Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Alan Cohen Experience & the oddest Sukkot song ever

All's quiet on the water front....It's just me and my elephant....
I've been listening to the one of the coolest albums I've run across recently. Bright and glittery, it's filled with funny insightful lyrics and irresistible pop hooks that have the sneaky jangly Ventures surf-rock spy music, the off-kilter bounce of early XTC, and the cheerful cynicism of the Dead Milkmen.

The album, The Alan Cohen Experience, is a six song treasure box that leads off with Elephant, the strangest and most memorable Sukkot song ever. Now let's be clear. While Alan Cohen cheerfully describes himself as a Jewish musician ("I am a Cohen for goodness sake!"), this isn't a Jewish themed album. And Elephant is an unlikely Sukkot song. It chugs along with an infectious repeating surf-rock guitar and sax groove that underscores the primary lyric.

All's quiet on the water front....It's just me and my elephant....

But tucked in middle comes the bridge...

The townspeople dance under the moon
they dance to the sound of the pouring rain
they celebrate the harvest of the fields of grain
they honor all their fathers by proclaiming their names
they feast and then they sleep...

Ok. Maybe I'm reading to much into it. This could be descriptive of a lot harvest festivals. But the details immediately rang true for me and Cohen fessed up that he was thinking about Sukkot when he wrote it. Or, he humored me. I can live with that. Either way, it's a gem of a 3 minute pop song, dumb and smart at the same time, that I adore and my kids ask for by name. Repeatedly. Every time we get in the car. Here...listen for yourself.


Here's Cohen in action, lampooning both fall of the Soviet Union and our American capacity to turn anything into Disneyland.

Communist Park

For more info and to buy the album, check out the Alan Cohen Experience web page or his MySpace page.

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