Wednesday, July 25, 2007

From the mailbag... UPDATED

Michael Crowley writes:

I’m writing to you about a very unique High Holidays project from Jewish music/production company Craig 'n Co.

For the past two years, Craig Taubman, my boss and a top Jewish musician, has produced 'Jewels of Elul', a collection of stories, anecdotes and inspirations for the High Holidays.

Released in concurrence with the 29 days in the Jewish month of Elul, a time set aside for thought and introspection, 'Jewels of Elul III' will feature contributions from an amazingly eclectic group of 29 individuals; from Elie Wiesel to the Dalai Lama, from the Mayor of Sderot to Deborah Lipstadt, from Matisyahu to Kirk Douglas (a full list is below). The collection will be available both in booklet form and online.

This year's Jewels collection is being supported by the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem as a way to reach out to the community during this special time of the year.

It is my hope that you will agree to put a link on your blog to Thanks to support from our online partners last year, we generated over 250,000 visits to the site, making the project a huge success.
Miryam Levy writes:
I am looking for a source for the CD The "Precise Melodies" of the Chabad Rebbes. When I googled it your blog came up and I haven't managed to find anything so I thought you might know. I would appreciate it.
Yossi writes:
I'm a chazzan with classical vocal training and I'd like to explore the idea of bringing old cantorial pieces current, kind of like chazzanut meets east village opera co.
Saw your blog, and figured it couldn't hurt to ask if you know any musicians here in new york who'd like to explore this idea..Maybe a guitarist or something. Give me a shout if you think you can help.
Yaakov Elchanan emails us to check out Aryeh Kunstler's upcoming album. Previews at his MySpace page.

Mordechai Shinefield fowards a link to his latest Forward article on Yidcore.

Mark Skier writes:
Hi! I posted a pair of videos here.

And there’s links to the youtube archive (which also has some old home videos up, but you can ignore them…or watch for some giggles) and the main video page at Moshe Skier dot com.

If you want to sort through the other videos and pick one of two that you like, that would be cool. I did a really good cover (imho, anyway) of Razel’s Siman Tov. Also, there’s a new version of Ashrei, which is the first song I wrote and carried through all my bands going back to Tohu Vavohu.

7/25/07 Link Dump

Nachas from blog-grandchildren!

Ben Chorin has the best response to the Noah Feldman NYT article. Shkoyach!

Uncle Sy shares some JM thoughts.

The Sudanese Thinker uses our post about Treppenwitz's concert for Darfur to demonstrate that Jews are eeeevil!

We called this one!

Jewish Fringe posts some J-musician craigslistings.

The Jewish Week writes about Debbie Friedman's new position.

Here's the latest JE Magazine. Cover story is on BaRock Orchestra. According to the article, they've "never lost a customer because of money." The entire issue is good for a laugh. Note the marketing on upcoming albums, with a nice split between those with a new "never, heard before" focus and those with a "current JM is awful, returning to roots" focus.

The J-Post reviews MoC's album

Here's coverage of the Krakow music fest from
The Forward
The New York Times


Unrelated double!

8th Day sings Ayeh!

So, you had a bad Shabbos!

Disco magic! It was inevitable, I suppose. Might as well dress authentic for the disco set!

Here's a klez-metal mashup!

Paula Abdul's a nice Jewish girl!

Lazer Beams posts video f a Chumash Seudah in Jerusalem.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

From the mailbag...

Psachya forwards an email from Lee Finkelstein about drummer Matt Miller's situation and writes:
Aside from being one of the finest drummers I've ever worked with, Matt is one of the finest, funniest, most decent people I know. My heart aches whenever I think of what happened to him & his family. Anything you can do to spread the word would be great.
I'd already received the email and am posting it below. I've removed the PayPal information as a spamguard. If you'd like to send some money that way, email me and I'll forward the address.

Here's Lee's email:

[FYI: Matt's real last name is Milmerstadt, Francesca is his wife.]
Hello friends, family and colleagues, 
Most of us are fortunate enough to have immediate family that can
help us when we need a little help.  In addition to them, we all like
to think of ourselves as a big family, an extended family.  Some of us
have friendships that go back more than 20 years. We see each other
more often and spent more "quality time" with each other than with our
own extended family. 
Now one of our family members needs help.  Someone who's not so
fortunate and does not have immediate family to help at a time of

It's time to put our money where our hearts are. It's time to adopt
the Milmerstadts. (aka Miller) 

As you may or may not know, our friend and colleague, drummer Matt
Miller, has Lymphoma which has kept him from working for the last year
and a half.  He and his family are in financial crisis and need our immediate help. 
Sadly, they are in the process of selling the house they love. We are
trying to raise money for them to help pay their current mortgage until
they sell and move into a new smaller more manageable space. Cessi is
changing her teaching job to part time so she can take care of Matt and
their son Ben. They also need money to cover additional health costs
like hotels in the city so they don't have to drive back and forth to
Sloane-Kettering for Matt's treatments everyday. It's been tough for
Matt and Cessi. ANYTHING we can do to relieve some of the stress at a
time like this gives them more time and focus to spend as a family
with their son and to focus on getting better. 
Some of Matt's closest friends had a meeting last Wednesday
night to figure out how to help Matt and Cessi physically, spiritually
and financially. Happily, it was a great success. Our immediate
goal of paying their mortgage for the month was reached. We raised
$2100 on the spot. Teddy Kumpel went to their house at midnight and dropped the
money off. They were overwhelmed with gratitude and tears of joy. It
felt so great individually and collectively putting $200 each on the
table knowing that if any one of us was in trouble the same thing could
happen. It reinforced our feeling of being part of a great community of
musicians and friends. 
We set up our own "Adopt A Family" program where anyone can donate
money to them to help with bills IMMEDIATELY. At $20 a month (in
advance up front NOW) for a year = $240.00 We rounded it off to a $200
donation. If we can get 100 people that's $20,000.00!!!! AMAZING...
That would really help the Milmerstadts. 
Hurray for you for being part of this !!! 
First step... help immediately 
Checks, money orders, gift certificates, 
can be sent to: 
P O BOX 800 
Sea Cliff NY 
Use PayPal (they take 3% off the top)   
just click on send money   
TO [Ed: Email info removed for privacy concerns. Email me if you'd like to donate this way and I'll send you the address.]
Second step: 
A fundraiser event featuring Funk Filharmonik and other well known
bands and artists at Il Piatto in Oyster Bay, Long Island Drum Center
and other drum and gear companies, restaurants, retailers with raffles,
auctions, contests, etc... this needs major planning and is in the
works ... 
Thanks and spread the word to anyone you think might know Matt and
his family or is just a generous caring person. 
Peace & Love,
It'd be really nice if the JM community pulled together on this; especially Neginah, Matt's primary employer in this end of the business.

Jordan writes:
The comments about the volume bring to mind another peep:

The future deaf kid.

That's the kid whose parents leave him or her right in front of the bandstand while we play a dance set, and who look at us uncomprehendingly when we tell them to take them to a more safe place. This one isn't funny, though. It's tragic. And it's not just about the hearing loss. It's about spoiled young kids who get married and have kids before they are ready to assume the responsibilities those choices entail.
He also writes:
Avner Levy did not start NYC gigs until well into the eighties. Lenny Schwartz was around, but not in the Jewish field in the seventies. (He was the main Steven Scott Trumpet player.) Shlomo Haviv also did not start in this field until the eighties. I am not sure about Ari Pollack.

Marty Laskin, Joel Chernet, Pete Sokolow, and Mark Infield are all still around. I am not sure when Paul Gurevitch started doing this end of the business. Lenny Friedman and Mike Cohen were just getting started as the seventies ended.
Alyssa Neil writes:
I thought you and your readers might be interested in the following Jewish music podcast and video from the Nextbook “Acting Jewish” festival held at UCLA in April.

Musicians Jewlia Eisenberg and Frank London chat with writer Josh Kun about Jewish music, and perform live.

Please feel free to link to these, or pass them along.
Here's a fake album cover from a reader with too much free time.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Abi M'leibt Lyrics??? Updated: Fill in the blanks!

Does anyone have the lyrics to Lipa's version of Abi M'leibt? It's a request for an upcoming gig.

Thanks for the help!


"MusicMaaaker" writes:
I don't know all the lyrics but I can help with the chorus:

Abi M'leibt Abi M'leibt
Abi M'leibt Abi M'leibt
Abi M'leibt Abi M'leibt
Abi M'leibt Abi M'leibt
Abi M'leibt Abi M'leibt
Abi M'leibt Abi M'leibt
Abi M'leibt Abi M'leibt
Abi M'leibt Abi M'leibt

E. writes:
Dude, Make them up. you think they would know the difference?
Um, yeah.

Here's what I have so far:

A coffee vil ich, nisht du kein milich
Gefinen kom a trop

____ ____ _____ ich _____ siz zour
Ich varf avek dem cup.

Abi m’leibt…

Roite lechter _____ ______ reflector
In shpiegel zei a Police
Er haist ____ bleiben, a ticket shreiben
Ich machst noch shmaichlin zeese


____ _____ _____ den shvitzt men
In traffic zitzt men
M’foort a langen veg
The highway’s busy, ich vert shoin dizzy
Geb mer zich a rek

Abi M’leibt

Loift tzum _______
Es is shoin ______
Baim _____ in bank ich vart
Di supervisor shreit upvisen
“It’s late”, siz tzigeshpart.


In Penn Station there is frustration
I missed my train tonight
I keep on beeping and I should be sleeping
Like the lion sleeps tonight!

Abi M’leibt…

Any help filling in the blanks is appreciated.


J. fills in some blanks,
A coffee vil ich, nisht du kein milich
Gefinen kom a trop

____ ____ _____ ich _Shpir____ siz zour
Ich varf avek dem cup.

Abi m’leibt…

Roite lechter ___Es shant __ _____(d)_ reflector?
In shpiegel (iych) zei a Police
Er haist _shtayn___ bleiben, a ticket shreiben
Er machst zich noch shmaichlin zeese


____ _____ _____ den shvitzt men
In traffic zitzt men
M’foort a langen veg
The highway’s busy, ich ver(t) shoin dizzy
Gebben mer zich a rek

Abi M’leibt

Loift tzum __Rayer_____
Es is shoin __Drayer____
Baim Tiyer_____ in bank ich vart
Di supervisor, shreit Ah Bayser?
“It’s late”, siz tzigeshpart.
Missing lyrics filled in by Mindy! Thanks much!
A coffee vil ich, nisht du kein milich
Gefinen kom a trop

Ich varf avek dem cup.

Abi m'leibt…

Roite lechter,ES SHAINT reflector
In shpiegel zei a Police
Er haist SHTAIN bleiben, a ticket shreiben
Ich machst noch shmaichlin zeese


NUCHDEM shvitzt men
In traffic zitzt men
M'foort a langen veg
The highway's busy, ich ver shoin dizzy
GEBT MEN zich a reG

Abi M'leibt

Es is shoin DRAYA
Baim TEER FIN bank ich vart
Di supervisor shreit A BAIZER
"It's late", siz tzigeshpart.

א קאפי וויל איך - נישטא קיין מילך - געפונען קוים א טראפ
דאן איך באדויער - איך שפיר ס'איז זויער - איך ווארף אוועק די קאפ

רויטע לעקטער, עס שיינט רעפלעקטאר, אין שפיגל איך זעה א פאליס
ער הייסט שטיין בלייבן, א טיקעט שרייבן, ער מאכט זיך נאך שמייכלען זיס

נאכדעם שוויצט מען, אין טרעפיק זיצט מען, מען פארט א לאנגע וועג
די הייוועי איז ביזי, איך ווער שוין דיזי, גיט מען זיך א רעג

לויפט צום רייע, עס איז שוין דרייע, ביים טיר פון באנק איך ווארט
דער סופערווייזער, שרייט א בייזער, ס'איז לעיט! ס'איז צוגעשפארט
That'll do it. Thanks.

Friday, July 06, 2007

What's the opposite of S.L.O.W.

Check out this excellent letter to the editor in the Five Towns Jewish Times.
Dear Editor,

This past Sunday, the Jewish communities of the South Shore were blessed to welcome Yossi Piamenta and his band, who honored us with a rousing free concert by the ocean in Long Beach. Piamenta’s reputation as “the Jewish Hendrix” was reinforced, his guitar-playing prowess amply displayed in an astonishing array of solos. The combination of great weather and great music was fantastic; we are appreciative to the Young Israel of Long Beach for its part in organizing this enjoyable evening.

Two things, however, disturbed us greatly. First, three performers were smoking as they played. Despite an appeal to stop, they continued to smoke. The dangers of smoking need not be repeated here. The issue in this instance is much more profound. For better or worse, youths look to show-business professionals as role models. Even in our own relatively insular communities, performers are accorded elevated status. The higher one’s profile, the greater his responsibility to the public. We are deeply concerned that teens and even preteens will absorb the impression that smoking is cool; if Piamenta can do it on stage, why shouldn’t they also smoke?

Yossi Piamenta’s young son, Avi, displayed inspiring talent on the drums; but how long until he joins his father and brother for a cigarette? This show was advertised as entertainment for the entire family, and the band’s comportment should cohere with the atmosphere.

As a corollary, we were distressed by the smoking among the concertgoers. Even though the show took place outdoors, the proximity of smokers to non-smokers imposed discomfort upon the latter. If one wishes to smoke at a concert, he or she should move away from non-smokers.

Our second issue involves the noise level. The fact is that Piamenta plays loudly; this is part of his show. Parents must therefore be aware of the potential danger to one’s hearing. Yet we saw children sitting right in front of the stage, where the sound was appreciably higher than it was toward the back of the concert area. We must all be aware that exposure to the high decibel level of a hard-rock concert (and that is precisely what a Piamenta show is) can lead to loss of hearing. Someone sitting in a high-noise section should wear earplugs.

Avi and Dawn Goldstein,
Far Rockaway