Friday, June 29, 2012

Nekuda Tova • Shuli Rand

Half of that whole Ushpizin incident. I say incident because art, it seems to me, is becoming more incidental every hour. If you'll remember the classics we were told about and re-discovered, you'll remember how they first qualified as exceptional before going platinum. Then they went multi, then they went viral and it seems viral got sick and died. 

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Good shabbos!

Shared with me some whiles back. Still as good a point as ever.

נקודה טובה
שולי רנד ואהוד בנאי
מילים ולחן: שולי רנד

אחות קטנה, נפש תאומה
חכי עוד רגע עוד מעט
יש שכר לפעולתך
הנה הוא קם ואליך הולך
חכי עוד רגע כי רק את

גם אני איתך בוכה
וכמוך מצפה
אז חכי עוד רגע עוד מעט
הנה הוא בא מנחמך
שמעי איך הוא אליך הולך
חכי עוד רגע כי רק את

תמיד ידעת למצוא בי
עוד קצת אור שממני נעלם
נקודה טובה ועוד נקודה טובה
ועוד מעט ואין רשע
התבוננת על מקומו ואיננו

הן תמיד השכלת לשמוע
את השיר שלנו שכמעט נדם
נקודה טובה ועוד נקודה טובה
ועוד מעט והנה הוא בא
התבוננת על מקומו

אחות קטנה, עלי בכי אמונה
חכי עוד רגע עוד מעט
הנה הוא בא מנחמך
הטהרי השמיעי קולך
פתחי עינייך

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Im Ata Maamin • Yehuda Green

REVIEWS on the Recording
Peretz: "I'm on vacation through July 6th."
Shmuel: "Listening with half an ear. Very listenable."
Avi: "Mellow and very listenable. Having never met or seen this man in person, I do wonder if he 'gets' the Chassidic background to the Holy Brother bidness, or it's just a distilled Shlomo Carlebach."

Viha'ikar: Im ata maamin she'efshar likalkel—if you really believe you are capable of destroying—ta'amin she'efshar litaken—trust me, you can repair. —R' Nachman of Breslov

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yehuda Green • Peace in My Heart

The editors of SSY are currently listening to the new recording and will get back to y'all.

UPDATE: Ber says this is not so new; it is from March. Nunu.

Simchat Torah • Midbar Band

Not pop.

Their MySpace page.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

STOP! • Ohad! (Or: Stop Ohad!)

Ha! That's just about what I was looking for. Thanks, Yammo.

I want pop. Who has pop?

A pop song. A badly-conceived, bizarrely-lyriced, bouncing-beated pop song. Do you have one?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Shomrei Mitzvosecha • MBD & Shira

Dear People of Faith and Fed-upness, שיחי'

It is Shabbos Parshas Korach and it is Gimmel Tammuz.

Korach challenged Moshe after the Meraglim were dismissed; after they were told: "No staying in this Torah-study bliss of a desert—time to go into action-heavy Israel." Korach said: I get why you Rebbes are greater than us Chassidim in learning and understanding and kavana and perception... but what advantage do you have in Eretz Yisroel? Why are you better at doing mitzvos; at serving Hashem through action? Tefillin is Tefillin for everyone equally! Tefilla is tefilla for us all!

What did Moshe answer? See sicha Parshas Korach, Likkutei Sichos Vol. II

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lost • Y- Studs (Coldplay)

This "other" YU acapella is super excellent on these counts:
1) Its members sing very, very, very good.
2) They have never been on national TV.
3) They unabashedly cover non-Jewish music—unashamed that it is not "Jewish", and non-delusional about passing it off as yes.

We recommend the album, which includes unpretentious covers of "Unprepared" off Lion King, "Misplaced" by Moshav, and more.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Veheishiv • R' Elimelech fun Lizhensk
(Lipa Schmeltzer)

In 2004, Lipa recorded "Li'eiluh ul'ieiluh", a CD of Niggunim of the Manhigei Chassidus throughout the years. A collection of soul-screamin' beauty.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shehecheyanu • Chen Orchestra

Techno is not always a good idea. Chazzanus is not always a good idea. This is both genres, so technically neither...and not a bad idea!

Cantorial • Partish Mix

Peretz Edit: I've been meaning to post this one for a while.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Niggun Simcha • Chabad
(Avraham Fried - Hupp Cossack!)

Good Shabbos, chevra! It's all good cuz it's All God. Try to stop Him.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

When the Siyum Calls • Yerachmiel Begun (and the Miami Boys Choir)

Ooh, ooh, let's watch it together!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Broken Hearts • 8th Day

Things my wife taught me today: If you want them to eat apples, serve them apples. Don't scream about the evil of cotton candy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

25 Years • HASC/Lipa



Friday, June 8, 2012

All You Got • 8th Day

So, what do we think? These chaps have an enviable ability to cram a simple Chassidic demand into a simplistic Chassidic ditty. See this:

The music on this in particular , though, makes me think of disco-nite at the RollerRink, circa 1991.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


The board of ShirShelYom is currently listening to 8th Day's new album "All You Got" and will try to be nice.


OFF THE BAT: 12 points for simple, clear, easy, direct, wonderful liner notes!

HT:CC (nee Z)

Tribute to Jo Amar ע"ה • HASC 25

As a track and tribute we all agree was done well, here is Ohad singing Barcelona.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Overview: HASC released a recording of its 25 Year "Time for Celebration" Tribute Concert. The concert featured many past performers and a lot of tribute-y, gimmicky, cutesy-ness, as opposed to theatrical newness--in the tradition of Moshe Yess with Miami Boys Choir--or musical wowness in the tradition of Who Am I, Candles, Keep the Flame Burning.

So, what do we think? Shmuel starts us off... some context has been added in brackets. Some editing happened.


1.Overture - Ehh. Way too drum heavy. [Yisroel Lamm and Neginah riffing on classic Time for Music theme]

2. Opening Medley - 5 stars. (Loved the oldies, even if Lipa cracked) [Fried, Lipa and Gertner]

3. Who Am I - Well Done. Classic Abie. Could he be getting better with age?

4. Carlbach Tribute - Shlomo Carlebach is "Often imitated, never duplicated". Listenable but missing SOUL.

5. Jo Amar Tribute - Loved the horn intro. Well done. Stuck to Jo Amar style. Didn't try to make it his own. Important when paying tribute. [Ohad sings Barcelona]

6. Moshe Yess Tribute - Lets just say, that a country western twang ain't Avram Fried's strongest point. The musical accompaniment is great. [Fried sing My Zeidy]

7. Mazal Tov - Huh? Uncle Moshe?

8. Mi Shemamin - A lot closer to Eyal Golan then Benny Friedman but still lo ze....slow. Not nearly enough Chayos.

9. Shalsheles Medley - Next.

10. Candlelight - When's the intermission? Don't love them. They do better with classics. [maccabeats sing Candlelight]

11. Moshe V'Aaharon - Like. even though he still runs his own program. Loved the segue to Mizmor L'Dovid. [helfgott]

12. 25 Years - Anything from Lipa is good! Great Litzonis. Loved the finish. [long speaking/singing tribute by Lipa]

13. It's Time to Say Good Shabbos - 5 stars (loved the back story) [Abie and journeys]

14. Yalili - The Marcus' don't have great voices for live performances. Their stage presence needs a lot of work. Still a fun song.

15. Gedolim - Semi-decent vocal. The intro was cheeeeesy. 2 stars [Yisroel Williger, Shloime Dachs, Mendy Wald sing Acheinu in mourning for the Gedolim lost over the past year]

16. Shmeichel - Dedi is good, people. Never was into Shlomie Gertner, am now even less.

17. Vekoivei - Ehh. Way to cheesy at the end

18. Bitchu - Dont know Boruch Levine. Listenable i guess.

19. Shema Yisroel - [undercomplimentary of Yerachmiel Begun and the Miami Boys Choir]

20 . Closing Remarks - No comment [Yigal Calek speaks on the mandate of the Jewish Performer]

21. Finale - Candles - A la "We are the world" Not bad

In conclusion: If the entire album would continue with the vocals, class and all around chein of the first 5 tracks, this would be a 5 star album. It didn't. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Most of it anyway). 5 Stars for the orchestra.5 stars for the opening medley. 3 1/2 stars for the performers. (4 for Lipa, 4.5 for Abie) Minus 1 star for having Yerachmiel Begun and MBC. Minus 1/2 star for Shalsheles Sr. and Jr.

3.5 Stars total. Go out and buy a copy.



1) Overture - I applaud the efforts to constantly re-interpret the original HASC theme and whatnot, but it's a good theme that can really only get worse with tweaking. I say, Respect it or Retire it.

2) Opening Medley - Cute, nostalgic more than anything.

3) Who am I - Agree with Shmuel. Abie

4) Carlebach Tribute - It's true that Carlebach is mimickable but not duplicable. But here I think they did a good job of choosing singers who actually sang with Shlomo. They in turn emulated the pure "Simcha Chevreh!" instead of mimicking the voice or nuance. It is not Shlomo singing, but I enjoyed hearing his message. Like.

5) Jo Amar - Nailed it, Shmuel. Right voice, right song, right performance. And so impressive that he stuck to the script and did not try to outshine the sun. Well did.

6) Moshe Yess - This is a tough one for me. It is the exact opposite of Ohad/Jo Amar. Fried takes the entire song, leaving only the basic lyrics to their composer. (He changed some of those too, kidarko.) Now, from a purely musical tribute to Moshe Yess it killed every cell in me. As a tribute to the "speak to the Neshomo", I applaud Fried for trying to make it his own--or his Rebbe's--or what have you. It doesn't really work too well, but, ya know, I think I can understand him thinking "I'm not Moshe Yess, but maybe I can give his message through my voice."

7) Mazel Tov - Uncle Moishy?

8) Mi Shemaamin - Agree with Shmuel

9) Shalsheles - No real opinion.

10) Candlelight - Worked better with post-production

11) Moshe V'aharon - Um. Definitely not the classic Moshe V'aharon. Interesting take. Pleasant. No real power or wow.

12) 25 Years - Okay. This whole piece made me cry. Lipa is undoubtedly a talented Yiddish lyricist, composer and performer. He has expressed in song some extremely nuanced emotions and has successfully brought some uncomfortable realities to the fore, with his action and reaction to The Big Event, etc. But this mediocre shmaryonki of a track is juvenile in content, lyric, knowledge, performance and flow.

The premise of the show seems to be "What if MBD came out singing Matisyahu; or Jo Amar singing Nisht Gedeiget?" It's not a bad nugget of an idea, but there is no set-up and there is no resemblance to ANY of the singers he imitates (except for Piamenta, which is actually pretty good). He sounds tired of the game, disrespectful of his peers, illiterate in 3 languages and woefully bitter toward his upbringing in...New Square.

Lipa! Call me. We love you. 

13) It's Time to Say Good Shabbos - Agreed

14) Yalili - Agreed

15) Gedolim - Here the three performers declare a super-holy (read: hollow) message about how much we miss our Gedolim, our "Links to passed generations." It sounds incredibly facetious after the wounded and irreverent  Lipa performance. It has no context of who, what or why, and noticeably uses the three "Yeshivish" "stars" of the 90s to deliver this non-message. The song, though is nice.

16) Shmeichel - I quite like Shloimy Gertner and found it cute to have him paired with Dedi.

17) Vekoivei - We've heard before, we'll hear it again.

18) Bitchu - This is a pleasant song with a sensible English/Hebrew message. Not crazy about Rabbi Baruch Levine's voice, but not militant against it either. Yet.

19) Shema Yisroel - I've always been very impressed with the ingenuity and originality of Yerachmiel Begun. Singing Yiddish lyrics--and, like, almost Berditchiver--lyrics with very awkward-sounding Ramaz kids. It's funny to the point of fun.

20) Closing Remarks - This is remarkable. It really sounds as if Yigal Calek sat through the concert crying, then stormed the stage to beg Lipa on the one hand to not suck every bit of reverence from the Jewish music artform, and Williger, on the other, to not suck every bit of joy. Amen, brother!

21) Finale


Overall, this hit me as a trainwreck on many counts. There is no direction here at all from a musical or thematic standpoint. It sounds like someone backstage had cue-cards with song names and handed them out to random performers blindfolded. There are many redeeming factors, though. Among them, that HASC, the camp, is simply incredible.

Good night.


The board of ShirShelYom is currently listening to HASC 25 and deciding if it is way, way, way too much of a pretty okay thing; or an okay amount of a good thing; or a chance for DEDI to shake the stage One. More. Time.

Teaser: Helfgott sings Moshe V'aharon, Fried sings a Moshe Yess Tribute and Abie Rotenberg does sing. (Did you know he's "only" performed at 14 HASCs?)



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Menucha Visimcha • Avraham Fried's Zeida's Zemiros

Okay, so any song with the word "Menucha" is maybe going to be posted. And they will all certainly receive pink livery.

It bears mentioning that the actual Menucha does not always receive pink livery.

It bears further noting that songs with the word "Menucha" may  be posted because they are exceptional, not only because they mention The Exceptional.

Actually, I know this niggun as a Bobover Lecha Dodi, which is likely where AF's Grandpa knew it from too, unless it is not from there.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lecha Dodi • Isaac Bitton

Dear G-d,

Come my Beloved,
Toward Your bride,
That we may walk together
toward Yom Shekulo Shabbos

Ahavas Olam Ahavtanu Hashem!