Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Montreal's Radio Shalom

It's 10:00, the kid's and wife are sacked out and I'm relaxing to the rhythms of the Afro-Semitic Experience bumping through my computer speakers (sorry it's not more hi-fi guys) and enjoying the DJ introducing the tracks in Quebeqois French*. Listening to a stack of tracks from my favorite Jewish Jazz group from my home state of Connecticut is strangely heightened by the unexpected context. Not that I understand a word of the patter, but sometimes it's better that way, letting the DJs voice be a warm human music all it's own.

Les faces cachées de la musique juiveI'm listening to an archive recording of the program "Les faces cachées de la musique juive" on CRJS 1650 AM, Radio Shalom, Montreal Canada. Radio-Shalom describes itself as "Canada’s first multilingual Jewish radio station and will broadcast 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Programming is broadcasted in English, French and Hebrew....the only station in North America which offers our listeners music from Israel, Yiddish, Ladino, Mizrahi, hassidic and klezmer as well as world music in a multitude of languages." While Radio-Shalom is certainly not the only Jewish radio station out there, it does have the widest range of programming I've seen. With shows ranging from "The Cantors' Corner" to Chassidic Heavy Metal Rocker David Lazzar's "Rockin' Rabbi Show" it's a pretty amazing lineup.

And they stream live and host an archive of past shows. What more could we ask for (besides instantaneous French-to-English translation)? For more information, see their schedule or the individual show pages for times and archive programs. For the record, not all shows are in French but don't let the ones that are slow you down. It's the music that matter's, right?

For a taste of the Radio Shalom goodness, here's

- The Afro-Semitic Experience on "Les faces cachées de la musique juive"

- The February 3rd Cantors Corner show

- Rockin' Rabbi David Lazzar's Van Halen tribute.

* ok. So I have to tell this story. My lovely and clever wife and I were up in Quebec last summer. I don't speak a word of French. My wife, though, is quite fluent in Spanish and does passable French and Italian. So we're sitting in a charming little bistro in Quebec's Old City. She's ordering and I'm half listening, half daydreaming. All of a sudden the waitress, way over estimating my wife's French, launches into a long explanation of some fine point of the menu and concluding with a complicated question. My wife, going from savy traveler to befuddled rube in one shot, looks at me and says (and I quote) "huh?" My quick witted response was (and I quote) "what?" The waitress looked at the two of us idiots and walked away with our order. By the time she hit the kitchen, we'd begun to recover enough to laugh about it. Sprechen sie Gringo anyone?

No comments: