Saturday, January 20, 2007

2nd Annual JVibe Music Awards

I'm not a big fan of awards and awards ceremonies. I'm a long time music snob who doesn't think that popularity of an musician has any correlation to their musical ability. That said, I'm always interested to see whose getting nominated. It gives me an idea of what trends are happening (or ending) and every so often points me toward someone that I'd overlooked. Hey. Just cause I'm a snob, doens't mean I'm right. Some popular musicians are good. It happens.

Anyway, that's a long preamble to my putting in a plug for the 2nd Annual JVibe Music Awards. The categories and nominees are already established, but the voting for top position will be open until the end of January. I couldn't care less who wins, but the list of nominees is fascinating.

You've got frum rockers Blue Fringe, hip-hop dj Handler and mc Y-Love, and ska-reggae beat-boxer Matisyahu. You've Israeli pop stars Ivri Lider and Idan Raichel. And, of course, you've got Judaica shop staple Debbie Friedman.

So what does this say to me? First, it's another piece of evidence that the klezmer revival isn't the center of the Jewish music scence anymore. There's only one klezmer band, Golem, on the list, and they're known for their punk rock esthetic. Second, I really need to get my head around the Israeli scene. I was only familiar with one of the Israeli bands on the list (Hadag Nahash). Finally, it said I need to listen to my history. While I knew just about all of the non-Israeli groups, I didn't know most of "lifetime achievement award" nominees. I've been trying to get my head around all of the different forms that 'Jewish Music' takes for years now and I'm still regularly amazed (and delighted) how little I know.

Oh, one last thing, vote for Balkan Beat Box, huh? As a favor to me? Those guys are amazing.

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