Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

9/25/07 Link Dump

Krum as a Bagel writes "Confusing Our Jewish Youth (In Song!)" (Hat tip, E.)

Shira Salamone doesn't like the musical choices the cantor at her shul has been making. Here is her take on his Rosh Hashana selections.

Here's a taste:
First, there were the usual Broadway tunes. But the "high point" of Kedushah was the cantor's apparent tribute to the recently-deceased Luciano Pavarotti: "Hu Kelokeinu, Hu avinu, Hu malkeinu, hu moshieinu (He is our G-d, He is our father, He is our king, He is our savior)" . . . to the tune of, would you believe, "La Donna é Mobile (Woman is Fickle, " from the Giuseppe Verdi opera "Rigoletto")?!!!
Here's her take on his Yom Kippur selections.

Yitz blogs about "Shlomo Katz's Alt-Neu Niggun."

THE LIFE-OF-RUBIN BLOG has had many of his YouTube videos deleted. A while back, he posted a clip of a guitarist for one of the big wedding bands massacring Niggun Neshoma at an affair. In an unusual coincidence, here's Eric Clapton playing that very solo note for note.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Zinger Not Included

Ever wondered what it would sound like if a "von-man-band" got a film scoring gig?

9/20/07 Link dump

Mordechai Shinefield rounds up Jewsapalooza for those who were gigging and couldn't make the show.

Alexander Gelfand reviews Alex Kontorovich's "Deep Minor" in "Whither Klezmer?"

Ben Jacobson lists his top 10 discs of the year in the Jerusalem Post. Ta Shma's promised review disc never arrived, but Hamaokor's "The Source" is on the review stack.

Hirhurim posts 'Why Rabbis Do Not Like Cantors."

Rabbi Avi Shafran: Yiddish Song Translator.

For those who haven't heard it, here's an audio sample of the banned Yiddish rap album.

Over at Jewschool, Rav Shmuel writes "Ortho-punk High Holy Days!"

Yoshie Fruchter was interviewed about his Beyond the Book project on The Book of Life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

From the mailbag...

Naftali writes:
You always suspected this... Click here.
Psachya writes:
Selections from the "request list" at a recent gig:

Ma Ma Ma
Ya Ma Mai
Yo Ya
Ai Didi Dai
Sha La La
Bag Bag
Numa Numa

Some recent verbal requests:
- During a Sephardic set: "Could you please play some Sephardic music?"
- During a "Yeshivish disco" set: "Could you please play some Jewish music?"
- During a yeshivish freilach set (requested by a Sephardic lady): "Would you please stop playing that JUMPING-UP-AND-DOWN music?"
- Before the beginning of a gig (asked by a teenager): "Will you guys play anything good tonight?" (Only possible response: "Nope. We only play bad music.")

Like you often say - you can't make this stuff up.
E. emails a link to JE's Pruzansky/Bald interview and notes that the album features "custom made arrangements."

He also forwards a link to Gershon Veroba's blog, American Jewish Music.

Speaking of JE...

D. wants to know why we haven't fisked a recent deceitful JE cover story containing a host of blatant lies, misleading statements, disingenuities, deceptions, misprepresentations, falsehoods and fabrications, inventions, prevarications, and whoppers. Chaim Rubin will be interviewing the editor after Yom Tov and has invited readers to submit questions. Why not use the opportunity to ask him?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

High Holiday Musi(ci)ngs

On the plus side... no trifecta. Only Ein Aroch.

I believe I suffered through the worst setting of a Rosh Hashana piyut ever. That would be "Atah Hu Elokeinu...Dagul Mervavah etc." set to Shwekey's "Shomati." Four words per section. Ouch!

Passed the Conservative shul the next morning. They were singing "Ohr Chadash" to Carlebach's "Oseh Shalom". With live music. Me? I was on my way to hear the Shomati reprise. Shoulda bailed. Hashem woulda understood, right?

The Torah portion we read mentions the big party Avraham made when Yitzchok was weaned. We should bring those back! And have live music at them. It'd be a new niche. Talk about growing the market.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Synthetic Shofar

Given the interest in exotic instruments, I suppose this was inevitable. Note: According to Jewish tradition, a synthetic shofar is not acceptable for religious use.

The Old Man and the Peeps

"Too Much Personal Information Guy"

"Too Much Personal Information Guy" gets a Mazal Tov. His daughter had her first child this past December after nine years of trying to conceive. It's nice to meet you too! Oif simchas!

"The Pregnant Bride"
'nuff said!

"Take Your Religion and Shove It Gal"

This non-observant peep is having a traditional ceremony to honor her very Orthodox parents. Dinner will be mixed dancing with an American band. So, naturally, to walk down the aisle to the chupa, (for which Daddy has hired a klezmer duo), she wants the band to... DJ a recording of a breathy female singing "Time After Time." The Chassidic relatives are sure to love this one.

"The Salesman"

"The Salesman" is an ad rep for a local Jewish paper. He tries to sell the band an ad during the wedding. Did we mention that he's also the groom?

Cognitive Dissonance

Played a few heavy chassidic gigs recently...

At one affair, we had the volume significantly louder than we prefer; this was necessary to fill the room and accomodate the size of the crowd. At the event, we had several people come over at various points to say how annoying it is that the music at simchos these days is so painfully loud... and what a pleasure it is to hear low-volume music that allows them to talk and isn't headache-inducing.

At another, we had two people come over and compliment the music, especially the classical music. Interesting praise, considering we hadn't played any classical music all night; just chassidic nigunim, some klezmer, and one ballad each by Shalsheles and Lev Tahor.

These vignettes demonstrate that the affair you play may not have been the event the guests attended. Go figure!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ban First, Censor Afterwards UPDATED

Emes V'emunah tells the truth!

The Rabbi Teitelbaum article we linked to earlier has been edited. Here's the expunged bit:
Things haven’t changed much since ancient times. Today, too, we have self proclaimed agitators and charlatans who have nothing to do with their time but to go around to our leading Torah sages and try to convince them that separate-seating concerts are a threat to our Yiddishkeit and to ban them. They falsely claim that there is pritzus in the hallways plus other fabrications. Exaggeration is a blood relative to falsehood, and almost as bad. A gossip is one who can give you all the details without knowing all the facts. Unfortunately, they often succeed in their mission. All it took was one Korach to convince the 250 heads of Sanhedrin of the holiness and purity of his mission.
Now, Yeshivah World has removed the post entirely.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Things We've Heard About Our Music

One divorced woman told an acquaintance of ours: "The only nice memory I have of my entire first wedding experience was the music played by the band my ex-husband hired." A nice reference we'll never be able to use.

Another bride told a relative of ours that she loved the music on our demo (which she'd gotten from a friend) so much that she was planning to walk down to one of the songs at her wedding. Ironically, she never contacted us to inquire about having our band play the affair. Talk about missing the point of a demo CD.

Another client hired us to be the simcha music specialists for the one Jewish dance set at his wedding because he "loves our music and wants to have some updated repertoire instead of the same old hokey songs". After hiring us, he informs us that he wants to respect the American band's hora set. Instead of having us call the tunes, he wanted us to simply enhance the other band's Hava Nagilah set. So, we wind up sitting in with the American band for their set.

Here's their set list:
Hava Nagila
David Melech Yisrael (yes, the one you learned in kindergarten)
Bashana Haba'a
Am Yisrael Chai
Hava Nagilah reprise.

Musn't forget the reprise!!!

While You Were Out...

So, the KlezmerShack calls Blog in Dm a daily read, and we turn out to be on hiatus. Talk about timing. Thanks for the kind words, Ari.

Meanwhile, the other J-music blog he recommends, Teruah - Jewish Music, has been on a roll. Go check it out. Lots of great links. I'm digging Israeli band Boom Pam. Two electric guitars, drums, and tuba. SCHWEEEEEET!

9/5/07 Link Dump (fixed BlogThis! edition)

Cleaning out accumulated links...

Now they're banning Yiddish rap! Emes Ve-Emunah comments.

Catch the fat man in Bass Player! Nice piece!

It's Elul, and Pete Singer is doing teshuvah.

The Right Coast has more .

Amy Winehouse's shver: "Boycott Winehouse Albums!" Ah, tough love!

Gruntig posts "MBD Talks About The Song Yidden."

Yitz is "Respecting our Sages and Their Teachings."

Dixie Yid - Thoughts on life and Chassidus: R' Lazer Brody with Yosef Karduner at Yad Binyamin

Greatest line about Sen. Craig: "Guilty Feet Have Got No Rhythm"

Here's a nice tribute to Max Roach. Comes complete with sound clips.

Ben J.' is giving the ladies some attention.

You can't make this stuff up.

Turnabout is fair play!

PT on GV.

Keith Richards feelings are hurt!

Finally, here's a little Humoresque for y'all.

From the mailbag...

E. forwards a link to the new Pruzbomb release.

A Simple Jew forwards An Elul Message From SRV.

Psachya and PT forward "A Kosher Alternative", an article by Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum.

The bit about "Jewish Rock" at the end is weak, but in general, more people need to speak out on this.

Following up on "The Song Remains The Same?"...

An anonymous source close to Chanale emails that she never heard the original song, only knew the lyrics, and did not know where they came from. She'd seen the lyrics as a poem somewhere. She has updated her website and has contacted the original composers in order to pay any royalties and offer credit in future printings of the booklet. The Stone brothers have given permission and say that the original original source of the lyrics are from a poem written by Mrs. Kahn of Camp Hasc.


Some miscellaneous thoughts...

Blogger's "Blog This!" tool is fixed, so more links soon. It hasn't been working for me lately and made link posting a nuisance.

Is it just me, or is there something incredibly ironic about an office telling me to play standards because the client has unique musical needs?

Been having some fun with the whole Kutz brouhaha. Sunday night, I did the simcha specialist thing with a clarinetist on an American gig. They opened the ballroom for dinner with some smooth jazz. I told the clarinetist it made me feel like rushing to the bathroom and starting a maariv minyan.

Been discussing the smooth jazz maariv concept with some musician friends. The consensus appears to be coalescing around a punk maariv service as a better choice.

In the no good deed goes unpunished category...

Picked some beer with a hechsher up at a recent gig. Only thing in town with a hechsher. Turns out the hechsher is good, but the beer is a fundraiser for missionizing.