The Israel Beat blog is a place for poetry submission, concert announcemnets, upcoming shows and musings on Jewish music. The Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast brings you live in-studio performances with up and coming Israeli musicians as well as interviews with the stars of the Jewish music world. Plus your music requests and the free CD give-away air live on the show. Past interviews have included Matisyahu, Avraham Fried, and Miri Ben-Ari. The Beat with Ben Bresky broadcasts live every Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Israel time on Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been influenced by so many awesome blogs and podcasts out there. When I started blogging about Jewish music there were few. Now there are many. I hope they will continue to grow. Here is some of my favorites. If I missed some, let me know.
Spin Magazine is now looking for global correspondents to write articles for their new Spin Earth web site. This site features contributors in English from all different countries. So for all you Israeli / Jewish music fans out there here's your chance. You may notice that in the Middle East section, on Tel Aviv is listed and not other cities. This is because there are currently not enough contributions from Jerusalem for them to list it yet. So help spread cool Israeli and / or Jewish music and write a review of your favorite concert or latest CD. Spin Magazine is similar to Rolling Stone and based in the United States. Spin Earth has hundreds of volunteer writers from all different countries. For more info click here. http://www.spinearth.tv. To become a correspondent click here: http://www.spinearth.tv/write
From heavy metal to punk rock to traditional ethnic table pounders, Passover has some great music. Here are some more modern renditions of the holiday of matzah.
Although still in his 20's, Yerachmiel "Rocky" Ziegler has done it all from metal to hasidic boy bands to starring in Uncle Moishy tapes. Although his latest release is a collaboration with Aaron Razel, his music released as the duo Yossi and Yerachmiel spawned a great version of Mah Nishtanah. Here it is downloadable for free from Sameach Music. Here is my article with Yerachmiel on his band Optimystical.
David De'or, (also spelled David D'or) the Israeli pop singer with the operatic voice, has a new version of Vehi Sheamda. Here he is singing it for Arutz Sheva's Israel National TV.
Yigal Bashan - This old school Israeli singer began in the 1970s with Uzi Hitman. He has a great version of Mah Nistanah. I couldn't find it on YouTube, but I did find a video of him wearing an awesome red and grey suit.
Hebrew University's Jewish Music Resource Center has some great super old mp3s downloadable for free. So if you're into 1940's Yiddish versions of Passover songs, click here. The JMRC has saved a lot of random musical traditions and released them on CD. The albums include Music of the Mountain Jews and Jewish Women's Songs from India.
Rehov Sumsum is the Israeli version of Sesame Street. In this vintage episode, one of the muppets gets drunk on Passover wine.
Reva L'Sheva - This Carlebach inspired rock group mixes Jewish prayers with a Grateful Dead rock feel. They have a version of Dayenu that we have in rotation on our live stream on Israel National Radio.com, but I can't actually find it on any of their albums. If you know, leave me a talkback. On their latest, they have a light reggae tinged song in English called Jumpin' in the Red Sea. You can hear it on their MySpace site here.
The singer for this particular track is Adam Wexler, who before moving to Israel, used to play with Prince. When I interviewed him he said he never actually played with Prince, only some of the Prince band members. I'd like to think he was just being modest bcause I think it's cool to have one of Prince's musicians roaming around Israel playing Passover music.
Yehoram Gaon - One of most well known best loved Israeli performers, still going strong since the 1960s, has a Passover album featuring Hebrew as well as Ladino, the language of the Spanish Jewish community from the pre-Inquisition days.
Amaseffer - Their CD Slaves for Life is the first in a trilogy about the Passover story. This Israeli progressive metal band won Best CD on USA Progressive Music. You can real my full length interview with them here, and download the podcast here.
Yidcore - They have versions of Dayenu and Vehi Sheamda in the traditional melodies done punk rock style. But Yidcore doesn't just yell and scream. They add little touches making them more then just parodies. I interviewed Yidcore last year when they toured Israel for Passover. They wore matching t-shirts for each of the 4 sons in the Hagaddah. It was cool seeing people mosh to Dayenu. Here is a photo of us outside the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem. I'm the one in the back looking normal, not the one holding the Israel National Radio sticker. The t-shirt on the guy with the red dreadlocks says "The People's Front of Judea." If you know what that's a reference to, leave me a talkback.
Tuvia Bolton - This American born Israeli singer has a great rocking version of Echad Mi Yodeah. Here's an Arutz 7 video interview with him.
Lars Fredricksen - The lead singer of Rancid has a song called The Ten Plagues of Egypt. If anyone knows if he has any Jewish connection, let me know. I like it when he chants about "lice, frogs and hail". In the 1990s Rancid had a song called Time Bomb and the Steits Matzo factory can be seen in the video.
Metallica - Creeping Death - Released in 1984, this song is about the Ten Plagues, mostly the slaying of the first born. None of the members of Metallica are Jewish. I supposed the history of the Jewish people just makes for great punk rock and heavy metal music. Although my friend Eli says that Purim is better for punk rock and Passover is better for metal. You can leave a talkback if you agree.
Remedy - This Jewish rapper is known for his striking Holocaust hip hop song Never Again originally released on the 1998 compilation Wu Tang Killa Bees. Exodus is from his second album. On his web site he has a new unreleased song about the history of Israel.
Matt Bar - The self described Bible Rapper got his start teaching Hebrew School. The students became more interested when he would rap the lessons. Here's his Moses Rap produced by Doogree studios in Jerusalem.
Mimuna - This holiday is celebrated by the Jewish community of Morocco. It means Emunah, or faith, and comes the night Passover ends. It features traditional Jewish Moroccan food such as baklava, mufletta and other pasteries. Each food represents something, so if you need a blessing or a certain thing, go to a Mimuna celebration and they can tell you which food corresponds. Let me know in the talkback section if you know of any great Mimuna music I can play.
If you have a favorite Passover song I missed, leave me a talkback!
Here is some rocking Jewish tunes for the Pesach holiday. We put most of these at the half hour break on the Israel National Radio live streaming audio.
Udi Davidi - Dayanu. This singer is from the Hebron area and works as a shepherd. He has 3 albums to date. He also plays drums and often performs playing drums and singing simultaneously. I interviewed him once and asked him the difference between his rural upbringing as opposed to if he grew up with MTV. He then turned to his guitar player and whispered in his ear, "What is MTV?". Here he is singing an original version of Dayneu.
Binyamin Nakonechny - Echad Mi Yodeya. This young man works as a technician at Israel National Radio and in his spare time performs acoustic Carlebach style music. He has played in Israel at the Tzfat Klzmer Festival as well as in France. Binyamin came in the studio last week and said he had a Passover song. He did an original version of "Who Knows One" in just one take and it's been in rotation ever since. For his music and painting click here: http://www.kipa.co.il/bikorim/kerem.asp?id=5662
Ever wonder what Echad Mi Yodeyah sounds like in other countries? Cantor Jeff Klepper from the group Kol B'Seder has some great free mp3's on his blog here: http://www.jeffklepper.blogspot.com/. Scroll down to the bottom and he has several old entries including rare old recordings of Passovers songs from Rome, Syria, and his own grandfather. Plus Kol B'Seder's Ten Plagues, and In Every Generation. He also has Slim Gaillard's Matzo Bals. This 1930's singer was known for his funny songs. You can also download it on the Save the Deli blog here: http://www.savethedeli.com/2007/07/19/slim-gaillards-matzo-balls/.
Nikmat HaTractor (Tractor's Revenge) - Echad Mi Yodea - This hard rock group from Israel once released an album of Shakespeare's Othello in Hebrew done heavy metal style. They has several hits in the 1990's including this strange version of "Who Know's One" done in the tradtional melody. It's almost accapela until the end when it builds up with ominous sounding metal guitars. This is a video of a male and female Israeli dance company doing the hora to it. Yishai Fleisher won't let me play it because he say I'll scare off all the listeners. He's probably right.
Yaakov Shwekey's new CD Live in Cesearia has sold big. Shwekey's song Racheim from 2001 was so big it spawned numerous cover versions and even a parody album. Here he is singing and original melody to Vehi Sheamda with Yonatan Razel, the piano playing brother of Aaron Razel.
There's more to come. If you have any suggestions for great Passover music we should play, leave a talkback.
P.S. Special thank you to Safta from MA for buying a big box of the 1 shekel maztah for the whole family.
The Shomron Regional Council invites you to join us in the opening activity of our 30 year celebration to renew a Jewish presence in the Shomron!!
This Great Mountain Festival
Ancient Shomron (do you want this to say Samaria?) comes to life: Friday, April 10, 2009 the first day of Chol Hamoed Pesach between 8am and 1pm guided tours of the National Park in Sebastia
The Mountain tells of the Bible: Sunday, April 12, 2009 the third day of Chol Hamoed Pesach between 10am and 4pm in the Mt. Cabir Nature Reserve Elon Moreh comes to life: riddle writing, story telling, street actors, and residents of the town will tell their stories of the great mountain, Hang-gliding exhibit.
The Green Celebration on the Mountain – Itamar celebrates 25 years of agriculture and residence: Monday, April13, 2009 the fourth day of Chol Hamoed Pesach between 10am and 5pm creative nature workshops, scenic jeep routes, guided tours in Givot Olam, farmers and artisans market, horseback riding, and more ...
And at 6pm at the Gav HaHar administrative center (or is this presented by but not at?) the main attraction - the opening performance of the celebration marking 30 years of Jewish residence in the Shomron: Udi Davidi and his band!!! (admission fee charged)
For more information and registration call the Shomron Liaison Office: 03-936-8146 or go to www.yeshuv.org on the internet there will also be an information booth at the Tapuach Junction or email email@example.com