Monday, October 15, 2007

Jewish/music

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. - Forward.com
==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.

Jewish/Latino:
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.

9 comments:

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...

"...like 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?)