Saturday, November 29, 2008


Our hearts are with the victims of the brutal attacks in Mumbai and it's trivial to talk about anything else in the aftermath of this tragedy. Although I had a lot to write about, I will not be posting any JM stuff in the few days - we can't leave this event pass unnoticed. We must look deep inside ourselves and find ways to save this world from ruin.

We all know the great work the Chabad shluchim do across the world and the attack in the Chabad House is unprecendented.
I hope they continue their mission and as the Rebbe once said: "By your continued building you will be recomforted".

I followed Shmais and LifeofRubin and changed the header of this blog, it's the least I can do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

EXCLUSIVE #4: Carlebach Yartzeit Concert 2008 - Part 1

In addition to my three other exclusive videos(1, 2, 3), I put together this recording of the best moments of the Carlebach Concert which took place three days ago, Motze Shabbos, in Binyanei Hauma.

All in all, this concert was good. Not amazing, but it was good.
As many as 10 musicians played through the night and one thing became very clear - there were two groups.
The first is comprised by the Carlebach wannabes, who dress, speak, sing and wink like Carlebach. These guys were boring and even a bit pathetic since the last thing a musician should do is copy another one. By definition, if you copy someone you will be judged and eventually fall short of the original. And since the original person here is Reb Shlomo, it's even harder. Reb Shlomo had a very distinctive and dynamic personality, so the standard is really up there. The first few singers were from this group and I even felt like leaving the place.

The second group is comprised by singers who are inspired by Carlebach but still have their own vibe. Notable members are Shlomo Katz (amazing!), Chaim David and Aron Razel. Those guys rocked and gave me my money's worth.

The best moments of the concert were:
- The Havdala opening, sung by the Tzfat Carlebach Guy which I mentioned in an earlier post.
- Yehi Shalom, sung by the whole crowd in unison
- Shlomo Katz. This guy is really talented and although this is the first time I hear him live, he is will be huge. Already popular here in Israel, Katz (not to be confused with Eitan Katz, Yehuda Katz - so many Katzs..) is a great composer and performer. A pity he wasn't invited for the 8th Note :)
- And of course, the already famous Crazy Chassid Dancer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Introducing.... Yood

Over the past years I've seen all sorts of new bands mushrooming in the US and Israel and each one tries to create a catchy name. So I wasn't expecting much when I heard about Yood, a rock band led by Eliezer (formerly Lloyd) Blumen but after reading about them in jpost, I must say he has a cool story.

This Chabad (I knew it!) baal tshuva used to be part of a successful 70's-style rock band before being invited to play with Reb Shlomo (btw, his Yartzeit was this past thursday). Unsurprisingly, this event changed his life and he eventually moved to Ramat Beit Shemesh. But now he is back in the rockers scene and is going mainstream. His band, Yood (named after the "smallest but most powerful letter of the Hebrew alphabet"), already went out on tours in a few colleges in the US and they are hoping to be Rock And Roll's new Matisyahu (sounds familiar, no?). They do have something in common with matis - a spin-off version of Tzomo Lecho Nafshi (see video below).

Here's the link to the great article to found in this weekend's Jerusalem Post.

And here's the link for their very cool website. Don't forget to "BY THE NEW CD" - funny typo in their site. Listen to a few songs in their myspace page.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

JM Awards - Another Update

It has been just one week of voting and we have a few good "battles". 8th Note and Poshiter Yid are head-to-head for the Best Album and the same can be said about the "Amar Vs. Mayer" battle in the Best Debut.

I've contacted the other JM bloggers, in an effort to make this awards not only my awards but everyone's. So far, JoeFlix, Chaim Rubin, Teruah and Sruly from Sameach have agreed to share their picks at the end of the vote so we can compare them to the public's choices.

Since these awards are not only mine - they are everyone's - I'm renaming them to "2008 Jewish Music Bloggers Awards", and this will hopefully be a positive step towards creating a yearly vote to be organized by all the JM bloggers.

Spread the word and stay tuned!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

2008 JM Awards - Update

All the categories have been posted, finally. Throughout the past two days I added two categories and it looks like it needs no change; all we have to do is sit and wait. We have two months, and that's plenty time. For the two new polls I used more input from the threads, so there are more options.

Meanwhile, I'm not really planning to post so much. So keep spreading the word and we will see what happens in two months. Most people don't check this blog more than once a month anyways, so it's pointless to jump to any conclusions just a day after the voting started.

As I said previously, I will be revealing my own picks and explanation after the close. I've invited Joeflix to reveal and explain his picks as well. I will soon go after the other JM bloggers to see if they are interested in taking part too, but I can't guarantee anyone else will agree to participate.

The categories are:
- Best Song of 2008
- Best Album of 2008
- Best Debut Singer of 2008
- Best Arrangement of 2008
- Worst Song of 2008

This last category was added because so many of us are sick of the traditional "fillers" that come by so often. 2008 should be the year of their extinction.

Spread the word!