If I understand the Guilt and Pleasure shtick right, they got Jewish writers to write about music. Clever idea, but it didn't work for me. Most of the articles were short, rather pointless, little personal histories or factoids.
Ahem. Almost like a Teruah Jewish Music blog post.
I just expected better from Guilt and Pleasure. I've really enjoyed their previous issues. They put up their articles on line.
Some were more interesting, including:
- KILLING TIN PAN ALLEY: Bob Dylan and the (Jewish) American Songbook by Jonathon Karp
- FRANK ZAPPA. By Reva Mann
- I AM NOT HIPPY JOHNNY: How Jonathan Richman used his outsider status to revolutionize rock and roll. By Tony Michels
- THE GIRL IN THE SILK SKULLCAP: Jean Gornish knew she was cut out to be a cantor. Jewish law kept her out of the pulpit, but that didn't stop her from singing. By Ari Y Kelman
Zeek magazine, which I don't have a subscription to, has a feature article this month titled "The Sanctuary of Melody" by Eliezer Sobel. Again, I was a bit disappointed. The author was earnest about his subject, but I just wasn't that interested in his physical and spiritual travelogue.
The problem is that I know what I'm looking for and don't find much of it. I'm looking for smart, lively, essays that either teach me something about Jewish music or use the Jewish music as lens to examine something of interest. There's some good stuff out there. Summit's "The Lord's Song in a Strange Land" comes to mind, as do George Robinson's reviews. Not that I would measure up, but there are a couple of longer essay's I'm hoping to write soon. It's easy to be a critic, we'll see if I do any better.