but addressed the same point -- the writers appeared to confuse what I’d written with what had appeared on other blogs. (Incidentally, that’s not why I didn’t publish them. The reason I didn’t post them is because they raised personal issues about a certain JM performer that I felt shouldn’t be published.)

To sum up, this has been an interesting two years, and I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation. Prose it!

Apologies for the atrocious pun! I couldn’t resist.

That's Weird

Got a nice brochure from Finale in the mail today. Needed to note that they're now touting an endorsement from "Weird" Al Yankovic.
Finale gives me all the flexibility I need for even my most ridiculous arrangements.
Color me impressed, not!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

You Can Save A Life!

Arkady emails:
DEAR Blog in Dm,



Given your position as not just a mere blog, but a UNIQE Meeting Place for Jewish Music lovers on the Internet, I believe that this post on Michael Brecker COULD HELP SAVE HIS LIFE, by connecting him to a Jewish community, which falls into a LIKELY DONOR MATCH DEMOGRAPHICS!

Hey, if you found room for mentioning ME, Arkady:), there MUST be room in your Blog for an article on MICHAEL BRECKER!!!, particularly when it's a matter of LIFE AND DEATH, and not just some gig announcement!!!!

I am going to DONATE, if they let me! I just want to do ALL I CAN to SAVE MICHAEL BRECKER'S LIFE! He's been one of THE GREATEST MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS of my life!!! Aside from all his Grammies etc, Michael is unarguably MUSICIANS' MUSICIAN, to say the least!!!

For now, I am emailing this to a bunch of Russians Jews that I know in NYC Area, and many others. I hope that everyone takes this email to heart, and that people use all their CREATIVE THINKING, as far as "connections", in order to increase Michael's ODDS for a DONOR MATCH!

I'll also try to explore any and all OTHER connections that I have to a Jewish Community in NYC and beyond, and I hope that whoever reads this email will do the same!!!...

To quote Michael's wife, Susan --

"This involves getting as many people of a similar genetic background to be tested....

A match for Michael would be most likely to come from those of Eastern European Jewish descent. If you or anyone you know are in this category please make a special effort to immediately get tested.... "

Below is a full text of Susan' Brecker's email. PLEASE READ ALL OF IT!!!

I am in no way a spokesman for Brecker family etc. I am just a sax player who loves Michael Brecker's music, and by forwarding this email from Mrs. Brecker, I am simply trying to help her connect the dots...

 Arkady
web site:
Here's the email from Michael's wife, Susan:
FROM: Susan Brecker
SUBJECT: Michael Brecker needs your help.

Dear Family and Friends,

My husband, Michael Brecker, has been diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), and its critical that he undergoes a stem cell transplant. The initial search for a donor (including Michael's siblings and children) has not yet resulted in a suitable match. Michael's doctors have told us that we need to immediately explore ALL possible options. This involves getting as many people of a similar genetic background to be tested.

There are some important points to understand concerning this process:

1. The screening involves a blood test only. It can be done veryquickly either at a marrow donation center or at a LOCAL LAB. The cost is anywhere from $40 to $75 and your insurance may cover it.  (In NYC, you can call Frazier, at the NY Blood Bank, at 212-570-3441, and make an appointment for HLA typing.  It costs $40.00.)  Check with your local blood bank, or go to to find the donor center nearest you.

2. Your blood typing information can be posted on the international registry, if you choose, where it would also be available to others in need of a transplant. BEING ON THE REGISTRY DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO DONATE, it just means that you may be ASKED to do so. You can take your name off the registry at any time.

3.  Should you be selected as a potential donor for Michael,  please understand that there have been tremendous advances in bone marrow transplants and the term itself can be misleading.  Bone marrow donation is no more invasive than giving blood.  Stem cells are simply harvested from your blood and then transplanted to Michael.

4.  A match for Michael would be most likely to come from those of Eastern European Jewish descent. If you or anyone you know are in this category please make a special effort to immediately get tested. Ultimately, you would be doing something not just for Michael, but for so many more who are in a similar situation as my husband.

5. You are now part of our internet-based drive for donor testing. If everyone who receives this can motivate a bunch of their friends to get tested, and those friends then forward this email to get their friends to get tested, we will have rapidly expanded the pool of potential donors. I urge all of you to get tested AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Any local blood center/Red Cross center can assist in organizing a drive for Michael, although it would be desirable if you can get a large group, e.g. a synagogue, to sponsor it. Should you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Michael's management office at 212.302.9200 or

Thank you so much for your love and support.

We are so grateful.


Michael Brecker is 56 and an internationally renowned jazz musician. As a result of his harmonic innovations, Michael is among the most studied contemporary instrumentalists in music schools throughout the world today. Michael has played on hundreds of albums with artists ranging from Herbie Hancock to James Taylor, from Paul Simon to Frank Zappa to Quincy Jones, Chet Baker and Bruce Springsteen---and on and on. As a leader and co-leader of The Brecker Brothers (with Randy Brecker) and Directions in Music (with Herbie Hancock and Roy Hargrove), Michael has received 11 Grammy Awards, more than any saxophonist, ever. For further information, go to
I strongly encourage whoever reads this to get tested as I was many years ago. I haven't been a match for anyone so far --hopefully I will at some point -- but you may well be.

It is important to realize that the greatest chance of finding a match comes from others of similar genetic background. Every person (of Eastern European Jewish descent in this case) who gets tested increases the pool of potential matches for all people with similar genetic backgrounds who may need a transplant. To those from other genetic backgrounds, even if you won't be a match for Michael, you may well be for someone else. Here's a link to Ezer Mizion's info page about the importance of the registry. Take a few minutes to read about this and please get tested!

This Week's JM Articles

The Jerusalem Post reviews Pharoah's Daughter and Avromy Flam's latest releases.

The Forward has two music-related articles in this week's edition.

The Jewish Week profiles Blue Fringe. This time around, they don't note that lead singer Dov Rosenblatt is Jewish Week editor and publisher Gary Rosenblatt's son.

Updated 7/29/05
Saw the print edition of the Jewish Week. The Blue Fring article is featured on the front page as well as the first two full pages (less ads) of the arts section inside. It's legitimate for the J-Week to cover the band, but they should have disclosed the Rosenblatt's relationship.

Monday, July 25, 2005

7/25/05 Link Dump

Via Hirhurim:
A yeshiva bochur asked his rebbe if it's muttar to go to the opera. The rebbe replied, "You're not over till the fat lady sings."
Frummer contrasts two articles. (Hat tip - LIFE-of-RUBIN)

TTC gets spanked for promoting Beyond Eden on Jewschool. offers the "Worst Cover Songs of All-Time."

FOX News reports on a Sony payola scandal.

Ricky Martin is , um well,... decide for yourselves.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Last Night, My Prayer Was Answered

In my solitude you haunt me
With reveries of days gone by
In my solitude you taunt me
With memories that never die
I sit in my chair
I'm filled with despair
There's no one could be so sad
With gloom ev'rywhere
I sit and I stare
I know that I'll soon go mad
In my solitude
I'm praying
Dear Lord above
Send back... the "guy who sang on Baruch Aboud's album."

With apologies to Eddie De Lange.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I Can't Hear The Bass!

Alexander Gelfandwas at a recent Klezka gig.
Unfortunately, the band was hardly at its best in its May 12 performance at Satalla. Playing a late set to an empty house -- beset by sound problems, an absent bassist and a keyboard player who unfamiliar with the repertoire -- Klezska spent most of the evening at sea. Having to negotiate key signatures with a musician between songs is bad enough. Having to stop and start a tune three times while yelling chord changes at him is far worse. But it was the lack of a bass player that proved truly lethal.
Bad night to have a critic in the audience!

Painful Posts

Some of the most compelling writing I've read on J-blogs has been written by bloggers who are pained by an issue. Whether the topic is personal or philosophical, the personal stake these writers have in their subject makes for moving reading.

The loss of a child is perhaps the hardest thing a person can live through. Recently, we linked to a music-related post on Robert Avrech's blog which he keeps in memory of his son Ariel.

Here's another moving blog, "Moving On", written by Glen Holman whose daughter, Nechama Liba died last summer. Here's Glen's "Letter To Uncle Moishy."

Both of these blogs are a painful, but highly recommended read. May the Avrechs and Holmans find comfort b'soch saha'r aveili zion v'Yerusholayim.

7/14/05 Link Dump

Here is Not The Godol Hador on "Yidden."

Dr Yitzchok Levine writes about simchos in this week's the Jewish Press. Here's his take on music:
I have been at chasunas where the music was so loud that I could not talk to the person sitting next to me without shouting. We simply could not hear each other over the music. Indeed, there are times when guests leave the hall to find peace and quiet. Why is louder considered better? Why can`t the decibel level be such that one can hear the music and carry on a conversation? Why does one have to risk damaging one`s eardrums to participate in some chasunas?

Today it is the custom for young couples to bring infants to a chasuna. I can only wonder at the irreparable damage that may be done to the hearing of these young children. Given this and other considerations, it is incomprehensible why young couples think it appropriate to bring infants to simchas. Years ago this was almost never done. Has something changed that I am not aware of?
With regard to his first point, there's a simple solution. If people would note which bands are the ones that are playing too loud at the affairs they're attending and would resolve not to hire them for their own events, then the problem would cure itself. There are several bands that are quite volume conscious in the NY area and are good options on musical grounds too.

His second point strikes me as er... less then compelling, despire the fact that he is correct that babies shouldn't be exposed to loud music. In my experience, the babies present at weddings are usually either the siblings or nieces and nephews of the Chasan and Kallah. In most cases, there simply is no childcare option that is appropriate, other than having a sitter attend to the children in the wedding hall.

Here's a pair of must-have plugins for your DAW; "more cowbell" and "Radio Shack cables."

Jewcy profiles Blue Fringe and Ben Laden

LIFE-of-RUBIN notes that the price isn't right!

We Want Mikimi Now!

Yitz emails in response to Reb Moshe:
Mikimi was composed in 1968, and released on record in by 1969-70. The record was called "I Heard the Wall Singing," a double-record set.

It is well-known to Carlebach people that Reb Shlomo's niggunim often were composed without words, and that he later added words to them. Sometimes he would also change the original adaptation to another set of words. Two brief examples: the tune everyone knows as "Samcheim" was originally set to "Umalteim mikol Ra'os" from Selichos of Erev Rosh Hashana. Reb Shlomo's well-known "Nachamu" was originally "Tzaddik KaTamar Yifrach."

Reb Moshe - if I can get a copy of that tape, I would be very grateful. Please also find out what year it was from.
I think it may be time for Yitz to get his own blog.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Bat Mitzvah Blues

Golda Leah's got 'em.

7/11/05 Link Dump

Haaretz has a great article about Israeli musicologist Yaakov Mazor.

The Jerusalem Post reviews Ruby Harris' "Almost Home' albumfrom a few years back. Musicians who played on that recording (which we highly recommend for blues fans) include "Pinetop Perkins" and Lester "Mad Dog" Davenport.

Talk about poor guerilla marketing.


"Tom" is revealing deep JM secrets. Paging Woodward and Bernstein!

Here's a great DJ set we found by following a Google refer:

The Beach Boys - Cool Cool Water
Arthur Lyman - China Clipper
Van Dyke Parks - Sweet Trinidad
Lord Hawk - Sharing Yo Rice
Lord Kitchner - Get Up And Get
Van Dyke Parks - Jack Palance
Lord Kitchner - Cricket Champions
America - Ventura Highway
George Sivaro and his Orchestra - Where Or When
E.L.O. - Confusion
Andre Kostelanetz - Are You Lonesome Tonight?
The Osmonds - Let Me In
The Beach Boys - Hawaii (live)
The Beatles - Fool On The Hill
The Hi Lo's - A New Dream
Crosby Stills Nash and Young - Carry On
Edmundo Ros - Aquarius
The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist
Ennio Morricone - Addio A Cheyenne
The Avalanches - Little Journey
Xavier Cougat - Green Eyes
Louis Armstrong - I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby
Ella Adler and the Neshoma Orchestra - Warm Up (Jewish Aerobics Instructional)
Jurassic 5 - Swingset (instrumental)
The Four Freshman - Swingin' On A Star
Edmundo Ros - Felicidade
Os Mutantes - Desculpe Babe
Azzido Da Bass - Dooms Night Club
Los Llamas - Y No Soy Insensible
The KG's - Find A Friend
The Jackson Sisters - Why Do Fools Fall In Love
The Avalanches - Since I left You
The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
The Avalanches - Pablo's Cruise
Gun's 'n' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle
Hmm... Ella Adler and Gn'R. Who'da thunk it?

From the mailbag...

Reb Moshe comments on this topic:
Very interesting blog. No time to comment right now.

What year did Reb Shlomo compose Mkimi?

The reason I am asking is because I have a tape of the niggun being sung at a farbrengen. It's possible that there is away to track down the year.. but I'd have to research it.

On the tape you can hear the Rebbe himself singing almost the entire time. This unusual even at the earlier farbrengens.

Although Shlomo was a dear student of the Rebbe, I find it difficult they would adopt his Mkimi and sing it without words at a farbrengen.
The implication is absurd. Shlomo composed that melody.

Bert Stratton of the Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Band emails:
1. "To Kugel," a New Verb

Yiddishe Cup recently Kugel-ed the owner of The Ark, the acoustic music club in Ann Arbor, Mich. One of Yiddishe Cup's biggest fan, Lea Grossman, delivered a homemade noodle kugel to The Ark's headquarters. The Ark's owner was startled . . . What, did he expect brisket with that?

Lea really wants to sing with the band again, like she did at Yiddishe Cup's prior Ark appearance.

File this one under "Jewish Forklore, 21st Century."
The band will be heading this way in April:
Heads-up, New Yorkers: Yiddishe Cup plays Brooklyn next year. When our lead singer heard about the gig, he asked, "You mean Brooklyn, Ohio?" (Brooklyn is a suburb of Cleveland.) No, the real Brooklyn, singer man! The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, April 23. More on that later.
Sibelius co-founder Ben Finn emails:
I liked your review of Sibelius vs Finale on your blog recently. Your observations are spot on!

P.S. We've just announced Sibelius 4 (hot on the heels of Finale 2006) - you may like it.
I'm looking forward to trying it out. It's scheduled to ship the first week of August, and I'll try to post a review after I've spent some time with the program.

Email from a "Peep"

Yaakov Steinhart writes:
I just wanted to add one thing to the 'peeps' discussion. The "jump/signal the final note at the end of a set" guy. The one who leaps up in the air and lands just as the final cymbal crash sounds. If he's got his timing right. Which isn't that often.

In the interests of full disclosure, I am usually that guy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Peeps Keep Coming

P'sachya Septimus writes:
Having survived much of the June season, I have two more "peeps" for you (if you can stand any more):

1) The Mapquest Specialist: This is the guy who decides that the shortest distance between any two points in the hall is - right across the bandstand! (Why is there never a cattle prod when you need one...)

2) The Lulav Shaker: This guy feels a religious obligation to grasp your speaker pole with both hands & shake vigorously. Extra points if he can actually topple your speaker and injure someone.

Some Links and Emails

Here's a forum about the " Worst Bar Mitzvah Songs."

Last month, Noa wrote about how the band she'd booked for her wedding had jerked her around. We missed it then, but we're linking now.

Reminds us of a strange phone conversation we had with a woman a few months back. She'd talked to us about playing her wedding, but decided to go with a well-known klezmer musician's band instead. A few months after losing the gig, we get a call from her. She still hasn't received a contract from the band, although she's asked for one many times, and wants to know what we thought. Basically, she seemed to be looking for assurances that the band would show up at her affair. It was quite odd!

Peter Kirn of of writes:
When I saw you'd linked to my Finale 2006 impressions in your blog, I really *wanted* to say something about a new version of Sibelius -- but of course, couldn't. ;-) Now I can:

Sibelius 4: Video, Dynamic Parts, Worksheets Added to Notation Software -
I'll post my impressions soon.

Aryeh Steiner writes:
I've started a Jewish Music Blog. I just wanted to say that I enjoy your site very much. As a professional musician, I can't tell you how funny your "Peeps in the Hood" are.

My URL is
Aryeh's previous website, which we've linked in the past, is here.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Takana Update!

Blog in Dm's Waldorf correspondent reports that dependent upon the resolution of these shailos, two of the four bands at yesterday's gig may have been takana compliant.

Friday, July 01, 2005

More Peeps!

Jordan Hirsch adds another Peep to Da Hood:
The Air traffic Controller:

Comes over to the Bandleader, (as happened at my job last night) and starts waving his hand in a quick circular motion. (Maybe he is more like an egg beater than an Air traffic controller.) When the Bandleader asks him (as I did ) to be a bit more specific, he waves his hands in disgust and walks away. By the way, I ran after him on a break and gave him some advice about appropriate ways to communicate with bandleaders, which he took with grace.

The Air traffic controller's sister is the girl who over to the band and says "could you play faster?" Usually she is single, and just needs that music to go faster... and faster...and faster...and.....well, think Meg Ryan in the Deli scene.
(Last night, when I did take the temp up a notch, I in fact heard screams from the Women's side. Wow. I didn't know that that was all it took.)

Still More Peeps In Da Hood

Here are some more people to add to our "Peeps In Da Hood" series.

1) Volume Boy
2) Guitar Face

"Volume Boy" is the yeshiva kid who always complains that the band needs to be louder, nevermind the fact that the walls are already shaking from the high-volume. Thehe polar opposite of the notorious Rabbi Jeff Forsythe, it's always fun when he and the bride's grandmother address their volume issues to the bandleader at the same time.

"Guitar Face" watches the guitarist all night and grimaces in approval (that's the best way I can describe it) whenever the guitarist plays heavy distorted power chords. He may also play some light "air guitar" along with said power chords. The guitarist might have been playing hip changes, creative lines, and interesting chordal riffs most of the gig, but it's only those moments of "power chord zen" that give "Guitar Face" his kicks.