Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From the mailbag...

Where did George Robinson Crusoe go with Friday on Saturday night? Who knows! But, it was definitely not the smooth-jazz Maariv service.

Jewish Week music critic George Robinson writes:
First of all, I thoroughly enjoy your blog, which is refreshing in its frankness and very well-written.

I feel obliged to offer a couple of comments in regard to the tempest in a glaizele tea at Kutz. (If you should choose to quote any of this, please make it clear that a lot of it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek; I can't write or think any other way, I'm afraid.) As the music critic for Jewish Week, I had nothing to do with the story in question, but I have to say -- and I'm speaking as a Reform Jew, albeit one who has shifted towards more observance, like many of my brothers and sisters in the Reform world -- if someone had played a 'smooth-jazz service" in presence, walking out is the least offensive thing I would do. As anyone who reads my record reviews will tell you, I hate, Hate, HATE smooth jazz and am merciless towards its purveyors in the Jewish music community. (If I had a child, better s/he should eat clams Alentejano, a Portuguese traditional dish that has the best of both treif worlds by combining the aforementioned shellfish with bacon.)

All joking aside, if these kids' parents are anything like the ones in my two congregations -- for that matter, anything like my parents way back in the Jurassic era -- they are probably proud of what the kids did, or should be. I was always encouraged to speak my mind fearlessly but politely and that seems to be exactly what happened in this incident. Was it worth the amount of coverage we gave it? I'm not privy to decisions regarding the front page of Jewish Week, but I have to say that our track record as a reliable and enterprising news-gathering organ is pretty good. I'm a very small cog in the machinery of the newspaper, but quite proud to be a part of it.

Please keep up the great work. I will definitely keep reading.
Thanks for the kind words about the blog. Now, about that front page Blue Fringe spread...

A Simple Jew forwards links to some music posts here, here, here, here,and here.

Adam Davis forwards a KFAR update.

Jordan Hirsch writes:
I will once again be playing with The Kleztraphobix at Barbes on Monday, August 20th at 10 PM. Barbes is at 9th Street and 6th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Brandon Seabrook is sitting in on banjo for this set.

Finally, Craig Taubman emails that the Jewels of Elul postings have begun today. You can find them at