Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Funem Mailbag!

Rachel Feldman writes:
Yiddish lovers and “world music” fans can now include Yiddish music in the modern genres, as it is coming to life with a new and unique project, “Yiddish Welt” (“Yiddish World”). Creators Baruch Friedland and Eddy Somiren have set out to create an album of old Yiddish songs, taking a novel approach of combining the sounds of the Jewish shtetl - the clarinet, accordion, and violin - and rekindling the memories with modern, western sounds and rhythms (reminiscent of Peter Gabriel and Deep Forest).

Here's a YouTube clip.

The Aveira Song

At a Sholom Zochor, he only drinks root beer!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Yesh Hatikvah!

JMR reprints a Yated piece on Benny Friedman's song "Yesh Tikvah." The best part is the vignette about the guy who ran out of the hall because he thought he was hearing Hatikvah.


Nicely done!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Plane Talk

Lara St. John on "Tricks for Getting your Violin On a Plane." She played some solo Bach at a wedding I was playing a few years back. What an artist!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Purim News Headlines

In the spirit of the season, we are pleased to bring you news headlines the J-media will not be bringing you. Besides, Rabbi Zev Brenner needs some more material for his Purim show. (Hi, Zev!)

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns Position To Enter "A Jewish Star" Competition

Hasidic Pop Stars Release Music Video In Support of Convicted Child Molester Nechemia Weberman (Sadly, this could happen)

After Falling Off Charts, Matisyahu Opens "Matisyahu Orchestra & Singers" Office in Boro Park

Aaron Teitelbaum Productions and Shelly Lang Orchestras To Merge

Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak Rally At Nassau Coliseum Banned

BMG Announces 1st Annual Fundraising Concert Featuring Shyne, Shtar, and Kosha Dills.

Maccabeats 'Tzom Gedalya' Single Debuts At #1 On Billboard Charts

Airmont Shul Franchises To Open In Monroe, W'Burg, New Square, and Meah Shearim

Beis Yaakov Rebbetzin To Launch Facebook Competitor To be Called Soulbook

New Crowd-Funding Websites Indie-Schnorrers and Schnorrer-Starters Launched

Avraham Fried Wins "A Jewish Star" Competition

Lipa Schmeltzer Enrolls In YCT Semicha Program

HASC Concert Announces Next Year's Event To Be For Men Only

Previous years' Purim headlines can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Haredi Hatikvah Hootenanny

Life in Israel posts about a manufactured political controversy about the content of Hatikvah. He's impressed. I'm not. Judging by this, Shas's Eli Yishai is a dishonest, cynical, petty man who has no compunctions over creating massive chillul Hashem, for even a smudge of perceived political gain. Shame!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blue-ish Music

Saul Kaye plays a nice version of his tune "Two Wolves" for a Chabad crowd. Note how they clap along when prompted. What is it with Jews and backbeats (or lack thereof)?

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"Play With Kol Nidrei Day"

Apparently, it's "Play With Kol Nidrei Day" today!

A Nigun A Day posts "Triumph Over Torquemada."

Meanwhile, Andrew Grathwohl emails:
I am a member of the bass music collective, CPU/GOD. We're based out of Brooklyn, NY and our new ongoing musical project, entitled "Hebrew Bass Music" involves the use of Jewish vocals and compositions (both live and sampled, religious and secular in nature) in a electronic bass music setting.

As a Jew myself, I love the music and religious songs/prayers of my people, but I have struggled to bring it to a modern audience. This track is our proof of concept: Jewish music works in today's world, and especially on the dance floor.

Monday, February 04, 2013

In Review – Zevy Zions: Bolero Fantasia

Bolero Fantasia is the fourth volume of accordion solos performed by Zevy Zions. As on his other discs, Zions nicely plays through accordion repertoire, including tunes composed or arranged by Pietro Deiro, Pietro Frosini, and Charles Nunzio.

The recording also includes Zions’ own arrangements of Saint-Saens’s “The Swan” from “Carnival of the Animals” and an accordion reduction of Haydn’s Serenade (from his String Quartets Opus 3, No 5). Sweet!

Naturally, there’s well-played klezmer here too. “Klezmer Suite #4” is a tribute to the late clarinetist Paul Pincus, and features Zions’ tasteful performance of a Doina, Volakh, and Skochna that Pincus used to play. “Klezmer Walk” is a ten-minute long medly of three khosidls; “Drohobitsher Khusid”, Dem Tsadek’s Zemer’l”, and “Tate Ziser.”

I enjoyed this disc a lot. The musicianship is excellent, clearly performed by someone who loves this music, and it’s a very happy-making album. Zions' mastery of accordion technique, from solo bass lines to bellows shakes, from quick arpeggios to his tasteful reed switching, his approach takes full advantage of the sonic possibilities of the accordion.

You can read my reviews of Zevy's three earlier accordion albums here.

You can find more information and order the album at Zevy's website.

Peeps of the Day

"Tritone Guy"
This peep sings at the chupa. It's a high-end affair and everything has been perfectly coordinated in advance with the office. unique instrumentation, specific repertoire and arrangements, and the keys for the "guest" singer at the chupa are all worked out in advance. He'll sing both "Mi Adir" and Mi Von Siach" in G, we're told. Um, actually, he sings "Mi Von Siach" in Db, as we are left to discover in dealt-time.

"The Beis Yaakov Girl"
A lovely MO engagement party in warm weather. The bare-legged bride is wearing a small dress which leaves little to the imagination. On the gift table, wrapped in clear cellophane, is an elaborately arranged display of cookware, with the pièce de résistance, in a place of honor atop the stack -- "The Beis Yaakov Cookbook"!

"'B' Section Guy"
This peep only sings the "B" section to the song. Can be spotted in shuls, usually davening Musaf for the amid.

"High Note Guy"
This peep can also be found in shul. "High note Guy" will use a tune like Carlebach's "Ana Hashem" for Kedusha. He'll start at the top of his range. Naturally, when he reaches the B, instead of making do by dropping the octave, he'll blow out his voice singing beyond the top of his range, with the expected results. He will have difficulty completing the rest of Chazoras Hashatz.