Wednesday, May 17, 2006

From the mailbag...

Psachya writes:
I love the idea of using John Cage's "4:33" as a fanfare. Here's another suggestion: For customers who insist on continuous music, put a copy of "4:33" on each musician's music stand during breaks. If you want an especially long break, put repeat signs before "Tacet 1" and after "Tacet 3". Voila - continuous music!
Hey, lets do a comp album. 10 different J-bands each performing their own arrangement of the tune. I call Hassidisco! I hope we won't get sued!

David K. writes:
Regarding your recent post on the subject - what about Zev Brenner's Talkline giving Dov Shurin airtime every motzei Shabbos? Its sad that the NY Jewish market has to settle for this - not to mention motzei Shabbos programming that is all too often one long commercial for an electronics store - don't we have enough microwaves and ipods?
In my original post on this topic, "Radical Jewish Music (Not by John Zorn)", I wrote:
I've always been disturbed by the connection between the Brooklyn jewish music scene and the radical “Kahanistas.” Dov Shurin, extremist, and the composer of the song, Zochreini Na, writes a regular column for the Country Yossi magazine, a journal which has come to be identified with the JM scene. I find it embarrassing that the JM community isn’t ashamed to be associated with such amoral, anti-halachik views.

I think that at the very least there ought to be a public debate about the appropriateness of singing “songs of revenge”, but to the best of my knowledge, no Rav here in America has addressed the issue. The artists, producers, distributors, and promoters on the “scene” here have an obligation to the communal good and shouldn’t be associating themselves with extremist views.

It is not my intent to deny Mr. Shurin the right to express his views, abhorrent though they are. But, I am saddened at the lack of moderate voices on the Jewish music scene and troubled by their flirtation with and tacit endorsement of the radical right.