Monday, September 24, 2007

Getting Schooled

I got a nice email today from my fellow Jewish music aficionado, David Griffin. David is a multi-instrumentalist who plays with the faux-French band Nous Non Plus and klezmer-punk band Golem and is part of the same "Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists" as Joshua Lockwood (The Sway Machine). And he's got the kind of seriously warped taste in music that makes me want to show up at his place with a milk crate of LPs and a couple of 6 packs of HE'BREW 'The Chosen Beer' Pomegranate Ale and swap favorite tracks until the wee hours. For example, check out this fabulous video of "Israeli Bossa Nova" that he documented in his "Hebrew School" blog.
"As you may know, I’m in a band of mostly Americans who pretend to be French. So perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised to think that 30 years ago, there were Israelis in fake Brazilian bands. This album of Brazilian hits of the day [Pais Tropical - Songs From Brazil (1977)], sung in Hebrew, apparently caused quite a frenzy in Israel when it was released. Nationally renowned composer Ehud Manor translated and re-wrote the lyrics (he also wrote the Eurovision winner “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” which I wrote about here); Matti Caspi did the arrangements. Included are songs like “A Felicidade” from Black Orpheus by Antonio Carlos Jobim and the title track by Jorge Ben (originally recorded by Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘77). Here’s the latter:"
ארץ טרופית יפה

This is serious stuff folks. Go get schooled.


I'm currently on David's page on the "Six Points Fellowship" site. David's put three track samples up that help me understand what he's going for in his own music. When he says indie, he's refering to low volume, introspective, guitar and sequencer driven pop a la The Feelies and The Magnetic Fields. Listening to it gave me flashbacks to hanging out with my buddy Ian in Connecticut in the early 1990's just post-college, with crates of LPs, and him trying turn me into an indie fan. It never quite worked, I could appreciate the understated pop-melodies and how they turned macho rawk-n-roll and bubblegum pop motifs on their heads, but it never connected emotionally for me like it did for him. Or, it would seem, like it does for David. But, these are good recordings that whet my appetite for more. I'm looking forward to see where David goes with his idea of "Jewish indie pop that draws on "Yiddish folks, Zionist and Palestinian national pastiche, and (perhaps scandalously) motifs from Reform and Conservative prayer."


Vipin said...

I have a blog which is completely full of entertainment like movies, music, ringtones etc.

Jack said...

Ok. thanks for letting us know. I checked the blog out folks, and it has four posts with a lot if info on ringtones (including 1 post devoted to Christmas ringtones). Not much of a connection to Jewish music.