Monday, August 30, 2010

I can hear the shofar calling: Prodezra Beats Rosh Hashanah G-dCast

7 comments:
Proderza Beats, aka L'Shem Shamayim, offers up a hip-hop take on the Rosh Hashanna Torah reading.




Prodezra Beats has a new EP and videos out. Good stuff. Check it out.

G-dcast is a ongoing project to develop new online media to improve Jewish literacy. They are typically animated interpretations of the weeks's parsha. They're always interesting and often wonderful.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Almonds and Wine and Jewish Heritage

2 comments:
Here's a lovely short animated film titled "Almonds and Wine." Produced, directed, and animated by Arnie Lipsey and with music by Kapelye,
"brings a Yiddish folk song to life, as the animated journey of a young bride and groom from Eastern Europe to North America is set to rollicking klezmer music. Fleeing the threat of war, the couple arrive in Canada, establish a new life together and hand down their traditions to the generations that follow"
The video was just uploaded to YouTube yesterday, but the film was released in 1999.


One of the things that caught me while watching the film was some of the subtext of the narrative. I'm in the middle of reading Beth S Wenger's "History Lessons: The Creation of American Jewish Heritage" and that's got me thinking (go figure) about Jewish foundation myths. Wenger write about the Jewish American experience, but I would imagine the Jewish Canadian experience was similar. Wenger notes that ...
"Despite occasional uncertainties about what might lie ahead in their adopted homeland, American Jews participated in an array of public events and produced and consumed a vast corpus of popular literature that championed the possibilities for Jewish life in the United States....The invention of these narratives both eased Jewish adjustment to American life and created a distinct ethnic history compatible with American ideals."
"Almonds and Wine," along with many other contemporary Jewish films, art, literature and music, seems to be following along on this same trajectory. On one level it presents a simple narrative of what came to pass. This is who and where we were, this is how we got where we are now, and this is the trajectory we're on. This may be a literal depiction of the Lipsey's family, or not. Either way, it is the story of a great many Jewish families.

Below that, though, is a clear sense of advocacy, of the rightness of it all. This despite the fact that the changes in Jewish culture and tradition that happen to the family in "Almonds and Wine" as it establishes itself represent a huge rift between the new world and the old. The family, as presented, goes from being rural and Orthodox to being urban and Conservative. Men and women now dance together. Men don't wear kippot except at the bimah. Grandma and gramdpa had an arranged marriage (though, convenient from a modern perspective, they'd had a crush on each other already), none of the grand kids do.

Most importantly, there's no sense of choices made. The experience of immigration and assimilation was as destructive to traditional Jewish religion and culture as the Holocaust was. The immigrants reinvented themselves as fast as they possibly could, shedding language, customs, and religious practices to better fit in. This was a messy process. Not all immigrants made the same choices. There is still a strong Orthodox and Chassid community in the US and Canada (including Toronto, where Lipsey is based). Many immigrants went much further in their assimilation than what is pictured here, either by attempting to create a secular Yiddishkyte (e.g. Workman's Circle, the Jewish Forward) or a secular American "Seinfeld, bagels, and Sandy Kofax" Jewish culture.

"Almonds and Wine" reflects a lovely foundation myth for a principle segment of the immigrants that attempted to find a middle path that was integrated, assimilated, but religious and (up to a point) traditional. I applaud the myth because my family lived it. I'm very much a product of that middle ground. But at the same time the more I write this blog, the more I interact with Jews, on all sides, whose experience differs from mine, the more I find narratives like this to be unsatisfying, distorting, and, well, mythic.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Darkcho. A muttered lonely prayer.

2 comments:
It's 10pm and I'm alone at my office. I've got a new CD spinning and I'm completely lost in it. A voice is singing Chassidic niggunim and prayers in a muttered, intimate, lilt. The voice is far away and unaware, as if I'm standing outside of a small house listening to a man singing to himself. For accompaniment a simple strummed guitar and muted horns fade in and out.

I feel a bit lost, and yet found at the same time. The distance of the album draws me in and I want to knock on the door, come in and sit. Maybe later I'll sing too, but now I just want to listen and shake off a bit of the night.

The album that's conjuring this dream is Darkcho. I know almost nothing about it. Shemspeed attributes it to "D. Brook and J. Harkham" and will be releasing it in September. The SF Bay Jewish Weekly wrote about it back in 2004. There's a Darkcho twitter page that says that they come from Australia.

That's it.

The Shemspeed press kit has lots to say, but no more real details. First listen and then read.


<a href="http://shemspeed.bandcamp.com/album/darkcho">Mah Lecho by Shemspeed</a>

Darkcho is an album of mystical Hasidic music, that sounds more like an indie folk rock album with tradition than what you would expect of a religious album. The music is very real, very meditative and very very human. A physical copy of this record is hard to find. As we look at the art we see how mysterious it all is. Hand written lyrics and notes cover the panels, but there is no label, there is no website, there is no way of finding out any more information and to top it all off, when you flip the cover over you read these fascinating words:

“These songs collected here belong to the Jewish people. They originate from holiness. They speak of self nullification and redemption, the need for healing and discovering the depths of the Holy One Blessed Be He in this world and the next.

We take no recognition for any part of the material, lest the actual performing of the music itself.

The R recognition was meant for the Holy One Blessed Be He and to the nation that lives by His word.”

Shemspeed has taken on this beautiful record in order to ensure that the world hears it, aged in the barrels of Eastern European folklore and steeped in centuries of Jewish musical tradition. The album plays like a Tarantino soundtrack to the deepest, most spiritual moments of life; full of depth and style, antiquity and freshness.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jewish Family Performers

3 comments:
GeminiWork on the Detroit JCC's Stephen Gottlieb Jewish Music Festival continues. It looks like we've committed to doing a family performance during next years fest. That's nice. Last year we had Rabbi Joe Black and he put on a great show. I'm not on the committee that's picking this year's performer (I'm working on a "progressive" Jewish music showcase") But, as the resident Jewish music obsessive/compulsive I was asked to put together a list of likely performers. Here's what I came up with. Some have been featured here on Teruah before..others have been shamefully neglected. (I'll fix that) I've only seen a small handful live, so this list is meant as a reference not an endorsement. I'm sure I'm missing some wonderful folk, particularly from the Chassid and Orthodox communities. Please write in and let me know. Also let me know who on the list you've seen and what you thought.

First the local Michigan performers. I've seen both live and both are wonderful.
  1. Gemini http://www.geminichildrensmusic.com/ (Ann Arbor)
  2. Elain Serling http://www.elaineserling.com/ (Detroit)
Now, the not so local....
  1. Rabbi Joe Black - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22130975491
  2. The Mama Doni Band - http://www.mamadoni.com/
  3. Shira Klein (ShirLala) - http://www.shirlala.com/index.php/front/
  4. Dafna (ShirFun) - https://www.shirfun.com/
  5. Stephanie Schneiderman Https://oybaby.com (The discs are great. I'm not sure if she tours)
  6. Uncle Moishe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Moishy_and_the_Mitzvah_Men (BIG following in the Orthodox community)
  7. Craig Taubman http://www.craignco.com/index.php
  8. The Macaroons http://jdubrecords.org/artists.php?id=33 (not sure if they tour)
  9. Barry Polisar http://www.barrylou.com/index.html (mostly secular, w/some Jewish material, wickedly funny, been around a LONG time)
  10. Dahlia Tolopsky http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dahliatopolosky (not sure if she tours)
  11. Peter and Ellen Alard http://www.peterandellen.com/
  12. Fran Avni http://www.franavni.com/
  13. Shir Synergy http://lisa.shirsynergy.com/
  14. Karen Daniel http://www.karendaniel.com/
  15. Judy Farber http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/judyfarber
  16. Andi Joseph http://www.musicalmommy.com/
  17. Cantor Jeff Klepper http://www.jeffklepper.com/ (who, along with Debbie Friedman and Dan Freelander, pretty much invented Reform songleader style)
  18. Carolyn Boyd Leon http://www.carolboydleon.com/
  19. Mark Russio, The Marvelous Toy http://www.themarveloustoy.com/
  20. Mah Tovu http://www.mahtovu.com/Mah_Tovu/Home.html
  21. Cindy Paley http://www.cindypaley.com/
  22. Rick Rect http://www.rickrecht.com/ (more for the teen/camp crowd)
  23. Dan Nichols http://www.jewishrock.com/index2.asp (also more for the teen/camp crowd)
  24. The Shiretts http://www.shirettes.com/
  25. Judy Caplan Ginsburgh http://www.judymusic.com/
  26. Sheldon Low http://sheldonlow.com/
  27. FunkeyMonkeys http://www.funkeymonkeys.com/
  28. Sam Glaser http://www.samglaser.com/

Monday, August 16, 2010

We Sang that At Camp (didn't we?)

1 comment:
I'm a huge fan of the Oy Baby discs. The first two (Oy Baby I and II) are the best performed, produced, and arranged Jewish kids discs out right now. From the smart and eclectic song selection to the wonderful harmonies of Stephanie Schneiderman and her sisters these albums are spot on perfect. Ask my kids how to sing Eli Eli, the Shehekianu, or a dozen other tunes,...you'll hear the Schneiderman arrangements coming back at you.

So I was delighted when I got their next Jewish album "We Sang That At Camp." And there it was, the same great voices, now with a fine male singing partner, but I couldn't quite get into it. My kids, now 3 years older than when they were first hooked on Oy Baby, couldn't quite get into it. I've been listening to it on and off all summer and I think I finally figured it out.

I never went to Jewish camp in the 1970s. And neither did my kids.

And that, it seems, is a bit of a problem. The album is setup to feel a bit like a campfire or a singalong in a mess tent in a camp. A fine conceit, that allows for a mix of liturgical pieces such as "Ma Tovu." Israeli folk pop pieces such as "Salaam," and American folk pop pieces such as "Leaving on a Jet Plane."

"Leaving on a Jet Plane?" Really? Seriously? That got sung at Jewish camp? My dad is a big fan of 1960's folk pop. I grew up on Peter Paul and Mary, the Weavers, the Kingston Trio, and the like. But hearing covers of "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and Harry Chapin's "All My Life's a Circle" is just odd and points to my fundamental problem with the disc...I really don't understand who the intended audience is.

A 40 year-old guy who, unlike me, went to Jewish camp? Maybe, but this is still a pretty kid friendly album. The arrangements are only a hairs-breadth more adult oriented than the Oy Baby discs. My kids? They dig the Jewish songs. "Ba Shanah Haba'ah" was a favorite. But the Harry Chapin number just lost them. They had no interest in a 40 year old light folk pop number made even lighter. Honestly I didn't either. My sense of nostalgia doesn't include this kind of material.

So this disc, for all that it has some great moments and very worthy tracks, never made into rotation. Which was a bummer. My kids are ready and primed for a new Oy Baby disc. Just not this one. Maybe one that sounds more like their current Jewish camp, the local Gan Israel camp, that mixes some of the very same tunes, with bunk songs that mix Miss Mary Mack style word play with current pop radio verve and swagger. Now that they'd groove on.

But this is very much a "your mileage may vary" kind of situation. If you went to camp or have a different sense of nostalgia, you might love this disc. Or your kids might. Check it out and see...






Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lenka Lichtenberg - Avinu Malkeinu

1 comment:
Avinu Malkeniu is the deep and deeply loved core of the high holidays liturgy. A musician has to be brave to take on a piece like Avinu Malkeniu. Either that or foolish. I've heard both. This performance by Toronto vocalist Lenka Lichtenberg and her band is a brave one. They approach the material with due reverence, but with great vitality.
Lenka Lichtenberg - Avinu Malkeinu



The performance is from the 2010 Boskovice Festival, at the Boskovice Synagogue. Lichtenberg and her band will be performing at the Ashkenaz festival in Toronto in a few weeks. It should be a wonderful show. Wish I could go...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Danny Kaye and Harry Belefonte sing Hava Nagila

1 comment:
Shabbat Shalom everyone.

Fine. Groan if you want. But I've found yet another great version of Hava Nagila in the history dumpster that is YouTube. This time it's my fav's Danny Kaye & Harry Belafonte singing (and doing some very strange neck dancing) on a 1960's TV show. Danny goes very flat at the end and gets teased by Harry. This is Must See TV.



I got a request for some contemporary and celebratory versions of the old warhorse. So don't be surprised if I play a few more this week. If you've got a favorite contemporary recording, let me know!

Hat tip to youtube user bellecourse for posting the video.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

They Might Be Golems #jewishbandnames

No comments:
From the great seething biomass that is twitter comes...suggestions for Jewish band names! I've been monitoring twitter for Jewish music related links and memes for a while. Suggestions for band names is one of my favorites...some smart, perverse, some tongue in cheek, and some condescending or downright mean. To protect the guilty I'm not telling you who came up with each of these little jewels, except for with one exception...
How about naming a female backing band The Nice Jewish Girls? I think Oya Gevoya and the Nice Jewish Girls has a good ring to it... - Aug 10

I'm pretty sure Brisket Gun would be the name of a Jewish Led Zeppelin cover band's hit single. - Aug 10

I'm gonna start a Jewish death metal band and call it "Jewcifer" - Aug 9

The Hammed #jewishbandnames - Aug 7

Matzah the Hoople #jewishbandnames - Aug 7

Puddle of Talmud #jewishbandnames - Aug 7

Gefillter #jewishbandnames - Aug 7

Jewish rock band.........guns and noses! - Aug 9

Anyone interested in forming an all-Jewish Guns 'N Roses cover band called Guns 'N Rosenberg? - July 26

I wanna manage an all Jewish Tigers Jaw tribute band called Tigers Jew. there's a market for that, right?! #SAF2010 - jlu 26

@DrColtCabana New Jewish Rock Band. Jew You. - July 26

This morning it occurred to me that if I were ever start a Jewish rock band I would probably name it Passover Teakettle. @@apollorockit 7-2-10

Jewish Punk band: Anti-Semites For The Savior (or A.SS) @DomKing456 - June 24 2010
And lastly, the inimitable auroranibley's list. I have to give her credit for the sheer volume and for They Might Be Golems. Which really really really should be a band. Someone? Please?
- Oy Vey Go
- Death Cab for Schlomo
- Four Non-Shiskas
- Better than Avram
- They Might Be Golems
- Modest Mohel
- Gephilta Phish
- Zappa and the You Never Call Your Mothers of Invention
And this is just a one month (or so) sample!

One last thing. They Might Be Golems was such a great band name I had to make the album cover above. If you feel inspired...pick any of these bands, make an album cover, send it to me and I'll post it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pioneers for a Cure: The Israel Sessions Volume 1

No comments:
I'm sitting in San Diego, in a hotel overlooking the bay, listening for the dozenth time to Pioneers for a Cure: The Israel Sessions Volume 1. I'm a sucker for compilation discs. It's like getting a great radio show on one CD. In variably I fall for bands I'd never heard of and probably wouldn't have. Right now Uri Miles is crooning and playing pipes over a gentle rhythm that is both Matti Caspi lounge, Celtic drone and Mizrachi wailing at the same time. Odd but beautiful.

Pioneers for a cure is a charity compilation that trading up and coming musicians exposure for an opportunity to raise money for cancer research. The Israel Sessions is the second phase of the project. The first phase, produced by one of my favorite musicians Rabbi Greg Wall (of Hasidic New Wave and the Later Prophets) featured a wonderful cross section of contemporary Jewish music. This phase focuses on Israel music and other than an inclusion Greg Wall's Later Prophets is full of artists I don't know. Great fun and great music, gentle pop and driving rock, Israeli folk and art music. I think the Later Prophets and the Uri Miles tracks are my favorites, but there's not a dull track in the set.

Here's Greg Wall's Later Prophets Featuring Shai Bachar and Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein, playing Sobu Tzion live in Beit Avi Chai, Jerusalem, August 24, 2009. A studio version is part of the Israeli Sessions.



To get in on Pioneers, check out tracks yourself. Donate and download the tracks you like. Only the first 5 tracks of the collection are up on the site, but the rest are coming soon. And while you're there, check out the songs from the first phase. They're all still available and just as great. They include tracks by Teruah favorites David Broza, Y-Love, Stereo Sinai, Sway Machinery, and Adrienne Cooper, just to name a few.

Here's a short video article on Pioneers for a Cure. It was made at the time of the first set of songs, not the current set, but it will give you the right idea.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Teruah On TV Part II...The Playlist

1 comment:

Chris from MN wrote in this afternoon asking for the playlist to my Ann Arbor District Library talk. Here you go. I put this together before giving the talk and so there are likely to be a couple of errors. There's also a lot here that were mentioned on the slides that I didn't talk about. Most importantly...this list is only a starting point. The musicians on this list are all wonderful, but only scratch the surface of contemporary Jewish music. Always feel free to write in if you want more recommendations in a particular area.

Klezmer

General Information: Ari Davidow’s Klezmershack

klezmershack.com

Shtetl: Budowitz

budowitz.com

Revival: Shirim Klezmer Orchestra

shirim.com

Bongo: Yiddishe Cup (Ohio)

yiddishecup.com

Simcha: Heartland Klezmer (Lansing, MI)

myspace.com/heartlandklezmorim

Post-Revival: David Krakuer & Socalled

davidkrakauer.com

socalledmusic.com

Pop: Oi Va Voi

oi-va-voi.com/music

Roots: Red Sea Pedestrians (Kalamazoo, MI)

theredseapedestrians.com

Yiddish

General Information: Ari Davidow’s Klezmershack

klezmershack.com

Popular: Wolf Krakowsi

kamea.com

Daniel Kahn (MI & Berlin)

danielkahn.com

Golem!

golemrocks.com

Jewdysee

myspace.com/jewdysseemusic

Folk: Lori Cahan Simon (Ohio)

cdbaby.com/lcahan

Tanja Solnik

tanjasolnik.com/

Art: Zahava Seevald

myspace.com/zahavaseewald

Lazar Weiner: Art of Yiddish Song”

milkenarchive.org/cds/cds.taf?cdid=42

Theater: Folksbiene Theater

folksbiene.org

Sephardic & Mizrachi

Sephardic Music Festival

sephardicmusicfestival.com

Sephardic: Gerard Endery

gerardedery.com

Jennifer Chales & Oren Bloedow

myspace.com/lamarenfortuna

Latino: Hip Hop Hoodios

hoodios.com

Mizrachi: Pharaoh’s Daughter

pharaohsdaughter.com/

Diwon

erezsafar.com/

Art Music, Jazz, and Avant Garde

Tzadik / Radical Jewish Jewish Culture

tzadik.com

Davka

davkamusic.com

Bar Kokhba Sextet

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Kokhba_Sextet

Shelley Hirsch

shelleyhirsch.com

Anthony Coleman Trio

myspace.com/antcol8

Kletka Red

tzadik.com/index.php?catalog=7111

Oren Ambarchi
Robbie Avenaim

tzadik.com/index.php?catalog=7131

Naxos / Milken Archive of American Jewish Music

milkenarchive.org

Ofer Ben-Amots

oferbenamots.com

“Jewish Music of the Dance”

milkenarchive.org/cds/cds.taf?cdid=46

“Jewish String Quartets”

milkenarchive.org/cds/cds.taf?cdid=40

“Thomas Beveridge: Yizkor Requiem”

milkenarchive.org/cds/cds.taf?cdid=38

Jazz: David Chevan

chevan.addr.com

Enrico Fink

enricofink.com

Uri Caine

uricaine.com

Frank London / Hasidic New Wave

www.franklondon.com

Downtown Scene

JDub Records

jdubrecords.org

Shemspeed Records

shemspeed.com

David Griffin / Hebrew School

hebrewschoolsounds.com

The Sway Machinery

swaymachinery.com

Girls in Trouble

myspace.com/girlsintroublemusic

The Shondes

shondes.com

Fringe

Matisyahu

matisyahuworld.com

Regina Spektor

myspace.com/reginaspektor

Silver Jews

myspace.com/silverjews

Say Anything

sayanythingmusic.com


Songleaders

Hava Nashira Jewish Songleader & Music Resource

ot006.urj.net

Rabbi Joe Black

rabbijoeblack.com

Elaine Serling (MI)

elaineserling.com

Abby Gostein

bethshalomaustin.org/leadership/music.asp

Craig Taubman

craignco.com

Todd Herzog

toddherzog.com

Shabbat Resouled

shabbatresouled.org

“American Jewish Summer”

cdbaby.com/cd/jewishsummer

Linda Hirschhorn & Vocolot

vocolot.com

Orthodox and Chassidic

Mostly Music

mostlymusic.com

The Jewish Music Report

jewishmusicreport.com

Shiny Shoe: Yeedle

mostlymusic.com/yeedle-m-1448.html

Neo-Carlebach: Yehuda Green

yehudagreen.com

Modern Orthodox Pop: Blue Fringe

bluefringe.com

Miami Boys Choir

joshsjm.com/MBC.htm

Na Nach Music

nanach.net

Hip Hop: Y-Love and Describe

myspace.com/ylove

myspace.com/describemusic

Niggunim: Yosef Karduner

facebook.com/pages/YOSEF-KARDUNER/28110442994

Cantor Yitz Yitzchak Meir Helfgot

mostlymusic.com/cantoryitzchakmeirhelfgot-m-285-songs.html

Women Only: Rivkah Krinsky

myspace.com/rivkahk

Simcha: Avraham Solomon

www.livejewishmusic.com

Simcha

Chanukah: Richard Kaplan

cdbaby.com/cd/frankelkaplan

Kenny Ellis

kennyellis.com

Erran Baron Cohen

amazon.com/Erran-Baron-Cohen-Presents-Hanukkah/dp/B001FZ0AAY

Lori Cahan Simon

cdbaby.com/cd/lcahan3

Purim: Binyomin Ginzberg

jewishmusician.com

Passover: “Celebrate Passover”

craignco.com

Children

Uncle Moishy

mostlymusic.com/unclemoishy-m-1381.html

Oy Baby”

oybaby.com

Shira Klein

shirlala.com

Craig Taubman

craignco.com

Gemini (MI)

geminichildrensmusic.com

Israel

David Broza

davidbroza.net/hp

Hadag Nahash

hadagnahash.com/en

Chilik Frank

mostlymusic.com/chilikfrank-m-1789.html

Noa

noasmusic.com

50’s and 60’s

Irving Fields Trio

moderntribe.com/judaica/Music/bagel_bongos

“Hear O Israel: A Prayer Ceremony in Jazz”

trunkrecords.com/turntable/hearoisrael.shtml

Brothers Zim

paulzim.com

Gevatron & The Israeli Kibbutz Folk Singers

israel-music.com/gevatron_israeli_kibbutz_folk_singers

70’s

Kapelye

kapelye.com

Sholomo Carlebach

rebshlomo.org

Diaspora Yeshiva Band

diasporaband.com

Debbie Friedman

debbiefriedman.com

Klezmer Conservatory Band

klezmerconservatory.com

Flory Jagoda

floryjagoda.com

Social Networking Examples

Can Can

myspace.com/cancanband

Stereo Sinai (Chigaco)

stereosinai.blogspot.com

Online Audio / Radio

Sephardic: Jewish World Radio

jewishworldradio.com

Radio Free Klezmer

live365.com/stations/32281

Na Nach: Breslov Radio

breslevradio.co.il

Cantorial: Nusach Radio

live365.com/stations/53860?play

Chassidic Pop: Olam Radio

olamradio.com

Israeli Radio Station Guide

www.my-music.co.il/en/index.html

Chassidic Pop: YidLive

www.yidlive.com/index1.php

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Teruah on TV (with a face for podcasts)

4 comments:
Jack at Ignite Ann ArborThat's right, I was on local access television recently. And someone actually watch the show. In fact, I only know I was on because a friend happened to stumble across the show, recognize me, and watch it, and then sent me an email about it. Yep. The joys of local access TV.

You may remember that I gave a talk at the wonderful Ann Arbor District Library a few months back. The video of the talk is finally up on the AADL website. Check it out! I only sounded like an idiot two or three times. For me that's not too bad. It turns out the library tossed the video over to the local access TV station. And yes..clearly I have a face for podcasts.

Here's a link to the library video page. You can watch the video or download it as an audio file. So far it's been viewed 63 times. Pretty cool.

Here's the description of the Ann Arbor library talk...
"Ignite Second Stage: The Silver Age of American Jewish Music is Happening Now! And You're Missing It!

Jewish music is exploding. Bands and labels and venues are multiplying. Rock. Hip Hop. Reggae. Punk. Klezmer. Sephardic. Choral. Jazz. Chassidic-Pop. Bible-gum. Beat Box. House. Socialist Yiddish Gothic. Indie. A revolution is happening but we're scattered across a big nation with no common media to connect us....except the net. Will it be enough? Jack Zaientz, an Ann Arbor area research scientist who blogs about contemporary Jewish Music, will introduce you to some of the most amazing new Jewish music that you've never heard.

This Extended Play version of Jack's recent 5 minute Ignite Ann Arbor talk will be loaded with more music, a road-map of the contemporary Jewish Music scene, a case study in social-networking Jewish Music, and the greatest Jewish song you've never heard."

My next speaking gig is going to be October 25th at Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor. I'll be part of an adult education evening. You don't have to be a member to attend. All are welcome. Here's the topic:
The Music of the Diaspora
Description: In this meeting we'll talk about and listen to examples of secular and religious music from around the Jewish world including Ashkenazi, Sepharidic, Morrano/Converso, Ethiopian, Israeli, Mountain Jews, and Mizrachi Jews.
Discussion questions: How much of our view of being of Jewish comes from our immediate surroundings and culture? Now that the internet has made unexpected corners the world immediately available, how might that change our sense of Jewish culture? How will that change our sense of being Jewish?


I'm hoping this will be the beginning of a series of Jewish music talks at TBE. I'd also like to ones on the music of prayer, music in the home, and current popular music (Radical Jewish Culture and Shiny Shoe Music). We'll see how the first one goes.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Help Kickstart "Hava Nagila, What Is It?"

1 comment:
Kickstarter is turning into a real Jewish music creativity machine. This month's worthwhile project is "Hava Nagila, What is it?"

Here's the video...

'Hava Nagila, What Is It?' - Fundraising Trailer from Katahdin Productions on Vimeo.



And here's the pitch...

"Nearly 400,000 people saw the Hava Nagila, What Is It? clip during our first IndieGoGo fundraising campaign.

We shot several interviews with donor support including Glen Campbell, Professor Edwin Seroussi and the granddaughers of A.Z. Idelshohn (the creator of Hava Nagila). But the film isn’t done yet.

During the Summer of the Shekel, we have the audacious goal of raising $18,000 to continue production. Your tax-deductible support will be used for:

Interviewing the daughter and granddaughter of Moshe Nathanson. All their lives these women believed that their beloved father and grandfather, a cantor and leading light of Jewish music in New York, wrote the lyrics to Hava Nagila, not A.Z. Idelsohn, who is generally credited as the song’s creator. An important legacy is in question.

An Interview with music legend Connie Francis. She not only sang Hava Nagilah, but recorded an entire album of Jewish songs. Connie’s agreed to the interview, but we need to raise the funds to go with our crew to Toms River, New Jersey, where she will be performing on August 28th!

Other possible celebrity interviews include Jo Anne Worley, Dick Dale, Chubby Checker and others!

Capturing more Hava moments at weddings, b’nai mitzvahs and sporting events, where Hava Nagila is a rallying tune on par with Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll, Part 2” and Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” – yes, we’re proud!

If everyone who visits the site gives $18 or more the entire film will be funded. It’s possible for a group of people to come together to fund a film they want to see!!!

To find out more about Roberta’s recent documentary, Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, visit http://www.blessedisthematch.com.

*Why $18? The number 18 is the numeric representation for the Hebrew word “chai” which means “life.” Bring more chai into the world and, before you know it, the completed film will be on a screen near you!!"


I'll admit, as much as being ignorant in public is part of my job description I don't enjoy movies that encourage others to do it. I was much happier with the interviews with people who were a bit thoughtful. That said..I coughed up my loot. How about you?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Julie Geller - From a narrow place I called to you

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Shabbat shalom everyone. July was a long month. Sorry for going AWOL. My day job and some family adventures took their toll. (Hey. I had my car engine explode on way to the Chicago Jewish Music Festival. Cut me some slack). I really need Shabbat tonight.

It's been a while, but here's great 'get in the Shabbat groove' track. It's courtesy of Julie Geller, a Denver based folk and Jewish signer/songwriter and is off her new album "You're With Me." I dig the album clips I've heard. A contemporary folk / light rock sound, but with some stylish arrangements and a strong lyrical voice. At times she reminds me of Austin-based country songstress Nanci Griffith and at other times college folk darling Dar Williams. Both high compliments. And when she kicks into her Jewish tracks I swoon. Seriously. Love it.



You can here the clips from the album tracks here..


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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Paris Yiddish dance flashmob

1 comment:
Ok. It would have been funnier in a department store, but it's still awesome to see a fully choreographed Yiddish dance flash mob on the streets of Paris.

"Part of Klezmer Paris 2010. Students and faculty take Paris by surprise in front of the Tuilleries. Concept and choreography by Steven Weintraub, band led by Christian Dawid, Christina Crowder, and Jake Shulman-Ment."