Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Matchup :: What It's All About • Morah Music

Is THIS what it's all about?


According to the Urban Dictionary: Hokey Pokey is "a satanic ritual which requires one to put the right foot in and then the right foot out.Put the right foor in and shake it all about. Do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around. And that's what it all about."
**Kol Isha**

Not so simple now, is it?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gesher Tzar • Yosef Karduner

That this whole world is a narrow bridge is well-documented. The point of this information though, "the underlying principle—the main thing—is that there should not be any fear at all..."

Gesher Tzar by Yosef Karduner on Grooveshark

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

TTT :: Olam Haba? • Country Yossi

From his 2010 album "Ride Again"—20 years in the making—comes this piece of news:

You won't have a place in Olam Haba. They won't let you in.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Matchup ::
Me & You (& You & Me) • Lipa/Fried

In "Yener" (A Poshiter Yid), Lipa Schmeltzer asks people to focus less on others as a means of defining themselves.

In "Ich Bin Ich" (Ah Mechayeh!), Avraham Fried explains the words of the Heiliger Kotzker, "If I am me because you are you, and you are you because I am me, I am not and neither are you."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pe'ero Alai • Shlomo Simcha (Carlebach)

From the "Shir Hakavod"--An'im Zemiros--recited responsively by Ashkenaz congregations after Shabbos davening:

פארו עלי ופארי עליו, וקרוב אלי בקראי אליו
His beauty is on me and my beauty is on Him
[alt., He adorns Himself for me and I adorn myself for Him];
He is close to me when I call

Good Shabbos, friend.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dos Pintele Yid • Lipa Schmeltzer

For a second I thought it would be fun to save this for a Monday Matchup with Schwebel, Scharf & Levine's "Pintele Yid". And I'm sure it would be fun. But this track deserves its own space to be heard and heard again.

While watching the promo for this new CD, I formed my opinion: this is Lipa's coming out party as a Jew-in-the-Heart. And you and I—Jews in the hands and feet and beard—can go to hell. Ah. But it turns out that there should be no hell in Lipa's world.

The present track is a stirring melody and message, based greatly on the essence of the Chassidus I've come to know. And while I disagree with a key premise presented by Lipa in his rebuttal to detractors of this song, I agree with the larger point: As a public figure I have a responsibility to measure my words. But who says I need to use YOUR measuring stick?

Lipa's WhatsApp rebuttal (in poetry-slam Yiddish): Download Here


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yehuda • Piamenta

From the very heavenly Strings of My Heart recording (1998)—8 tracks of surreal guitar riffing backed by heavy bass and bass drumming and complemented with flute. (Tracks are named after their wives and kids, I believe.)

Yehuda by Piamenta on Grooveshark

Choni and I would spend hours covering this song—he on the vocal bass and guitar; me on the whistle flute and table drum, climaxing in the drum gem at 2:27.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

TTT :: Ad Olam • Yeshiva Boys Choir

UPDATE!!! This just in from the homefront:

"I didn't set her up..."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Matchup :: Hinei Ma Tov • MBD/Fried

Image found on

MBD singing Avremel's Hinei Ma Tov from Aderaba.

Avremel singing Avremel's Hinei Ma Tov from Aderaba.

Oh, you two. Why don't you just go off and sing some Henei Ma Tov together... mmmkay?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ata Kidashta • Lipa Schmeltzer

From his new CD*, which I am coming to very much enjoy. BOORD! BOORD! Git Shabbos!!!

Ata Kidashta by Lipa Shmeltzer on Grooveshark

Shabbos is playing HERE!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

La Campanella • Evgeny Kissin

We, of course, love this incredible piano performance for what it is: an incredible piano performance. But we share this with you for the pianist's recent display of pure and powerful Jewish pride:

The Times of Israel reports:
Last Saturday night, Kissin received Israeli citizenship. Though Kissin, 42, has no plans to reside permanently in Israel, the Moscow native was granted approval by senior government officials for his citizenship request, which he filed for last year.
“If I, as a human being and artist represent anything in the world, it is my Jewish people, and therefore Israel is the only state on our planet which I want to represent with my art and all my public activities, no matter where I live.”
“When Israel’s enemies try to disrupt concerts of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra or the Jerusalem Quartet, I want them to come and make troubles at my concerts, too: because Israel’s case is my case, Israel’s enemies are my enemies, and I do not want to be spared of the troubles which Israeli musicians encounter when they represent the Jewish State beyond its borders.” MORE


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mi Kashem • Tzlil V'Zemer 5 // Let Us Grow

Piccolo, piccolo, what do you say?
I say: Bass and Cello, come out to play!
Bass and cello, bass and cello, what do you say?
I say: violin let's make Avi's day!

Mi Kashem by Tzlil Vezemer on Grooveshark

Contrast this—music, harmony, arrangements, Avrohom Rosenberg's restraint—with today's choirs and choirleaders. If you need to appreciate this more.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TTT :: Mishefa • Solid Gold II

It is a challenge to select a TTT and stand by it. There are many songs that are okay and just not excellent; others are so off the beatin' path that it's unfair to bring them in just to beat them down. And sometimes you remember a song on a mainstream and otherwise successful musical experiment that sounds like this. And as you begin uploading, it plays. And as it plays you realize: Wow. This is actually terrible! Fantastic!

Avi Fishoff, the man behind the Solid Gold series

I think it is Gideon Levine and Yeedle singing.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Matchup :: Asay • Chaim Dovid/Shlomo Simcha

Question: Is the more devoted talmid the one who sounds as if he is the rav, or the one who sounds like himself, thereby spreading the voice of the rav? Stam.

Asay Limancha by Chaim Dovid on Grooveshark

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hashiveinu • Yehuda Green

To irreverently paraphrase R' Aharon Karliner: IF he is king, where were we till now...

Hashiveinu by Yehuda Green on Grooveshark

Click to join the Erev Shabbos LIVE broadcast.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Vi Dein Yid? • Lipa Schmeltzer

Well, it's certainly catchy!

This song is called "Vi dan boord?" ("Where's your beard?"). It quotes Pirkei Avos: Do not stare at the pitcher but what is inside it; a new pitcher can hold old wine; an amateur can have deep skills. In this song, the reflection asks equally: Yid, where's your beard? And beard, where's your Yid?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Days Are Coming • Shlomo Simcha

Several of the cantorial blockbusters from R' Shlomo Carlebach were not mainstreamed by him but by his young friend and admirer, R' Shlomo Simcha Sufrin. Included in the several: Keser Yitnu Lecha and Moshe v'aharon.

Last year, Shlomo Simcha teamed up with the Nafshenu Orchestra for a wedding-style-album* of all Carlebach songs. Typically a recipe for mediocrity, this formula works very, very well, when the "wedding singer" happens to be Shlomo Simcha, and the "wedding" is Shlomo Carlebach.

My so far favorite. Hinei Yamim Ba'im:

*This is when a collection of well-known songs are recorded with over-the-top arrangements by one of the popular wedding orchestras, usually as a means of promoting said orchestra to girls' in high school productions and middle-aged men in Kosher Gyms.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Al Hanissim • Safam/MBD

Thanks for sticking with us through yesterday's Terrible Matchup. Here is a little makeup singy.

Al Hanissim by Safam on Grooveshark

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber-Monday Matchup :: Choni G./Yeshiva Boys Choir

This is the first time in history that the 5th day of Chanukah falls on Cyber Monday and it will not happen again for at least 79,000 years.

We bring you this, uh, music.

Yivonim by Yeshiva Boys Choir on Grooveshark


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hannukah Concert • Center Makor

The Russian Jewish Center of Massachusetts. Be sure to note the segue at 1:59. Happy Chanukah!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BD"E Arik Einstein

Legendary Israeli singer Arik Einstein passed away on Tuesday at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

TTT :: Mizmor Shir • Sheves Achim

This was tagged for TTT when I found it yesterday; now I am less terrified of it. I mean, besides the cartoon vibrato at 2:55. What say you?

Mizmor Shir by Sheves Achim on Grooveshark

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Matchup :: Vizakeini • Baruch Levine/Avraham Fried

This one made it famous.

This one made it pleasant.

Vezakeini by Avraham Fried on Grooveshark

In my opinion. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

We Need You • Miami Boys Choir

On this, the last day of the Chassidic calendar, Chassidim study the last portion of the last section of Sefer HaTanya, in which the Alter Rebbe pleads with us to value the davening connection. He used these words:

הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך, אפילו מאה פעמים
[It is written,] “You shall surely reprove your comrade” — “even one hundred times,”add our Sages, taking up the hint offered by the repetitive form of the Hebrew verb.
ולזאת לא אוכל להתאפק ולהחריש מלזעוק עוד, בקול ענות חלושה
Therefore, writes the Alter Rebbe, I cannot contain myself and cannot refrain from crying out yet again, in a voice betraying [pained] weakness.
במטותא מינייכו ברחמין נפישין
I plead with you out of deep compassion,
חוסו נא על נפשותיכם, והשמרו והזהרו מאד מאד על התורה ועל העבודה שבלב, זו תפלה בכוונה
have pity on your souls. Take care, be extremely vigilant, concerning the study of Torah and the service of the heart, which is prayer4 with proper intent.
להתחיל כולם יחד כאחד, מלה במלה, ולא זה בכה וזה בכה, וזה דומם וזה משיח שיחה בטלה, ה׳ ישמרנו
All should begin [the prayers] in unison, as one, word by word, not one person here and another elsewhere, one mute and the other idly chatting, may G‑d protect us.
In very different words:

We Need You by Miami Boys Choir on Grooveshark

We need you and your tefilla. Each and every Yid can bring the Geula.

גוט יום טוב!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chesed v'Emes • Dedi

From today's Tehillim. The delightful slow singing of Dedi continues...

Marked "Dedi and Aviel Graucher sing", this photo appears to be the him and the son.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TTT :: Thank You • Chai 5

It's Tuesday. Talk about this Tune.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Mitteler Rebbe's Kapelye • Totally Chassidic / Yaron Gershovsky

Not sure why the Frierdiker Rebbe's photo is featured in this video. Today is the Day of Redemption of the second Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber, known after his passing as The Mitteler (Middle) Rebbe.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

TTT* :: Horeini • BT Rock (Reva L'Sheva)

I am prepared for the fallout of my TTTing someone's idol this morning. Track culled from BT Rock, a collection of "songs from the spiritual journey" by Sam Glaser.

*Now an acronym for Tunes we'll Talk about this Tuesday.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Matchup ::
Yaakov Meets Eisav • Yonatan Razel/Nichoach

We've done this before, but it's still so good!

We've never done this before. It's so good.

UPDATE: A number of people mentioned that they were concerned with the title of this post. In my haste to post and run, I did not delve into the possible meaning. It is, unfortunately, quite humorous. The matchup was certainly not supposed to be Yaakov meeting Eisav.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Gut Yohr • Piamentas (1991)

Morrocco meets Mezhibuzh. As the cover says, "A Piamenta Production". Lchaim! Tantz, tantz, tantz!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yamit • Safam

AnonyMrs. and I recently read The Prime Ministers by Yehuda Avner, wherein this sad story is recapped.

From Wikipedia: The eviction of Israeli civilians and military from Yamit and the Sinai peninsula is considered as a precedent for Israel's policy of land for peace, exemplified in the Oslo Accords, the Gaza Disengagement, and the now-shelved Realignment plan.

Yamit by Safam on Grooveshark

When all is said and done we pray to know that peace will come one day and we'll remember.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Yomam Valayla • Lipa

Speaking of elections...

A Tuesday Tune to Talk about. I'm mostly tickled by the "Haine-haine hach" at :40. Sounds like Hiney-ho. Teehee.

Yomam Valaila by Lipa Schmeltzer on Grooveshark

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Malachim • Moshav Band

Between writing very well and rocking very hard, it can be forgotten that Moshav has a stellar album of all Hebrew songs called "Malachim - Angels".

The first stanza, translated rockily:

Angels are watching over you,
On your journeys out and in

The day before I left,
My father sat me down,
"I have to have a word with you
before you leave this town.
There are good people out there,
and some are bad and dim,
It doesn't matter who you walk with—
walk with Elokim"

מלאכים by Moshav Band on Grooveshark

Live and it sounds like it:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bni • Gideon Levine

As Ber says: "It's on an album called 'The Best of the Best', by one of those B-listers whose just been in Jewish music forever." Gideon Levine. Who is Gideon Levine? Related to Dov Levine? Or to Showlom LaVine? This is he:

What a great song. No idea how it popped into my head, but glad it did.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eftach Pi Bishira • Yehuda!

Do you already know that I have a special place in my ears and heart for Yehuda? He was quite original before it was popular and was thus quite popular originally. And he composes and arranges and plays his own stuff, I think. But, ya know, there's also This Tuesday Tune to discuss.

For demonstration purposes only. Image may not reflect what Yehuda! currently looks like.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Matchup :: Dos Yiddishe Lid

One for the words and feeling...

One for the vocals... (Yudi Cohen)

And one for the range, if you can listen again... (YM Helfgott)

I've heard this song a thousand times and finally understand and feel it. Thank you Cantor Johnny Gluck!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Light the Way • Moshav

Was this full recording ever released? Good stuff! Light the Way this pre-Shabbos day, for the Day completely Shabbos, may it come today!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lullaby • Johann Brahms

What, you thought this was a simple nursery rhyme? Did you not realize this was a classical composition by one of the greatest Romantic Period composers [and I quote from Wikipedia]?

This is my dare: listen twice and don't catch yourself whistling or humming the tune for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ha'am Sheli • Lazer Lloyd & Friends

A simple announcement to the world, a simple reminder to ourselves. Beautiful.

And now they're going global.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tzama Lecha Nafshi • Gad Elbaz

TTalk about on Tuesday...

What are you thoughts on vocals, music, video and project concept?

HT:Yitz G.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Matchup :: Yisroel B'tach BaHashem

Shlomo Carlebach

© 1993, Joy Krauthammer

"Your hands are the holiest part of your body
because they reach the highest."
- Reb Shlomo Carlebach

Avraham Fried

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Omnom • Dedi

After Monday's matchup, I began thinking of all the Dediness that came and conquered our first-generation CD Stereos around the time of the first Gulf War and disappeared on or around 9/11.

I thought of how Yossi Green took many of his weirdest and greatest rhyming risks with Dedi (chavro dichavroch, chavro is-a-leiii), composed some long and beautiful slow songs for him and backed him up on almost every song.

And I thought of Omnom. I thought of how MB wakes up every morning, looks at the cereal cabinet and says "Nomnomnomnom..." But, also, that this must be a powerful and beautiful piyut of some sort or another.

On research, it seems actually to be a powerful and slightly frightening passage from RaMChaL's Daas Tvunos:

...when a person is brought to his knees, this is Hashem cleansing him of his Yetzer Hora; showing the power of His Kingship; whenever He wants, He puts the world on tornado watch and He created, and He causes suffering and He crushes and He heals and this is an anchor of Jewish faith...: the worse it is for the creations, the greater might Hashem's omnipotent strength be revealed; from the depth of the worst suffering sprouts absolute and powerful redemption.
אמנם, הנה זה הוא מחוקו של היחוד העליון לבדו ב"ה - להראות עוצם ממשלתו השלמה; שכל הזמן שהוא רוצה, מניח העולם להיות סוער והולך בילדי הזמן, עת אשר שלט הרע בעולם; ולא עוד, אלא שאינו מעכב על ידי הרע הזה מעשות כל אשר בכחו לעשות, ואפילו מגיעות בריותיו עד הדיוטא התחתונה. אפס כי לא מפני זה יאבד עולמו, כי הממשלה לו לבדו, והוא עשה, והוא סובל, והוא מחץ, והוא ירפא, ואין עוד מלבדו. והנה זה יתד חזק לאמונת בני ישראל, אשר לא ירך לבם לא מאורך הגלות ולא ממרירותו הקשה, כי אדרבה, הרשה הקב"ה והניח לרע לעשות כל מה שבכחו לעשות, כמו שביארנו. ובסוף הכל - כל יותר שהקשה הרע את עול סבלו על הבריות, כן יותר יגלה כח יחודו ית' וממשלתו העצומה אשר הוא כל יכול, ומתוך עומק הצרות הרבות והרעות מצמיח ישועה בכחו הגדול ודאי.
Now, I did post this some years back. Read my comments then, to hear my reaction now.

Still love the song.