Monday, October 15, 2007


Note to non-bloggers: feel free to ignore the dedications at the end of these links. I found myself dedicating one or two things to various virtual people, and decided to go the whole hog and dedicate 'em all. I know, it's an irritating blogger-y thing to do, like using the words "hat tip", which is another habit I ought to stop.

Note to all: I wrote most this post some weeks ago, and it's been languishing in my draft posts folder, so it has a kind of weird frame of reference in time. (Like, Northern State? That's such old news.)

Since I wrote this post, I was shocked and saddened to see that Megan Matthews, one of my favourite bloggers, died, incredibly young. I could never aspire to me as smart and loveable a writer as her.

Yiddish metal:

Two from Keith: Gevolt are Russian Israelis who do metal covers of Yiddish classics (more here). And this is an odd klezmer/metal mashup video (and another).
==I'm dedicating this to cyber-Yiddishist The W, even though I know he's a hip hop fan not a metal fan.==

Northern State:
Two-thirds Jewish New York all-girl hip hop outfit Northern State have their record out, produced by a Beastie Boy. "Mic Tester" is kind of Lady Sovereign meets Beastie Boys (listen to mp3 at Bathysphere), as is "Sucka Muthafucka", with its heavy sound and intelligent/stoopid political lyrics. (Listen to mp3 at The Late Greats, where you can also find:) "Three Amigas" (mp3 from Spinnennetz) has a cool spaghetti western thing going on - kind of like the girls from Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat doing the Spice Girls' "Zig A Zig Ahh". "Away Away" I like less, kind of guitar power pop (mp3 and interview at partyends).
Read: Jewess » Some Anti-J.A.P. Rap to Get Your Morning Hip-Hopping…; Northern State’s Rap Against J.A.P. -
==I'll dedicate these to Kate, as she's a feisty lady, and I haven't linked to her for ages.==

Yiddisher shvartser Mezz Mezzrow and negro cantor Willie "The" Lion Smith:
Megan at Moistworks
==That's for Daniel, who turned me on to Mezz, and for the trad jazzers over at Shiraz Socialist.==
ADDED: Jim "The Lion" Denham has a post on Willie The Lion Smith.

A Jewish take on Christian music:
Ben at Moistworks on Larry Norman
==For lack of a better idea, I'll dedicate this to Will, to provoke his atheist rage.==

Two posts on Jewish cowboy music:
1. Kinky Friedman; 2. Scott Gerber.
==I'm dedicating these to Jogo, nearest this blog has to a Jewish cowboy.==

Israeli hip hop and reggae:
Soulico are an Israeli hip hop outfit who draw on some cool Middle Eastern sounds as background to their Hebrew ragga-inflected rapping. There's an interesting interview (and mp3 of the quite lame "Pitom Banu") at The Music Slut. "How we do it" (here) is nicer - a kind of laid back reggae thing.

Habanot Nechama are an Israeli acoustic folk/reggae band. A little lighweight, but a nice sound, ideal for a campfire on a beach as a summer evening draws to a close. Shades of KT Tunstall and Finlay Quaye. Two mp3s at Aurgasm.

According to Tofu Hut,
Roberto Rodriguez is an instrumental innovator who synthesizes his Cuban roots with traditional Jewish music and avant-garde jazz.

On his mix of traditional Cuban and Jewish musical influences:
"I think it is a natural connection. I came to the United States and I lived in Miami with the Jewish community, so I was able to vacillate between the two cultures. In Caribbean, as well as South American sounds, we look back to Spain and there's a connection with Judaism there. I realized later on in my life that there is a line there that crosses all the borders..."
Listen to the interview at this podcast. Hear Roberto Rodriguez with his wife Susie Ibarra here, talking and doing weird percussion stuff.
==I'll dedicate that to Noga, for whom I was looking for something in Ladino, but couldn't find any.==

Previous: Klezmer idol; Feed Your Ears; World music/Jewish music.


Jim Denham said...

Glad to note, Bob, thast you'ved latched onto Mezz - probably tghe least competent musician ever to have made the jazz "big-time". The reason(s) he did so are:
1/ He had good taste, and usually used the very best negro musicians on his recordings;
2/ despite his (considerable) technical limitations, he *could* play an 8-, 12, or 16-bar blues, with authority. he even nvented a new form of 32-bar "blues-with-a-bridge";
3/he was, throughout the 1930's, the number-one gage-dealer in NYC; indeed, for a while, spliffs were known as "Mezzes".

He made one bloody good record: a version of Louis' "West End Blues", featuring trumpeter Buck Clayton, in Paris in 1953.

Eddie Condon: "Mezz can make the clarinet talk; it usually says 'please put me back in my case.'

The Contentious Centrist said...

Merci mucho, Bob.

A-propo a Jewish cowboy, I once knew someone who was a Jewish redneck. Which of course means he was neither Jewish nor a redneck, only pretending to be. Maybe empirical experience proved this combination to be an irresistible hit with ladies! FYI, guys.

The W said...

Thanks Bob. As a matter of fact I found out about Gevolt over the summer. I downloaded the two songs they have availible on their website, and, even though its not my go-to genre, i do get a kick out of blasting and singing along to their version of Tum Balalaika. I hope their CD comes out soon...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

" using the words "hat tip", which is another habit I ought to stop."

No way!

kate said...

Yo Bob, hows it going? I love the music I am now going to look on t internet for downloads. Me =feisty? na never, hee hee.
Are you coming to the next bloggers meet up?

bob said...

Not sure Kate - I'm hoping too, but it's the day after my other half's birthday, so not sure if I'll be allowed!

Bruce R said...

Last Saturday there was a big Jewish event in Trafalgar Square (Ken making amends?) including among a huge range of music a Jewish Elvis impersonator called Schmelvis. He claimed (of course)that the real Elvis was Jewish because his great-grandmother was. Presumably bollocks...

Daniel said...

I just added some Israeli reggae.

bob said...

Jewish Elvis: I've heard that too, and also that Elvis was a shabes goy. No idea of the truth or otherwise.

Israeli reggae: That's great Daniel. Here's the link folks.

Thanks Kate, also, for the Northern State video on your blog. (Link: Lewisham Kate: Me = feisty?)