Friday, November 30, 2012

More Chanukah Videos!

More Chanukah music.... Here's the latest iteration of Six13 with Haneirot Halalu.

Hat tip, E.

And, here's Naomi Less and Glenn Grossman with Eight Nights.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What is Heaven/Hell?

My 12th grade rebbe was fond of saying that heaven and hell were the exact same thing. A gemara with a shtender....

In a similar vein, I'd like to suggest it is a wedding at a low-rent hall with a super-loud one-man-band. If I'm correct, it's pretty clear where I'm going....

My Arabishe Mame

Check the video here!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

From the mailbag... (more Chanukah videos)

E. forwards a link to the "ex-Macs":

But he prefers this version:

We report, you decide!

A Hamas Music Video

Cultivating hate. Glorifying murder.

Monday, November 26, 2012

'Hasidic New Second Wave'

Over at Tablet, Jake Marmer writes about the upcoming Tzadik release of all of the Hasidic New Wave recordings as a boxed set. With some audio clips.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nice One, Maccabeats!

They went there, without going there!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Speaking of....

Speaking of Adrienne Cooper Z"L, you can find her last CD, Enchanted, as well as other albums of her work at Amazon... There's a direct link to Enchanted as well as Ghetto Tango here, (also some other recommended albums by other artists), but you can find her other albums on Amazon too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Celebrating Adrienne Cooper Z"L

Celebrate the life of Adrienne Cooper, z"l at a big, gala concert in NYC on Dec 22, Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College, 8pm, in benefit to start new foundation to carry on her work. More info at her website.

The Facebook event is here: A Kholem / Dreaming in Yiddish: A Concert in Tribute to Adrienne Cooper

 Sadly, I have to be playing elsewhere that night, but I'll be there in spirit. If you're in town and interested in getting a nice glimpse into the NYC klezmer community, and a sense of what Adrienne was about, this is a not-to-be missed chance to do just that. It's sure to be an inspirational evening!

Amazing musicians in musical tribute to a friend, colleague, and mentor. Don't miss this!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Israeli Music Therapist Helps Kids Deal With Rocket Attacks

Simply heartbreaking! An amazing way of addressing this, but devastating that it is needed.

The Music of Israel's Enemies

The Chief Orthodox Rabbi of Nebraska writes about a Hamas music video.

"שיגעון ה- "גנגנם סטייל

The title says it all. W/video links.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Free Random House Book Giveaway Reminder....

You still have a few days to win a feee copy of 'Light and Shade' - Jimmy Page's "Oral Autobiography". Get those entries in!

Arrested Development

UOJ reports that the former director of the Toronto Pirchei Choir was arrested on child sex-abuse charges. Given the history of abuse allegations, and other negative outcomes, perhaps it's time to end the boys choir thing....

Beware of Paypal!

Just had a frustrating experience with eBay/Paypal. I'm sharing my experience so you can be aware of the situation and avoid the same issue...

Firstly, I should say that I have been an eBay user for many, many years, and have been very successful using eBay and Paypal. However, recent changes have made me uneasy about the site's security and their policies. (For those who don't know; eBay owns PayPal.) Until about three years ago, I was very satisfied with their service.

Since then, a number of incidents haschanged my impression of eBay and PayPal.

Some examples....

1) I auctioned off a large keyboard. In the auction, I stated I would only ship to the continental US. A lot of people were "watching" the auction, when an Australian bought it using "Buy It Now."

After canceling the bid, I was able to relist the auction, but when you "realist" an auction, there is no way to let the people who had been watching the auction know that the item is available again. You just have to hope they see it.

2) I listed an iPhone. There were a lot of watchers and bidders. At the last moment, the auction was "sniped" by a bidder with 0 feedback from Vietnam who bid a ridiculous price. It was obvious that the buyer wouldn't pay, yet eBay technically required me to wait a week before filing an unpaid bidder report. Again, I lost the watchers/bidders... and time.

I should note that in addition to losing the watchers/bidders, the auction restart affects the timing of your sale/cash flow. For example, I listed the keyboard so that the auction would end a few days before I left town. When the auction was cancelled, I was unable to relist the board for a few weeks, due to travel.

3) eBay/PayPal has made it very easy for buyers to make fake claims/freeze your funds. When I sold the iPhone, the buyer filed an "item not received" claim a month later. Since I had the tracking/delivery confirmation info, I was able to get it dismissed, but I had to spend an hour on the phone with them to do so. During that conversation, the rep told me that this buyer had pulled this quite often. Yet, eBay/PayPal was still allowing him to do it.

These are a few examples.... which leads me to my current situation.

Recently, I linked my eBay & PayPal accounts at eBay's prompting, allegedly for more efficient payment. Yesterday, I won an auction for an iPad with wireless and cell connectivity. My intention is to use it for music notation and synth playing at gigs. This was my first time using PayPal/eBay since linking the accounts. Usually, I am able to choose the funding source, whether my bank account or credit card, before completing the transaction. Generally, I choose credit card for significant purchases, to have an additional layer of buyer protection. This time, I wasn't given the choice, and the payment immediately went through using my bank account as the source. It shouldn't be a big deal, except for this.

A few minutes after the payment went through, I got a message from the seller telling me that the iPad did NOT have cell connectivity, only wifi, and offering a refund if this mattered to me. I accepted the refund, which should have been the end of the transaction. Except, that's not how PayPal treats situations like this. PayPal withdrew the money from my account, and will refund it in 3-5 business days. The refund will go to my PayPal account, and then it will be another 3-5 business days before it is returned to my bank account.

The PayPal rep I spoke to says that PayPal fronts the money to the seller "as a service to the buyer, so that the item will be shipped sooner". However, when the buyer refunds the money, Paypal will wait the 3-5 business days is allegedly takes for the bank to transfer the $ to PayPal, before crediting my PayPal account. Then, if I want the $ back in my bank account, it will take ANOTHER 3-5 days to make that transfer happen. I don't know, the funds disappeared from my bank account immediately. It seems to me that PayPal wants to sit on the $ for a bit, earning some interest on the funds.

This is simply unacceptable to me. PayPal has opted to provide poor customer service here. Even if their description of the timing is accurate (and I don't believe it is), they could still front me the refund just as easily as they fronted that very same $ to the seller. This poorly chosen policy will affect my use of PayPal and eBay. Caveat emptor!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Review/Giveaway: "Light and Shade" - Jimmy Page's "Oral Autobiography

Random House has just published "Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page" by Brad Tolinski, and they were kind enough to send me a review copy as well as to give away a free copy to a reader. (See below for details on how you can win the free copy).

The book is an "aural autobiography" of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, as told to Guitar World editor Brad Tolinski over the course of multiple conversations. The book is especially notable because none of the band members has ever penned an autobiography, or cooperated with a biographer.

Tolinsky's easy interviewing style reflects a deep familarity with Page's work, and there are excellent questions and follow-ups throughout.

In addition to the author's conversations with Page, he has also included context-adding interviews with Jeff Beck, Chris Dreja (Yardbirds), John Paul Jones, Led Zep publicist Danny Goldberg, Paul Rogers (Bad Company, The Firm), Jack White, and fashion designer John Varvatos.

Topics discussed in the book include: the influence of the Blues on Page's music, his time as a session guitarist, his time with the Yardbirds, a whole lot of detail about the Led Zep recordings, Page's production concepts, the making of the Led Zep movie "The Song Remains The Same", drummer John Bonham's death, Page's controversial collaboration with Whitesnake's David Coverdale, and more!

"Light and Shade" also contains a neat chapter wherein guitarist Jimmy Brown -- who transcribed every note of Page's guitar on all of Led Zeppelin's studio releases -- highlight ten songs that he feels demonstrate the uniqueness of Page's playing.

I found the book to be a very pleasant and informative read about Jimmy Page and about Led Zep. I especially found the parts about Page and the band's creative process intriguing.

This book is essential reading for Led Zeppelin fans, and even non-fans will find Page's reflections and the insights into his creative process quite fascinating.

You can read an excerpt of the book here.

Amazon has the book here:


As I mentioned above, Random House is willing to give a free copy of the book to one lucky reader. Here's how you can win it. Simply send in your written description of your best "rock guitar" moment. My email address can be found in the sidebar. It can be a description of a show you attended or a recording you love. "Jewish" rock guitar (since this is a "Jewish music" blog) or secular rock guitar moments are both acceptable. It doesn't need to be long. One or two paragraphs is fine. I'll choose the piece I find most evocative, and Random House will send the winner a copy of the book. You've got two weeks! May the best writer win! G'luck!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

11/7/12 Link Dump

Over at Emes Ve-emunah, Harry posts about Amy Weinhouse Z"L's ex boyfriend in Who is Alex Clare? And Why Do I care?

At Cross-Currents, Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein has some thoughts on "The Rabbi’s Daughter" video I mentioned recently.

Following up on another story we'd posted... here's a Mindy Meyer update: "'Diva' Comes Up a Bit Short."

Finally, a bit late... but for posterity... here's Michelle Citrin's pro-Obama music video.