Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Shame on Cinematic Strings

Cinematic Strings promises a student discount to a correspondent, but then reneges when they learn he lives in Israel, because they support BDS. The student's wife writes about it in  "A Sour note."

For shame!

Update: Attempted walk back. Standing up to bullies works!

Another update:

This new comment by Alex from Cinematic Strings (on the link above) on that page sounds sincere.

Just an update. We realised that our own stance had been discriminatory, and that was not something we meant to do. We have given the discount to the artist concerned and in fact we have emailed him today and he is happy to work with us. We have agreed to provide the discount to every student regardless of their location, and after several discussions and further research, we have withdrawn our support of the BDS. We have done this because, while we still support open dialogue aimed at achieving peace and equality, we now consider the aims of the BDS movement to be extreme and counterproductive. Thanks for your time. Kind regards, Alex

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sam Glaser Is Dancing in Jerusalem

Gear Review: Gruv Gear Muver 6 Multi Mode Longbed Cart

So a few months back, I ordered a Gruv Gear Muver 6 Multi Mode Longbed Cart. I'd been using the Rock N Roller R10 Cart for the last many years, like most in this end of the business, however, I was never really happy with it. So, when mine was stolen, I decided to try the the  Muver 6 instead.

There are very few options for folding carts that can haul serious gear, and also easily fit in a car. Since I couldn't find a local dealer who stocks these, after researching as best as possible on line, I took a chance and ordered one online. After using it for a few months, I can say that on the whole, I am very pleased with it. After a few weeks, of use I also ordered the optional table accessory, which allows me to turn it into a table, which has been quite handy on occasion.

A bit about my needs, cart-wise. I am often hauling either a keyboard setup (keyboard, amp, keyboard stand. mic stand, gear bag, book bag), a PA setup (speakers, mixer, stands, speaker poles), miscellaneous other musical instruments, or all of the above.

The Rock N Roller R10 Cart  I'd had was less than ideal for many of these functions. I had difficulty fitting a keyboard on it comfortably. If I stood the keyboard case up on its end, I'd need to strap it to the handle, and the handle would be flush against the keyboard case, meaning I couldn't use that side to pull/push the cart. Lying the keyboard flat on the cart required leaving one of the handles folded down, and piling all of the gear on top of the keyboard case. However, the lack of a bed meant that the plastic SKB flight cases wouldn't stay on the cart, and would slide off easily at the slightest incline or bump.

As well, in this fully extended position, the cart was difficult to maneuver around sharp turns, a situation that arises frequently, like when wheeling a cart full of gear through a busy kitchen load-in at a venue.

In addition, the cart felt less than solid in the fully extended position. As a result, I found myself putting a lot more stress on my back, than I ought to have needed to maneuver the cart.

I also found that the inflatable tires lost air frequently, and even had to replace the back tires several times. (It goes without saying that the front wheels needed frequent replacement.)

The Muver 6  avoids all of these issues. Its multiple configurations allow me to use it in either flat-bad or half-sizes, without having any of these issues. The fully-extended flat-bed version is secure, allowing me to lay the keyboard(s)flat on the bottom and pile all of my gear on top, taking one trip, without worrying about spillage. The large wheels in the middle (meaning six wheels on the ground) both help to support the gear, and make cornering a breeze. You can see how this works on the demo video on Gruv Gear's site.

In its smaller, partially folded mode, the handles curve slightly out. so that even when standing the keyboard case up on its end, I can still push/pull the cart from that side.

Its solid tires can't lose air. Time will tell about their durability, but so far, they seem to be holding up nicely.

Some examples of recent scenarios where the Muver 6 made things much easier for me compared to the Rock N Roller Cart ...

1) A gig in Brooklyn. I had to park several blocks away from the venue, and navigate my cart with a keyboard setup down several cobblestone streets and broken sidewalks in an industrial area. The  Muver 6  handled the trip easily, and using the table option instead of a separate keyboard stand made for a much simpler, balanced load. Had I had the Rock N Roller Cart, I would have had much more difficulty navigating the cobblestones, wouldn't have been able to easily push/pull from either side, which was necessary on several occasions, and in my experience, my gear would have fallen off the cart several times.

2) A gig at the Museum of Natural History. I parked in the museum lot, and entered the museum at the opposite end of the building from the "Whale Room" where the gig was. Using the cart, I was able to easily and smoothly pull it the entire length of the museum, (about one large city block), in no time, without the unpleasantness and exertion pulling the Rock N Roller Cart would have entailed. I know this because IIRC, the last time I played there, I used the Rock N Roller Cart. (Sometimes, I don't need to bring any gear to those sorts of gigs, as back line is rented.

In short, the Muver 6 stands out over the Rock N Roller Cart virtually every way. About the only points the Rock N Roller Cart has in its favor is weight (about half that of the Muver 6 ), and that it folds up more compactly that the Muver 6. I feel that this is a worthwhile trade-off. The Muver 6 is also more expensive, but the build quality is significantly better, and worth the premium.

I should note that Gruv Gear makes another cart, the  V-Cart Solo - Multi-Position Personal Utility Cart, that may be a good option for some of you, instead of the Muver 6. That cart folds up smaller, and also has a unique angle that lets you push it as a tilted back dolly. It's also about half the weight of the Muver 6. I opted for the Muver 6  due to its ability to corner easily when fully extended. For those with less gear to haul, or for whom this isn't an issue -- and for bassists/guitarists, who want to be able to move an amp stack around the room/use the cart as an amp stand -- this looks to be a great option. That cart also has an extension option, the Gruv Gear XL Frame Extension for the V-Cart Solo that seems like it would make it a good option for drummers and others with slightly more gear that the V-Cart Solo alone can hold. They also offer a Carpeted Deck option for it. And, there's a brace option, the Gruv Gear Stage Wedge for V-Cart Solo, that let's you use it as an amp stand for your guitar/bass amp.

For people with even less gear to haul, they offer the Solo Lite Multi-Position Personal Utility Cart.

Since no local retailers seem to carry these, I can't speak to the specifics of the other two Gruve Gear carts, but based on my experience with the  Muver 6, I would not hesitate to buy either of these as needed.

In short, these are solid, practical carts for the gigging musician, that can hold your gear in a variety of configurations, and reliably get you and your gear to the gig. You can find more info here: GRUV GEAR website.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Dancing Under Fire

‫המשטרה התיזה מים, המפגינים החרדים פרצו בריקוד‬‎

The Israeli police started s[raying water cannons to disperse rioting chassidim. They responded by dancing. The tune played, naturally, was Vechol Karnei Reshaim. Only in Israel!

Shreimel tip: Life in Israel.

Thursday, February 06, 2014


New organization: CRAAP: Chassidish Rebbes Against Apps!

Let's ban some more stuff! Bans work!

WhatsApp Spreads Fast Among Ultra-Orthodox — and Rabbis Cry Foul

From the mailbag...

Jason Pietruszka emails a link to a new music video with his band "3 Steps Closer. He describes his music as "undertones of religion, faith, and tradition."

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Klezmatics Schnorring Again

The Klezmatics are looking to crowd fun their next album. Last time, they used Kickstarter. This time, they're doing it themselves through the  band website.

Interesting approach.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


The J-Post covers the big blowup over ACUM's honoring Ariel Zilber this year in "Pro-rightist singer Zilber gets downgraded award, touching off firestorm in Israel."