Friday, April 13, 2007

From the mailbag... (Pesach Peeps edition)

Dan Saks writes:
I've got a Sephardic rock band called DeLeon with a big show coming up at Bowery Ballroom on the 19th of April. I've attached a press release in case you'd be interested in writing a post about it. I'd love to get a little buzz going, as that's to be our first show and we're pretty excited about the possibilities. Feel free to email me with any questions and thanks for your time!
Here's the release:
The music of the NYC band DeLeon has been a long time in the making. Their songs were birthed in Spain before the inquisition, were raised in Italy before WWII and have now reached maturity in modern day Brooklyn. Named for front man Dan Saks' great grandfather Giorgio DeLeon, the band was conceived to reconcile the cultural journey his family tree had experienced over the course of centuries. By re-imagining these ancient melodies as contemporary songs, DeLeon intends to introduce the rich musical tradition of Sephardic Jews to a new generation.

Their journey will officially begin April 19th at Bowery Ballroom where they will play their first ever show. They share the bill with JDub Recording artists Balkan Beat Box and Golem, two other bands that add a modern edge to rich musical traditions. Listen to the new sound of Sephardic music at
E's been monitoring things while we were on break and forwards several links.

First, congrats to one of our readers, Mordechai Shinefield on winning the "I'm From Rolling Stone" writing contest.

Next up is a post by Still Wonderin': "Did Eli Gerstner Phone it In?"

JDub is looking for artists for its Summer compilation. The deadline for submissions is this Monday, April 16th.

Psachya writes:
Just got back from my Pesach hotel gig, & thought I'd pass this along. (I guess this lady's a Peep, though I have no idea how to classify her.) To set the scene: I'm set up in the hotel lobby, ready to do a kiddie show, and I have the following conversation with an elderly lady:
Me: "Actually, I'm about to play a children's show."
Me: "I'm about to play a kids' show, for the day camp."
Me (in E.L.'s ear): "I'm playing a children's show! A CHILDREN'S SHOW!!!"
Honestly. You can't make these things up.
I have a few too from my Pesach hotel experience.

"The 7/8 Kohen"

The "7/8 Kohen" is also the "Loudest Kohen" and the "Can't Carry a Tune In A Bucket Kohen". He sings the melody of Bircas Kohanim in 7/8. Consistently. Not that he knows it, though. This guy singlehandedly butchers what would otherwise be a meaningful and beautiful moment. You can have a "Loudest Kohen" or a "Can't Carry a Tune In A Bucket Kohen" who isn't a 7/8 Kohen", but the "7/8 Kohen" is always also both a "Loudest Kohen" and a "Can't Carry a Tune In A Bucket Kohen".

"The Abusive Father"
This is the guy who has no problems shaming his kid in public at top volume. Inevitably, we wind up behind him either in the shul or on line for various events at the hotel. In addition to the emotional abuse he seems to endlessly dish out to his kids, he's also often violent, grabbing his kid roughly and shaking him/her.

"The Gotta Get Right Out of Here Folks"
These are the folks who head up to their rooms after mincha on the last day of Pesach to pack so that they can beat the rush leaving the hotel. They're on the road before havdallah is finished.

"The Gym Rats"
These women head up to their rooms after mincha to change into snoods, T-shirts, long skirts, and sneakers so that they can jump on the treadmills in the hotel's fitness center as soon as Yom Tov is over. They're on the treadmills walking furiously the second havdallah ends.

The "Buffet-lo"
Spends 24/7 at the buffet. The 'Buffet-lo" is omnipresent at the buffet and/or tea room. No additional explanation needed.

Which leads me to a sociological discovery I made this Pesach...

I call it the "Buffet Theory." The "Buffet Theory" states that if you have food no sane person would ever eat, if you serve it in a buffet to Jews, they'll not only eat it, they'll stand in line for half-hour to do so. On rare occasions, there is some food (i.e. gristly meat, spongy turkey, etc.) that the "Buffet Theory" might seem not to cover. In those cases though, the "Buffet Theory" applies provided said food is served at a carving station. In fact, if you serve it at a carving station, the "Buffet-los" will not only eat it, they'll quickly clean their plates while standing right there, so that they can take doubles without having to wait on line again.