Thursday, July 06, 2006

From the mailbag...

Rafi G. forwards a link to the Simchat Yechiel - Kol Berama Choir - CD preview page as well as some mp3's. His wife composed two of the songs.

Menagenet writes:
I came across your blog while Googling for "lo talin pe'ulat sachir itcha ad boker". I was surprised that my transliterated spelling actually matched someone else's.

You cited where it was from, and I wanted to tell a friend..a musician who had not been paid promptly by one of the club date offices. I have a background of both Orthodox Judaism and the club date world.

I came across your posts about song parodies, and about how outside the traditional style(s) much of today's recorded Jewish music is.

I couldn't agree more with most of what you said. Jewish music as played at contemporary simchot does not come across from the folk music traditions (Eastern European and Middle Eastern) out of which it arose. It's true that all styles evolve over hundreds of years....But many of my friends acknowledge that if they had to play I IV V all night long, every night, with no fun substitutions and reharmonizations/variations, they'd go NUTS..They reharmonize out of try and make the music more interesting to THEM.

There is some "shtick" that is for the audience.....breaks, a capella bits, and so forth. That's very nice. I must admit, guiltily, that I love what the really good ones do when they transcend stylistic boundaries with "cool" chord changes and other such rearrangements...But it's still not the traditional style...

Frankly, I don't think most guests at a wedding would notice all that much if the keyboard player substituted the occasional Dmin7 with a Bmin7(b5), and resolve downward to A7 to Dmin7....Carlebach was a folk composer. Like his music or not, he didn't hire fancy arrangers to reharmonize his stuff to make it sound like Kenny G outtakes with busy string counterlines which get in the way of the vocal, and horn hits out of 1980s pop records.

Bob Dylan didn't need fancy tensions in his chords to write what is often cited as the greatest rock and roll song of all time˜"Like A Rolling Stone".

One other point: Almost no one in the Orthodox world seems to get that recording and /or selling (which includes live performance) song parodies without obtaining permission (when necessary) paying appropriate mechanical royalties, and performance royalties to the original composers/publishers, is stealing in the name of God. If there's any mitzvah involved in bringing rock and roll with a Jewish message to kids, isn't it a mitzvah ha'ba'ah b'aveirah? I brought this up to a few of the parodists in the Jewish world. One told me that the owners of the original songs would have to catch him first, and they never would because his albums are too small time. Real good stuff, huh? :) ..I'm sure God's very impressed. Another had the nerve to tell me (in more vulgar language) that stealing from someone who's not Jewish isn't the same as stealing from a Jew. How disgusting.

It's really funny to watch these Orthodox Jews (and others too, of course) invoke God to promote their political or personal agendas, but who go on to steal in His name, in violation of Torah Law AND Copyright Law. Cute, huh? They send their kids to yeshiva, and give "charity" with money they should be paying to music publishers and composers. Enough ranting.
Welcome aboard, sister!

Richard R. writes:
Have you any information on the source of the gospel Pischu Li -- the date and location of its performance and the soloists and choir? It is dated 5/30 and comes from Shmuel.
Anyone know the source?