Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sivan Talmor-Windows



What a great song to end the year with! You can't help but smile and whistle along to it. It's very upbeat and light but the lyrics are a pretty acurate observation of reality, in which not every thing is rosy and bright, making the song even more interesting. Sivan Talmor is relatively unknown even though (apparently) she was on The Voice, but something tells me that 2013 will be her year. Here's to new discoveries and fresh starts!

Windows windows like a gallery of silhouettes
Spread all over in this city.
And rows and rows of hopes and dreams
Run in this city.
The time slips through fingers
And there is nowhere to run,
From this race which just gets harder
There's no strength left.

Between walls and beams sighs peel ceilings
In this city.
And doors open
And the next day suddenly shut,
And without seeing...
The time slips through fingers
And there is nowhere to run,
From this race which just gets harder
There's no strength left

Windows windows
Dreams dreams...
And rows and rows
Dreams dreams

http://sivantalmor.com/

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nadav Azulay and Gil Nemet-From the Earth



So the end of the world came and went and of course nothing serious happened-except for
a crazy thunderstorm which vanished as quickly as it arrived. So mankind (probably) isn't going to be extinct anytime soon. Whew! However one thing that I'm always hearing about which is in danger of becoming extinct is rock music. Not shoegaze, electro, folk, acoustic, etc... just pure well written and well played rock music. I personally don't think it'll ever be extinct-just harder to find. This sounds at first like a pretty simple song but then I realized how it's been quite a while since I heard something like this-and it really shouldn't be that way. Azulay released an excellent debut album in '09: http://nadavazulay.bandcamp.com/ and he's also a Beer Sheva based producer for local artists. He's been performing with Gil Nemet for quite a while and they sound great together. It's hard to put my finger on it but there is a Beer Sheva feel to their sound-maybe it's in its humble yet very powerful sound and lyrics, maybe because it's just a good song without being too fashionable, I'm not really sure. In any case it's a very good song and a brilliant clip (featuring some Beer Sheva celebs) you'll want to watch 36 times (in full screen!).

It's not that we didn't check
We were careful
There was a perfect plan
Without blocks
Even in the sky you discover holes
At once
Burn the bridges

From the missing words I could conclude
While we argued we could have succeeded
It's no longer pleasant to be silent
But how do I stop?
A ring in my ears alerts

And in replay look back on everything that happened
Another great breath of fuel
Close your eyes
Swallow your tongue
Tonight you won't go to sleep

From the earth
From the depths of the forest
I'm arriving
I'm arriving
Standing on the wall
And holding on to the gate
I'm arriving
I'm arriving

http://www.facebook.com/pages/%D7%A0%D7%93%D7%91-%D7%90%D7%96%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%90%D7%99-%D7%95%D7%92%D7%99%D7%9C-%D7%A0%D7%9E%D7%98/147190538660445

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Aviv Guedj-My faith plays at night



When I first heard this song this afternoon I was really amazed by its beauty and tenderness and knew that I wanted to write about it. I just heard it again right after reading about the horrific Connecticut school shooting and felt that I really had to write about it. The lyrics and melody are so moving especially in light of the tragic events, especially the line "we promised to be very strong, but not today". Only when I saw Obama's moving and teary speech did I really comprehend what had happened because it's just so hard to believe. The melody of the song really invites one to take off that formal and protective mask and just give in and sway with the violin letting the tears fall and slowly begin to heal and recover.
Here is the official single and here is Aviv's superb debut album. Before performing solo to sold out and devoted crowds Gedge was part of the highly respected band Algiers with Gabriel Belachsan. Here's a clip from the mid 90's.

My faith plays at night
Between the box of tears and an empty bed
Poets searched for a word and found an abyss

My faith plays at night
She waited here all day for long hours
My faith doesn't need a lot of space
She sleeps under the bridge, walks in the yards
And when she plays you can suddenly breathe
And hear and see.

Leave the city without saying goodbye
You'll come back anyways
Come child, come child
We promised to be very strong
But not today.

My faith gets rid of the coldness
Restores the time to the past
And soon we'll fall on each others necks
And the dawn will rise.

My faith disappears at day
An orphan like justice crawling
On the walls
My faith plays at night.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Phototaxis - Fire



I first came across Phototaxis a while ago when they gave away (and still are) their debut album for free on bandcamp, just because I thought why not. To say the truth I wasn't hugely impressed with the album except for a few songs which came to become favorites: Lamb, Somewhere and Alone. Maybe I should give the rest of the album another chance because you do need to let the unique songs grow on you. But this song was different and I was immediately won over-it just got under my skin and refused to leave me. Fresh is an understatement here because although it sounds very 2012 with it's electronic vibes, I'm sure it'll sound just as great and possibly even better in the years to come.

http://phototaxis.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Phototaxis

Friday, November 30, 2012

Russo & Weinberg-All This Love



Wow, this song just keeps getting better and better every time I hear it again. Beautiful harmonies and perfect for an autumn afternoon-it was so lovely and warm today but now it's chilly and dark at five and I just realized that tomorrow it'll be December... Anyways, I really love Erez Russo and Adi Weiberg's acoustic sound-help them out with their debut album here.

Don't say it darling, cause you'll fake it
Don't hide the tears, cause I know you're breaking

All this love and all this pain you've given
All this love and all this pain
You bring them from another world.

Another tear just burst from the side of your eye
And I know what you're saying and I know it's a fucking lie

All these words, damn lies
All this pain in those fine fine eyes

All this love and all this pain you've given
All this love and all this pain
You bring them from another world.

Now the summer lies on my doorstep
And outside there's a lie and it's getting bigger and you know it

All this love, damn lies
All this pain in those fine fine eyes

All this love and all this pain you've given
All this love and all this pain
You bring them from another world.
https://www.facebook.com/RussoWeinberg

Friday, November 23, 2012

Oren Barzilay-Bitter Moon



What an exhausting week. This morning I felt that I had so much to say about the cease-fire, about the international media, about everything really but it was all based on emotion. And as the day passed and the quiet settled in, reason began to take over and my common sense is telling me that no matter what I say it won't really change anything. What's done is done and now we have to live with the results in the best possible way. I'm sick of the news and I'm happy that my facebook friends have gone back to posting silly pictures and songs that don't have anything at all to do with the situation. I still find myself checking the feed to see if anything has happened, especially after I hear ambulance sirens, especially since yesterday's (yesterday?! it feels like ages ago) bomb attack. But things are much calmer, even if people are still tense because of lack of closure-we just kind of put things on hold until the next round and it's really only a matter of time before the rockets start drizzling again. So I want to enjoy this temporary quiet to (try to) relax and Oren Barzilay's new song is perfect for this. At first I wasn't digging the high vocals but the song has really grown on me and I can't imagine it sung differently. It's very dream like and reminds me of those magical hours before the day begins and reality takes over.

Scratches like a lion bites like a fighting dog
Loves like a prince, a boy in love
Drinks the air is if there will be no tomorrow

Eyes closed hands as delicate as fur
A stranger's sad sun
Another bitter moon and it's over

Quiet like he knows, his soul is addictive
A beautiful sparkle rises, dazzling beauty
Barking like a hungry man, a pain that saws through

Eye's closed hands as delicate as fur
A stranger's sad sun
Another bitter moon and it's over

https://www.facebook.com/OrenBarzilayART

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Walkaways- Skyfall



Yesterday at 16:30 my biggest worry was how I was going to finish 8 chapters of a book I had to read and 3 critical essays in 10 hours. By 17:00 after the news of the killing of Ahmed Jabari, the head of all armed forces of Hamas and many deadly attacks on Israel including Gilad Shalit's kidnapping, I was packing my bags wondering if I'd be able to make it to the Beer Sheva train station before the rockets start falling. There had been escalation since Sunday when 4 soldiers were seriously injured in an attack on their jeep near the Gaza border. The IDF struck back and on that day 45 rockets hit southern Israel, including two in Beer Sheva. I wasn't in the city on that day but I understood from friends that as scary as it was, it had become something normal-university went on as usual and when I came on Monday there was more fuss about the rare and heavy rainfall than the rockets which were already old news. A few weeks ago I had a discussion with some friends on whether to live in a city where occasional rockets are a normal thing that just happen and no one really cares about or to undergo an operation in Gaza in which all of the cities of the south are under heavy fire but afterwards there's quiet and normativity. It's a pretty tough call to make but from what I've heard in the last few months (and years actually) and what I've felt yesterday and today it seems that the citizens of the South have decided that after 12 years and 12,000 rockets enough is enough and they're willing to endure non stop sirens and trips to bomb shelters (or in most cases the stairways) if it means that there will be the possibility of living a quiet and normal life in the near future. At least a more normal life.

This is the end
Hold your breath and count to ten
Feel the earth move and then
Hear my heart burst again

For this is the end
I’ve drowned and dreamt this moment
So overdue I owe them
Swept away, I’m stolen

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall
At skyfall

Skyfall is where we start
A thousand miles and poles apart
Where worlds collide and days are dark
You may have my number, you can take my name
But you’ll never have my heart

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall

[2x]
(Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall)

Where you go I go
What you see I see
I know I’d never be me
Without the security
Of your loving arms
Keeping me from harm
Put your hand in my hand
And we’ll stand

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall

Let the sky fall
We will stand tall
At skyfall

The up and coming Walkaways made an amazing cover to Adele's hit-it's so powerful and emotional-and it's also great metal, something I find a bit hard to find!
 http://www.facebook.com/Walkways

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=291311

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dan Keinan-Stranger



I love living in the city-there's always something to do, more accuratly there's always the option of having something to do even when I don't feel like doing anything-which also becomes an option. I love to people watch and just walk around. But I'm so happy that I have a second home in Beer Sheva, outside of the city and outside of the center, where I can take a step back and slow down. It's not exactly green but it is a very welcome change of scenery. And then I have renewed energy to fall in love with the big city again. Anyways, this is one of the best songs I've heard recently and the clip catches the mood of the song perfectly. And to think that I was so close to missing it!

I have to get out of this city, it's not good for me
Bus noises, dust in the streets
Going out for a smoke, on the corner of Dizengoff  Arlozerov
Holocaust memorial eve, I can't find anything to eat

Stranger in a big city, roaming the streets
Lots of people, severe faces
Stranger in a big city, dreaming of green
The chirps of birds, sweet silence

http://dankeinan.bandcamp.com/album/-

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

1:1- Mars



Ynet is holding a video clip contest so it's a good chance for me to check out some artists and clips that I overlooked. One of the clips that really stood out was this one by the group 1:1. I had heard about the band before but never really listened to their songs carefully, which is really how they should be heard. 1:1 isn't really a band but rather a project based on books by the writer Eran Bar Gil, who I admit I hadn't heard of before but I now want to start reading. The text is the main focus here but the music is a perfect companion and everything just flows. Very introspective and beautiful. Makes me want to hear the whole album-from start to finish.

Sometimes I walk
I reach Mars
Everything is white on Mars
Like in a hospital
In the night the stars here
Are like fragments of glass
I wander for hours and hours
In the white spaces

If I want a space man
I move him from door to door
If I want love I try to make you laugh
You don't crack

Advancing on white plains and Mars
Reaches a dead end
Opens a door
Goes into a hallway
Another dead end
Again opens a door
Goes to Mars
Jumps on it heavy and sharp
Free fall
To the white depths

If I want a space man I move him from door to door
If I want love I try to make you laugh you don't crack
When I want a space man I tell how he moves from door to door
I don't say if he's happy

http://www.facebook.com/pages/11/37223049949

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back to Zion - Jah Love



Jah love take care of me
Most of the day and all of the night when my heart begins to be confused
Your faith in the nights is what will give me the strength to live

This past weekend I was at the wonderful inDnegev festival which took place in the desert in the middle of nowhere (40 min from Be'er Sheva but it felt like in another world). Lots of sand, sun, good music and good people-just what I needed to recharge before going back to school (I'm already exhausted and it's only been 3 days!). Unfortunately I didn't get to see these guys perform but I did get to hear them from the tent area where we were wondering whether to make coffee in the sweltering heat (in the end caffeine won). I really believe that the first song you hear in the morning sets your mood for the entire day and this was a perfect energetic yet laid back start. The clip also really captures the free spirited feel of the festival and wide variety of different styles and sounds (it might be an indie festival but it's so much more than just alternative rock bands). Plus it makes me want to visit Jerusalem which has a unique vibe that's so refreshing from Tel Aviv. There's something in the air that makes even the most cynical and secular feel at least a bit spiritual.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%91%D7%AA-%D7%A6%D7%99%D7%95%D7%9F/29900256257

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vaadat Charigim-The world is long lost



So unsurprisingly Bibi announced early elections, which will probably be the most unsurprising elections yet. The real question on people's minds is who will join Bibi's coalition. To say the truth I'm not sure how much energy I have for these elections-the newspaper articles, the polls, the interviews, the propaganda ads, the posters on buses and most of all the endless discussions around the dinner table with family and by the bar wth friends. Endless discussions which all end when someone points out that there isn't any real alternative, which seems to be the only thing we can all agree on. Of course that doesn't mean that I won't participate-it just makes me want to go to the beach and forget about everything. Which brings me to this excellent band I've recently dicovered and their great clip which really captures the "it's the middle of August so I don't want to think about anything serious" feeling which sweeps over the nation in the summer, and the holidays. Only now it's already October and it's getting too chilly to go to the beach, but at least I can always disconnect for a bit and get lost in Vaadat Charigim's (Exceptions Committee) mesmerizing guitar riffs.

Let's lie on the beach
Let's lie on our stomachs
As deep as possible
If we'll fall in love it's okay
Because there's no tomorrow
And the world is long lost

http://www.facebook.com/vaadatcharigim

Friday, October 5, 2012

Danny Sanderson-Crying and Laughing



It seems that you can't dislike Danny Sanderson. Even if you're not a huge fan of his music-he's such a likeable person-always good humored and positive. He made a huge impact on Israeli music by singing and songwriting with the mythological Caveret band, as well as Gazoz and Doda and you can hear in this song a lot of nostalgia for those good old days, especially in the music itself. The lyrics here are quite dark and very fitting for the end of the holidays beginning of autumn feel of these days but the music is so bright and cheerful. It sounds like it could have been written 30 years ago but it still manages to feel fresh and relevant-and exactly what people want to hear today.

Crying and laughing, what's going on with me
I don't distinct between day and night
Crying and laughing, what hit me
How do I continue from here on

I used to play in orange fields
The sun sailed high up in the skies
On my way I met happiness and troubles
They're with me along the avenue

Crying and laughing, what's going on with me
I don't distinct between day and night
Crying and laughing, what hit me
How do I continue from here on

When my friends left me
Only their songs remained
In a crowded street I hear a melody
In my heart a little tear weeps

Crying and laughing...

The days become shorter
The winds are becoming colder
I wake up in the morning revised and refreshed
And aching each time again

http://www.dannysanderson.net/bioENHome.html

One of Sanderson's most loved songs (also by me): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WqvYZiEDrM

Friday, September 28, 2012

Polar Pair - Cry x3



Well, I'm back after a pretty long break. I'm well rested and ready to open the new year with a fresh start. And what better way than with this great song by the always fresh Polar Pair. The quality is superb and the video is wonderful.
A few days ago it was Yom Cippur or as kids and some grown ups call it "the bicycle holiday" because there are no cars in the streets. It's such a unique feeling to walk on the highway and just breathe the clean air and complete silence-well, except for the loud groups of kids on bikes always arguing how to valuably spend the day and where to go before the sun sets and the cars return. But even so there's really a feeling that the whole world has come to a halt and it's just you with your thoughts, and your bike.
I discovered pretty late the really funny cult comedy Parliament based on a skit from the satire "A wonderful country"-it captures perfectly the so typical group of guy friends in their 50's who sit together at the coffee house every Friday. It's a shame that there aren't subtitles but I think you can pretty much understand without them. It's Yom Cippur and Shauli (the very talented Assi Cohen) swallows a piece of onion from the pre-fast meal, leading his younger brother to "disqualify" him from fasting. It's pretty brilliant: http://www.mako.co.il/tv-parliament/video/Video-b60bfef1ca6f831006.htm

More Polar Pair here: http://polarpair.tumblr.com/ they've just made a disc of collaborations with artists from the country and abroad, not all of them are my cup of tea but they're well worth checking out.

Here is the creator of the video, Masha Diamond's site: http://creativesnack.wordpress.com/animation-2/

Happy Sukkot!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kobi Aflalo - Keep Me



You know that Rosh HaShana is getting closer when you hear nonstop advertisements on the radio for the yearly countdown which is played somewhere between doing errands for the evening meal and the dinner itself. Actually I won't be in the country this New Year's, I'm going in a few days on a much needed vacation for about a month, and I think I'll miss the special atmosphere before the dinner much more than the meal itself. It's hard to explain-maybe it's because you greet acqaintances and even strangers with a beaming "happy holiday" or because everyone wears white, or it's the first September holiday and people aren't fed up with family meals yet. For whatever reason you can't deny the festive atmosphere during the day before the evening meal. I have a distinct memory of hearing Kobi Aflalo's "What my heart chose" a few years ago on the eve of Rosh HaShana. It was during the countdown, of course, and I think it was in a pretty high place because we were already on our way to our relatives, just like everybody else, and the broadcaster said something how probably everyone is in their cars listening to this song with the windows rolled down-and looking at the cars besides us-he was right! Some didn't have their windows rolled down but they were certainly smiling knowingly. Anyways, this song is nominated in this year's countdown and it certainly deserves a high spot-and it's so fitting for Rosh HaShana. The hebrew language is very beautiful here and I had a bit of trouble translating so here's my best attempt.

Keep me from lonely fog
From struggling emotion from heart's pride
And I will be in awe of your charms
Embrace me in you wrapped in your words
And silently I will want your smie
Surely I will tell you

Do not leave me in the dark do not switch off my light
I am clear I am drunk
In my weakness I am a hero
Do not forget me in the silence
Until the fear will will pass and in your grace I will be a hero
I will be a hero

Keep me from lies from storms
From a deflated outlook and a bent tear
Come back to me sweetly flushed with faith worn from any distress
And as I sit across from you I will want your compassion
Surely I will tell you

Do not leave me in the dark do not switch off
I am clear I am drunk
In my weakness I am a hero
Don't forget me in the silence
Until the fear will pass and In your grace I will be your hero
I will be a hero

http://www.kobiaflalo.co.il/

Have a great September!



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tzvika Force - For Breaking My Heart



It's hard to believe that in two weeks it'll be September. I was in the mall the other day and was stunned to see Back to School sales when I haven't even started my summer vacation yet. I can't wait for September-no teens packing the streets, no papers and most importantly (hopefully) no air condition, with whom I've developed a serious love/hate relationship. This song feels like Autumn in England-I can almost feel the breeze and see the scarves and jackets (jackets! long sleeves!). It's also a really excellent song that stays with you for quite a while. A force to be recognized!

Staring at your matches
Pull it in and backwards.
Hold on.

Forest's built for ages
And erased in hours.
Hold on.
Hold on.

Don't you miss the time
We sat under the cypress?
Holding on.

Putting arms around him
Promise he will blossom.
So hold on.
Hold on.

And you owe me answers!
Why you got into this danger?
Why you're breaking my heart slowly?
You owe me answers!
Why you got into this bandage?
Instead of into my heart , surely.
Do you really think it's time
We should go and end it forever?

An empty box of matches
Leaves a lot of black dust.
That's holding on.

Planting all your roots
Inside my choking lungs.
That's all you ever did.

Song available for free here:
http://tzvikaforce.bandcamp.com/

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Etti Ankri-Your melody



Etti Ankari has made quite a journey since she first broke out about 20 years ago with her intense "I see it in your eyes" (still powerful today). Here she sounds so peaceful and mature. Soulful and beautiful.

I remember your melody which I ask
Whoever will sing your melody in a chord or bow

I'll give him my soul
And he'll raise it in a net
Will add character to character
In the written melody
I'll give him my soul
And he'll rase it in s net
Attach all of it
To a wonderful melody

I miss your melody which only I ask for
Whoever will sing your melody in a chord or bow

I'll give him my soul
And he'll raise it in a net
And sweeten the bitter
With the precious melody
I'll give him my soul
All of its strings
Tuned in a scale
In a perfect melody

I will not forget your melody only I ask for
Whoever will sing your melody in a chord or bow

I'll give him my soul
All of its words
He'll rearrange
In the holy melody
I'll give him my soul
If he'll play you're melody
Then I'll be happy
To return it to you

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etti_Ankri

http://www.facebook.com/pages/%D7%90%D7%AA%D7%99-%D7%90%D7%A0%D7%A7%D7%A8%D7%99/112765838779308

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Shlomi Shaban-Cigarettes



At first I thought about posting this song because it went well with the sudden beer and cigarette tax raise. I used to think that people smoke just because of the pose and out of boredom-but I now get that it's much more than that-as unhealthy as it is, it's a stress relief and when it's done solitary it also serves as a moment of reflection-but maybe as a non-smoker that's just how I see it in my mind. Anyways, Thursday's frustration and anger has become sadness because I really can't think of any real alternative that would work and make things better. I keep hearing people say that if things get worse and it'll be too expensive for them to live here they'll move to somewhere else "where the government doesn't spit in its citizens faces" but most of them can't really bring themselves to leave. I have to say that I'm afraid of the day when they'll say that enough is enough and really leave. With their friends and family. So it's pretty fitting to post this on Tesha Be'Av, the day mourning the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. I've never really paid much attention to Tesha Be'Av but somehow this year is different. I came across an article by Rabbi Raffi Foyershtein and found it very insightful and interesting, mainly because it's so different from other Judiasm articles I've read which tend to be preachy and unreadable so here's a rough translation:

"Tisha B'Av-A National Tranquilizer
When ideologies threaten to tear society, Tisha B'Av stops us for one day, exhausts our psycho-physical strengths, and leads us to an intellectual discussion-with a little less ego and emotions.
What do we lack? What were our ancestors lacking that because of it their country was destroyed and in its center the Temple, and they lost their state and spiritual independence? A macro-level analysis will reveal that what they lacked is balance. Because it can be settled that the First Temple was destroyed because of a lack of vision and spirit, while the Second Temple was destroyed due to excess of "spirit" and vision.
The First Temple was destroyed due to economic, governmental, religious, sexual corruption. The abundance blinded our ancestors, confused them and made them give up the vision for immediate material abundance, apparently satisfactory. The kingdom had rotten from the inside, the worm ate the inside, and the outer shell could not hold the rotting and dying building. Religion was a thin layer that could not cover the inner corruption that had eaten up every bit.
The Second Temple, that's already another story. Great spiritual currents swept the nation. The abundance of spirit, in which their ideological passion did not allow them to talk with each other. They physically and economically hurt each other. Some mention the famous story of Tisha B'Av "Kamtza and Bar Kamtza" in which there was a mistake in an invitation to a fancy dinner, and instead of inviting the friend "Kamtza" the hated "Bar Kamtza". And the host didn't consent to "Bar Kamtza"'s pleas to keep him in the meal and not insult him, for any fortune in the world, that's how great the hatred was. And "Bar Kamtza", who was thrown in disgrace from the meal, swore to revenge, and he stirred up a fight between the Jewish community and the Roman emperor. That's how great the hatred was. Some say that the hatred between the host and Bar Kamtza, the guest caught in by accident, was ideological-political.
Well, these two topics should turn on a red light and they are the lesson that we, in my opinion, need to take to Tisha B'Av in our own time.
The red light of the First Temple-corruption, lack of vision, materialism of the piggish capitalistic kind that does not allow us to see "the other". The red light of the Second Temple-ideological movements that are, for the opposite reason, unable to sit with the other. "The Second Temple problem" is of great concern, because we don't agree between us on very fundamental questions.
What do we do? What is the message of Tisha B'Av? Do I give up my truth? Do I give up on my coherent world view? Do I repeat the question (leave the orthodox lifestyle)? Repent? Maybe to be light religious, or light secular? Tisha B'Av is about another focus of the problem, it doesn't deal with the problem itself, but rather the way it is conducted, in the methodology of the dispute.
One possibility to settle the problem is politics. The difference between the intellectual and politician, is that the role of the intellectual is to deepen his concept and sharpen it. While the role of the politician is to bring the best achievement that he can reach. On the way he compromises and makes alliances, gives away and others give him. In a practical term it allows them to live together. In an emotional and identity-wise term, it's not enough.
Well, we need to find another option, that would also satisfy the spirit and not just the act, the ideal and not just the practice. My solution lies in the tragic figure of a sage in the Second Temple era whose name was Rabbi Zecharia Beb Avkulus. He was a man full of spirit, and would say about himself that he lived off a small amount of carob, once a week. Well, his ruling caused in a complicated way destruction, and sages say that he had to give up his opinion to prevent the destruction. In other words, his stance on its own was correct, but in a wider weighting he had to give up his opinion, because weighty spiritual interests were at stake. It wasn't supposed to be a political concession, it was supposed to be a spiritual weighting. It was supposed to be a balance of values and attempt to produce a result that takes into account the most values that he himself believed in.
Who applied this approach in dealing with the central spiritual conflicts that tore the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th was Rabbi Kook. He taught us that two divided opinions are like two physical forces that collide with each other, and may together create a third force that contains in an integrative way the previous two.
If every one of us asked himself what he receives from those he disagree with, where is his contribution to society, even a small one, a bridge would be created, a thin nerve cord that would allow communication.
The problem, Tisha B'Av philosophy tells us, is not with the values themselves that we believe in. The problem is with the ego that mixes with them. The problem is that sometimes the ego speaks for the values and not the values themselves.
Tisha B'Av is a day of analysis whose job is to remove the egoistic components from your philosophy, from your position. The moment only your values will speak, a dialogue will be created. It's not that the ego makes all of the difference, of course not, but the ego doesn't allow us to listen to the other and see that our position is also limited, and has its weaknesses.
So basically Tisha B'Av is telling us, calm down the emotions and let the mind work. Maybe that's why the fast is the amendment of this crisis. Because the fast exhausts our psychic-physical strengths, it has a dimension of giving, relaxing. Maybe that's really the message, a national tranquilizer that will allow us to start working together. At least to start".

Something to think about over your next cigarette.
Shlomi Shaban is much more than a singer. He's also more than a talented pianist, composer and songwriter. He's a poet.

You like your cigarettes, you like Fridays
You like your friends only in the evenings
And when you come back home the lights are always on
And you don't have a childhood, you don't have a future, and you have time

You're willing to put up with your memories only as stories
Around a table loaded with laughing mouths
And when you come back home you sing
Because you have a dream, because you have a dream and you don't have time

Your first kiss from a bartender at Yehuda Hamacabi
She has highlights in her hair and dates athletes
And when you suddenly bump into her nothing is real
So you have a dream, so you have a dream, whose dream?

Line five south, your love sells records
This city isn't small for her, just a little tight on the sides
You think maybe to escape and die from longing
Because this is your place, because you have a place and there is no choice

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4261263,00.html

http://www.facebook.com/shlomishaban

*the clip isn't that related to the song, a philosophy student used it in his seminar on abortions and it's the only album version of the song I could find.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dudu Aharon-Don't close the door on me



I have to admit that when I first heard this about a month ago my first thought was that this would fit perfectly on the "sad days" playlist, which is pretty sad because thankfuly there hadn't been a sad day in quite a while and it kept me from enjoying this great song. I'm not sure if they played this yesterday, I didn't hear the radio but I'm pretty sure they pulled out the "sad day" playlist (I'm pretty sure it's a file on a computer but in my mind it's a dusty sheet of paper usually stashed away in a drawer). Hearing the sentance "a bus has blown up" immediatly brought me back to ten years ago when it wasn't such a rare thing to hear on the news. Only this time even though it's farther away geographically it's much harder because it's so out of the blue. Burgus is where you fly for a cheap vacation to take a breath from the daily life. It's much more affordable than Greece and other destinations in Europe so most of the travellers are very young. Usually on a trip abroad you want to forget about everything and just relax-it's always scary to feel unsafe but even more so on vacation. Here is information about the victims. Devastating. http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=278221 Of course now everyone is wondering what's next and with the Syria bombing (already feels like old news) things are very uncertain.
On another note, I really like this song by Dudu Aharon. It's much more low key than his usual style and there's something very calming about the melody. Even though it's sad and intimate it's very easy to imagine thousands chanting the chorus at Ceasaria and it highlights his great vocals. I must say that although I've never been a huge fan of his music I've really come to like him as a person thanks to last summer's cult reality La La Land, about oriental singers trying to make it big in LA. At first the editors tried to portray him as egoistic and "above" the other contestants but he kind of ruined it by getting along with everybody and taking on the role of peacemaker making it probably the most uncompetitive reality show ever-they were like a big family that made friday dinners together and it was just really fun to watch.

In the nights I wrap up in myself, cannot sleep
Looking for my way
Take your time and think if you should leave
What will happen to the child

Just understand me I'm also afraid
I don't want you to go I need you
These are not easy days for me too
Just give me a sign that you love

If you're fed up then it hurts for me too
We've been through everything isn't it a shame to give up
How sad and heavy my heart is
Don't close the door on me...

Hiding in myself the pain does not leave
Closing myself like a child
Come go out to my heart
It's crying for you now
I'm begging for you like a child

Just understand me it isn't easy to leave
I really wanted the best for you
The heart is bleeding heal my wounds
Promise me that you aren't leaving

http://www.facebook.com/DuduAharonOfficial

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Raw Men Empire-Orange Land



Whoa, what a great "video"! I first heard this song a few weeks ago and was hooked on the riff, it's so refreshing and energetic-I was pretty curious how the video clip would be-and I'm not at all disappointed! I first discovered them a while ago with their very sweet "Between you and me" and was wondering where they disappeared. Now they're back and better than ever. They sound so happy and free! Perfect for the summer.
Speaking of summer, it's probably the best time to indulge in youtube clips-your brain feels so tired from the heat (and in my case also exams) that it feels like you deserve a few minutes (which somehow turn into an hour) of pure escapism. Here's a must-see blue and white selection:

Everybody who's been to the beach in Israel is familiar with that tik-tak-tik-tak noise of Matkot. Either you love it or you hate it but it's inescapable and a huge part of Israeli beach culture. New York Times recently posted a pro-matkot article but there's a much more critical side to it. This well made video is a satire but stems from hatred to the sport in which the creators claim that it's not only annoying but also very dangerous, not to mention what it says about Israelis...

I Charleston is in Tel Aviv! Very colorful and well made. I can't help but wonder how they were able to dance with so much energy in the heat.

By now Vania Heyman's cinematography has become a trademark and it's great to see that he hasn't abandoned his roots. This is very catchy and you'll probably find yourself singing it out loud even if you think it's the unfunniest thing ever. For more Roy Kafri (he's amazing!) check out his site: http://roykafri.bandcamp.com/

Parking in Tel Aviv often feels like a sadistic game of musical chairs with the recurring thought that you just might spend the rest of your life roaming the narrow streets like a shark, all just not to pay in an over-priced parking lot. You think to yourself "there just has to be a free spot somewhere" and when you finally do find it you feel like the luckiest person in the world. This is a video that everyone can relate to and even features a cameo of Tel Aviv's mayor Ron Chuldai.

The same guys also made a pretty genius video capturing the essence of the Israeli world traveller-in the setting of Tel Aviv.

I've seen the orange land
And your vacant lots,
I've seen all your cars
And they are painted white.

My, oh my, baby,
Stay with me.
My, oh my, baby,
Stay with me.
You're in my heart,
You're in my soul tonight
You're in my heart,
You're gonna tear my world apart.

First came the snow,
Bringing in the white,
I started to write this song
So I could find some light.

My, oh my, baby,
Stay with me.
My, oh my, baby,
Stay with me.
You're in my heart,
You're in my soul tonight
You're in my heart,
You're gonna tear my world apart.

High or down or high or low
I've seen your face now,
No matter how hard you'll try to go
I know your name now,
No matter how far you're gonna run
There'll never be someone
Like you.
http://trmeband.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Avtipus-Just do not fall



I'm pretty surprised how emotional this song made me feel. I came across it completely by chance earlier today and ever since I've been in a pretty pensive mood. The youtube description says that "this was recorded in July 2012, written in the summer of 2011 with the outbreak of the tent protest to encourage ourselves, our friends, and everyone who isn't giving up, isn't discouraged and continues to push this huge boulder up the mountain". There's a lot of optimism in these words but this song is so melancholic and heavy-it's a good reminder of why the protest exists as well as its importance but there's also a huge feeling of crisis and uncertainty. Since late May/early June there have been renewed protests-not as huge as the ones from last summer but also not as small as some people thought. Mainly there was a sense that it wasn't the top story in the media so it wasn't the top story on everybody's minds-and it felt like it was fading away. However all that changed on Friday June 22 when Dafni Lif together with a group of protesters wanted to renew the Rotschild tent city-after they didn't get a permit from the city counsel. Things got very violent and Lif ended up badly bruised by the police and arrested. And then came the very violent protest on Saturday. At first it was very blurry to me what exactly happened on that night-at first from the news it seemed that a small group of protesters got aggressive, smashed bank windows, created a riot and fought with cops. But then when I checked out twitter and facebook it appeared that the protester's vandalism acts was minor compared to how the Special Patrol Unit handled the protesters-with violence, curses and fury mostly towards unharmful men and women. Here is what Itai Anghel, one of the only journalists I completely respect, reported: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/baghdad-congo-tel-aviv.premium-1.447790. The setting of the protest was the banks by Gan Hair, right next to the City Hall whose painted escalators starred in last week's video by Kutiman. It's also right by Rabin Square. One of the most chilling tweets I came across was by someone who wrote: "Miri Regev [says] the protesters want to turn Rabin Square to Tahrir Square. That's more legitamite than what the extreme right did: which is turning Kings of Israel Square to Rabin Square." It also reminded me what the late Rabin said in his last speech before he was assassinated: "Violence erodes the basis of democracy. It should be condemned, denounced and isolated". In this past Saturday's protest there was no violence but there was anger-and also a group who split from the official protest and blocked roads-not only in Tel Aviv but also in Jerusalem and Haifa. From what I understand there's now a tent city in a new location picked by the mayor-near the train station and away from the heart of the city. This way it won't disturb the city residents but it also won't bother anyone else so there's a lot of criticism on behalf of activists and it's very small (for now). So, after almost a year since it first started it's still very hard to pinpoint exactly what has changed (it feels like nothing and everything at the same time), where things are now and where they are headed. What's certain is that it's going to be a very interesting summer.
Avtipus (prototype) are a great band from the 90's with hits like these  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2OKUsA3X0M and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwNM-nbaI_o&feature=related (so 90's!). For me they represent the true face of the protest-not dreamy twenty somethings who want to live in the city and change the world but rather well experienced family men fed up with where things are going who see the possibility of creating a better society for their children.

Chutes and ladders
Climbing and diving
There is not a place without quiet
There is not a place with crawling

Dear friends
In the kingdom of survivors
In the place where there is no bridge
Over troubled water

Flying low
Above the dirt
Barely falling asleep
Waking up without a smile
And the ground always shakes under the feet
Just do not fall


Withdrawals and refunds
Loans and losses
In a place where there is no grace
And no pity

Flying low
Above the dirt
Barely falling asleep
Waking up without a smile
And underneath-what fear there is here in the eyes
Just do not fall

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kutiman feat. Elran Dekel-Dover. D



Kutiman, the inventor of the amazing Thru-You project, is always outdoing himself with creative videos and great music, and this one is no exception. I remember walking by the city hall a few months ago and seeing the painted escalators-it's such a simple idea but so genius and creative and it definitely adds a burst of colour to the day. Perfect music and clip to open (officially) the summer with, which I've always associated with imagination working over time.
Elran is the lead singer of the awesome Funk'n'stein band http://funknstein.com/
and he also released a great solo album a few years ago http://www.myspace.com/elrandekel

http://kutiman.bandcamp.com/track/dover-d

http://thru-you.com

http://israelstreetart.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/artist-dover-d/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smilingbag/

Friday, June 15, 2012

Einav Jackson Cohen-Kiss Me


I really like Sivan Shavit's song Kiss Me. I think I've written how it really gives the atmosphere of riding fastly in the car on the way from the north with someone special. It has that great tension and really manages to capture the intimacy of a car ride. Einav Jackson Cohen slows the ride down putting more focus on the lyrics. It feels less like a car ride on the highway and more like a slow ride into space. Einav has a beautiful voice and manages to turn what could have just been a regular cover into something much more unique and emotional. I still have goosebumps.

The original as shown in the excellent film Walk on Water. Amazing scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtrFfoxpxw8

You can get the song for free here:
http://music.einavjackson.com/track/--23

We're both riding in the car
I don't know where we'll go
When the wheel is in your hands
You always have to surprise
I can't stop
Looking at your face in the mirror
And you feel every movement
Send a caress to my lips

We're both riding in the car
You tell me that the ride will be long
And that I can fall asleep
And afterwards you'll tell me everything that happened
I don't sleep
Counting stars through holes in a blanket
And you with a cigarette in your mouth
Sing with the radio a love song

Kiss me hard
Kiss me till it hurts
And the sun won't set
You are the one and only
My wonderful love
And I love you

We're both riding in the car
I wish we could ride forever
You think that I
Long ago fell asleep and am not listening
How you with a cigarette in your mouth
Sing to me with the radio a love song

Kiss me hard...




Friday, June 8, 2012

Amit Erez & The Secret Sea - Not About Us



Wow, this track really blew me away. I like Amit Erez's work, but I've always associated it with wintery days and this song is so...alive and perfect for early summer. You can almost hear the bees buzzing. A very refreshing and pleasant surprise, especially considering the fact that I wasn't too into the first single Whenever the Sun Comes. This song refuses to leave my head and I'm not at all complaining. There's a whiff of Belle & Sebastian, but Erez and his talented group manage to create a unique sound of their own. There are so many instruments and styles here but they all blend together perfectly and I love the sharp lyrics which are so easy to identify with.

I'm calling you over every day
When I'm alone
For nothing has strayed you
From dirty lanes back to your home
Our god in his crown
Is judging us down

In pity and purchased heavenly sins
Buzzing around
I'm picking a frequency from within
Hammering on
My god is a sound
A pusher in town

I see you slipping away
I hold you anyway
I know it's not about us today

And I was tearing it up
In a new confusion
Sealing it off from inside
And as the barrier rose
It was quickly moving away
And back and behind
No one ever treats you right

I see you slipping away
I hold you anyway
I know it's not about us today
I see you slipping away
I hold you anyway
I know it's not about us
I know it's not about us

And you get to stay full time
And you get to be your kind
And you get to fit just fine
Enough for everyone to see you
When you're walking blind

I see you slipping away...
I see you slipping away

http://amiterez.bandcamp.com/

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ido Shoam-XL Nightlife Anthem 2012



So at first I thought I'd post this as a link together with another song but then I realized that Ido Shoam's song is so great that it deserves a post of its own. I don't really write about the Israeli techno scene (or live it for that matter) but it's a pretty huge part of Israeli culture, especially in Tel Aviv. I remember seeing a documentary a while ago about America in the 70's and how it was really a low point economically with the Arab Oil Embargo so it was only natural to dance the night away in disco clubs to help forget about depressing problems, even if only temporarily. I really get that and it could help explain why Israel has such a great nightlife. Tel Aviv especially has become a nightlife capital attracting clubbers from all over the country. Along with that, it's also become the gay capital and there's a sense that if you're gay and want to live the gay lifestyle, you have to live in Tel Aviv. On one hand, it's great that there's a city in Israel where Gays can feel free to be themselves and live their lives peacefully but outside of Tel Aviv it's a completely different universe. I'm not talking about Orthodox cities but secular smaller cities where it's just not that acceptable to live an open gay life. I personally know that in Beer Sheva there's a growing gay scene made up of students from the center but not just, yet because of the conservative atmosphere it's rare to see open gay affection. I'm not saying that they should flaunt and make out in public because that would be unrespectable, but it shouldn't be such a big deal to just hold hands in the street and teens shouldn't feel so ashamed about their sexual orientations because of the negative vibe from their community. I have a lesbian friend in Beer Sheva who's very open and keeps on complaining how she can't find a girlfriend and that eventually she too will move to Tel Aviv. She told me "it's planning to become the gayest city in the WORLD" so why would Israeli gays want to live outside it? This year's gay pride parade has the slogan "all of the country flags, flags" with the intention of bringing the gay parade out of Tel Aviv to places where raising awareness is really needed. Yet there's a huge protest against the gay parade in Petah Tikvah, just 15 minutes from Tel Aviv and all of the protesters are saying the same thing: "you have Tel Aviv, isn't it enough?". In addition, many city councils don't want to budget the parades. It's important to remember that the first gay pride parade took place in New York in 1970 (back to the 70's...) marking a year after the police raid on the Stonewall Inn and the riots that followed, which "was the first time in modern history that a significant body of LGBT people resisted arrest"(Wikipedia). Naturally over the years gay rights have become more accepted so the parades have become much more festive and less political. Now it seems that it's just a good excuse to have a great party and meet cute tourists but it's not like that everywhere-I don't think the gay pride parades in the cities outside Tel Aviv should feel the need to compete with the provocative and glamour of Tel Aviv-just raising flags and saying "this is my city and I want to live here so please accept me as an equal" feels so much more powerful and also meaningful in making a real change. Of course that doesn't mean you can't party in Tel Aviv (it's not like they're on the same date)-next week's parade is planning on being the biggest ever with events all week: http://www.gaytlvguide.com/component/content/article/12-fp-articles/63-gay-pride-parade-tel-aviv-2012-june-8
I love this video not only because of the great music (so catchy!) but also because it really shows how accepting Israelis (in Tel Aviv) are to somebody so different who just wants to put a smile on our faces. Who can resist and not join the party? Actually one of the few guys in the video who isn't joining the party is none other than Erez Tal at 2:09, a huge celebrity and the host of the Israeli Big Brother whom I'm pretty sure was caught on film by chance (it is a small country) making this just really funny to share.
Oh, and the song is available for free download here: http://www16.zippyshare.com/v/41852316/file.html

http://soundcloud.com/ido-shoam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride_parade

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Drunk Machine - Fogg Future



Wow, this is so good-the drums, the guitar riffs, the singing-it all sounds like it was made from the gut-just like rock music should be. It's hard to explain how this loud music makes me calm but after a long and frustrating day (make that month) this is just what I need to relax. On another note, it's student day! there's definitely a festive atmosphere in the air and it's great to put everything aside and have a mini vacation. The performers were voted by the students and this year's line up is pretty impressive with Infected Mushroom, Shalom Hanoch, Idan Raichel Project, Aviv Geffen and more but I really wouldn't mind seeing something new and fresh like these amazing guys-who I'll make sure to catch live when the chance arrives. Gotta go!

http://drunkmachine.com/

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Got The Hotties-All The Reasons



This is one of those songs that you hear in the morning and it stays with you all day. And although it's quite melancholic you don't really mind because it's such a good song. I Got the Hotties better known as Kol HaChatichim Etzli (כל החתיכים אצלי) are known for their energetic "we don't care" attitude and candid lyrics. This is much mellower, but it still has painfully honest lyrics. And everything about this song just clicks. This is the unofficial video part of a same freeze shot project to battle the band's biggest enemy-ADHD (translated from the youtube description). There's something very therapeutic about just sitting in place for so long without doing anything. It's just as therapeutic for the viewer. Personally, I felt that I had to give them a little respect for their huge effort (it must have been freezing!) so I just sat still watching the waves and the sunset and it made me really listen to this great song. They just released their official video and it's also great. It has a plot and everything but whenever I hear the song I think about this one-it's just so more real.

I gave her a twenty shekel bill
She's sitting screaming and cursing
To the air
And about this country
I gave her twenty shekels
She won't buy with it teeth for her mouth
But I bought me a good conscience

I don't need to go very far
To know
That I have all of the reasons in the world
To be happy
How is it that I'm not there yet
I think

Gillian left to study French
She's wasting her time because she'll never get
How crooked her teeth are
Gillian left to study French
At 45, she doesn't have a husband, nor kids
And how she's so dumb
I'm trying not to laugh

But I don't need to be so smart
To know
That I have all the reasons in the world
To be happy
How is it that I'm not there yet
I think

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KAzB9MYKFM&feature=youtu.be

http://www.igotthehotties.com/

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Asaf Avidan-Different Pulses



So beautiful. This is much more than a video clip and really a work of art directed by the very talented Vania Heymann (remember the name!). The song itself is also great and goes perfectly with the video. Avidan rose to fame with the Mojos-I still enjoy listening to their first album except for Weak which got on my nerves because it was played so much. I only heard a few songs from their later albums, but I liked the fact that they were trying out new things even if it didn't always guarantee success. Now Avidan is flying solo and he's off to an amazing start. He has such a unique voice that it's so easy to make it a gimmick but here it goes wonderfully with the music and it's just right. You can really feel that he's matured as a singer and songwriter. He amazingly manages to sound so relevant and at the same time different than everything else out there.

My life is like a wound I scratch so I can bleed
Regurgitate my words, I write so I can feed
And Death grows like a tree that's planted in my chest
Its roots are at my feet, I walk so it won't rest

Oh, Baby, I am Lost...

I try to push the colors through a prism back to white
To sync our different pulses into a blinding light
And if love is not the key. If love is not a key.
I hope that I can find a place where it could be

I know that in your heart there is an answer to a question
That I'm not as yet aware that I have asked
And if that tree had not drunk my tears
I would have bled and cried for all the years
That I alone have let them pass

Oh, Baby, I am yours...

http://www.asafavidanmusic.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/vaniaHey

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Five in the Morning-Roni Yedidia feat. Kobi Oz



What a great song to open the month with. After the wave of Passover and national days there's an "after holidays" feel and it's a bit hard to get back in routine-especially with summer just around the corner. I'm so used to opening the day with Ynet-checking what happened while I was sleeping and usually something happened. It's always so surreal when I go abroad and don't hear hourly updates of the news on the radio and there's no main evening news program which the whole country watches. It would be nice if everyone would take a break during the summer. Nothing bad would happen, there would be nothing to report, everyone would just chill back and do whatever they please. Of course, that's unrealistic and everybody would probably just talk nonstop about how nothing ever happens. Or become obsessed with the weather. But there is always the hope of just for a bit living in a normal world where not much happens. This song is part of a project by Roni Yedidia of new versions to Nathan Alterman's wonderful poetry. I really like what he did with this song. It's so energetic and very nostalgic to early Israeli music and the clip is so bright and creative. Here's an older completely different version to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk9U06nTfvo

Five in the morning, chilly
A lantern flashes light on the frozen main road
A star left is still shining on the city
Singular in his point of view

A man opens his window to the horizon
And takes out his dreaming nose.
His nose flies like a dove returning and informing
The world is still safe and sound.

On this night  nothing happened
No continent in the oceans sank
No political map switched its skin
No republic bursted

The history skipped over this night
And the newspaper writers overlooked in the shade
The man slowly gets dressed as if he were an hallucinator
And thinks, thank God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Alterman

another song by Yedidia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I31SaZwHhzY

Kobi Oz was the leader of the very popular 90's band Teapacks, known for their positive pop oriental style. Oz later went on to a solo career with more acoustic and religous songs.

http://kobioz.bandcamp.com/

http://teapacks.bandcamp.com/

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yehudit Ravitz and Yoni Rechter-Tears of Angels



Today was the first time I stood at the memorial siren outside my house, not in a memorial service or a classroom. I was on my way home and just got off the train. The train came in a few minutes before 8 and everyone patiently waited for the siren. On the platform, most of us were already standing in position and I could hear the highway become quieter and quieter. The siren seemed softer than usual, but maybe I'm just used to louder sirens. I stood looking at the ground thinking about all the soldiers who lost their lives, grateful for not having to focus on any soldier I personally know and hoping it will stay that way. Tomorrow morning graveyards will be packed with mourning families and ceremonies and I'll be doing last minute shopping for the Independence Day barbeque festivities which begin tomorrow evening. After the siren ended I walked up the escalator and everything seemed so normal on the bridge between Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan. Everybody was walking quickly and it was hard to believe that the siren was only a few minutes earlier. The only sign of it was an old man peering out to the highway which was now completely back to normal. It reminded me how we all seem to bounce back to life so quickly, even when we're not really ready yet-but without much of a choice because life has to go on. It's so sad how such a huge part of Israeli music is memorial music which sadly everyone can identify with. There's something very beautiful and emotional about this fragile song. Unlike other memorial songs it's less about the loss itself and more about the healing process and trying to cope with the loss "the morning after" at funerals and later on in life.I hear it every memorial day and I never get tired of it. The piano and guitar go together perfectly and it's truly a timeless song.

Tears of angels
Quiet tears
Beautiful and sad tears
Stream down on the horizon tears and searching...
What are they seeking? Ah...

Because when the angels cry
In another world,
Then in this world
We're even sadder.

Tears of angels.
Why are they crying the angels?
Maybe because it's not easy
To be an angel,
In such a sad world.

Because when the angels cry...

And also we here
Want to cry together with them
What to do?
Want to cry and the tears don't fall,
The tears don't stream.

Because when the angels cry...

Tomorrow the Independence celebrations begin anf here's a message from Mr. Shimon Peres. When he says that he remembers every year of Israel's existence I have no trouble believing it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfLBRqsj41A

Speaking of the next generation, it may seem a bit out of context to post this lighthearted homemade video cover of  Walk of the Earth's cover to the addictive "Somebody you used to know" but it actually really isn't. The soldiers here are a sharp reminder to the fact that so many of the 22,993 fallen soldiers and victims of terror were college aged kids who just wanted to hang out and have some fun. I just love the authenticity of the video especially when the young officer walks in and although he gives them a "seriously?!" look he can't really hide how amused he is and maybe also proud as he looks over them like a big brother. Makes me miss the family feeling of army life.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KLLpRGHZwY&context=C4d82223ADvjVQa1PpcFNTyinOn0yGtnbdpXpLkD-vKKdj3EmtrTM%3D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjBTXyJQpE8

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Yehudit-Ravitz/23066052200

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoni_Rechter





Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chen Aharoni-Sit still child



The National Holocaust Memorial Day begins tomorrow evening, but it's been in the headlines since the beginning of the week, mainly talking about the extinction of the survivors-yesterday paper's headline was the quite alarming "Every hour a holocaust survivor dies". It went on to talk of the sharp increase of poverty and loneliness among the survivors. I remember when I was younger hearing that I belong to one of the last generations (if not the last) that will personally know holocaust survivors and that's why it's so important to learn their stories to pass on to the next generation. It's interesting to note how we remember the holocaust today and one of the ways of keeping the memories alive is the music project "Voices to Remember" which started last year. Here's some info on the project:
 "The Voice Still Remains" – Songs for Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, is a special project of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs and the Reshet Gimmel radio station. Israeli artists compose and perform songs about memories of the Holocaust, and preserving them in music, sounds and notes. A personal angle on the horrific past, through contemporary Israeli creative works. As the generation of witnesses to the voice of the Holocaust passes from this world, it is our duty to preserve the memory and speak about the heroism, bequeathing them to coming generations and ensuring that, forever, "The Voice Still Remains." Some of the songs are new interpretations to classic songs while others are completely new, like this one by Chen Aharoni. Here's what Aharoni says of his song:
"The main motive that lead me in a search for a song for the project was my level of emotion. It was important for me to really be moved from the song. When I turned to Sahar Hagai to write for me the text it was clear to him that he wants to write a letter/type of will that a mother leaves to her little boy when she is taken from him and leaves him to face his destiny. He asked me a quite shaking question "if you were there with your mother and she would have left you a last letter what would she have written?" My mother (being named Tikva [hope]) is the most optimistic person I know so I answered right away "She would have written me that everything will be okay. She would have written me something optimistic." Sahar articulated that exactly "Even in the fragmented milestones you will be able to find on your own your way". The text met the touching melody by Lauren Benjamin and together they were wrapped in a rich musical production by Uri Avni. I listened to the final result and shed a tear. I was moved."
The song really is emotional and I love how there's optimism in it, despite the sadness of growing up much too quickly. I also love how it really sounds like it was made today and isn't just a mimic of an older version. Usually, I'm not into Chen Aharoni's music but here he really showcases his talented voice and this song is perfect for him.

Sit still child
Sit quietly here
Between the drops of rain
They are the tears of time
Don't open a door
For the great pain
Forever in the imagination
Another thirst hugging hunger

Sit still child
Sit quietly here
Between the walls of the room
The small room
Don't go out
Don't go there
You're allowed to dream a smile
When you fall asleep

Color this gray with light blue
Listen, between the bundles there is also a tune
Know, even in the fragmented milestones
You can find on your own
Your way

Sit still child
Sit quietly here
Against the people of the herd
The humiliated herd
Let us go
Do not come to me
Watch your steps
Count my steps

Color this gray with light blue
Listen, between the bundles there is also a tune
Know, even in the fragmented milestones
You can find on your own
Your way

Remember mother playing (an instrument) and father praying
Remember yourself running gleefully on the way to the garden
Remember mother not shouting and father not crying
Remember yourself running on the way like a not withering flower

Color this gray with light blue...

Here's the complete collection of songs http://www.hakolot.co.il/new2012/songs2.php

http://he-il.facebook.com/ChenAharoni

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jewrhythmics -Chiribim



Jewrhythmics are a Tel Aviv/Moscow disco group who sing in Yiddish-it feels like it belongs in some alternative universe where Yiddish and disco rule the world. It's very original and much more than just a gimmick, the music itself is great and very fresh. And it goes perfectly with the festive holiday atmosphere.

http://www.jewrhythmics.com/

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Zvuloon Dub System-Freedom Time



Wow, I can't believe that this is my 100th post! I know this is a cliche, but I just want to say that I hope you enjoy reading it and discovering new music just as I enjoy writing about it. It's so exciting to see viewers from such a wide range of countries and each time I see a new country my heart kind of skips a beat and I can't help but wonder who's reading this. Anyways, Passover vacation has officially started! I'm swamped with reading material but at least I don't have any papers to submit right after the break so I can relax a bit and have some fun because I think the next time I'll be able to will be in August. It's always so weird for me to switch gears-I'm so used to planning everything and living in fast pace motion that it takes a while to remember how to just chill. This song is perfect for that. It's also a perfect song to jump into the Spring feel. This week was hot! and I wore a short sleeved tee for the first time in forever! I remember hearing Zvuloon Dub System at InDnegev-it was such a brilliant idea to put them on in the morning. It was a great wake-up call and a perfect way to start the day. This song is also perfect for Passover, the holiday of freedom. Zvuloon just released their debut album, which they've been working on for 5(!) years and was definitely worth the wait. I love how it has a very laid back lazy feel but in concert they're an unstoppable burst of energy. And it has a great cover of the very Passover fitting "Go Down Moses".
Happy holiday!

Freedom time
Freedom time
Freedom time

Take a break from your life in the cuty
Go to the fields the flowers look so pretty
Sun is shining in the deep blue sky
Your heart is full of joy
Freedom time

Freedom time
Freedom time
Freedom time
Freedom time

Look at the birds how they fly in the sky
Wandering the world with no boundaries on their mind
Just listen to the reaper as it triggers so nice
The wind whispers freedom time

Freedom time
Just freedom time
Freedom time
Freedom time

When the night falls the sun goes down
The moon and the stars shine with silver light
When the morning rises up its a brand new day
Your heart is full of joy
Freedom time

http://zvuloondubsystem.bandcamp.com/

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jack In The Box - Redy redy



It's been quite a while since I've had such a great song stuck in my head and actually grew to like it more and more. When I first saw this video my first thought was "this is way too hipster" but you get the feeling that this is who Jack in the Box are and quickly stop caring about it. I love how the bandmates chime in and there's a feeling that they're having a really fun time. At first I thought the song was complete nonsense and then I saw that it's actually a modern poem by Aaron Shabtai published in the highly acclaimed (and controversial) poem magazine Maayan. I can just see in my head the band members flipping through the magazine, seeing the poem and making a song out of it, just for fun. I first came across Jack in the Box through a video they did for the Indie City project for last year's white night. They performed "Cafe Adir" in Kerem HaTeimanim (vineyard of the Yemenites), one of my favorite neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. What's so great about the video isn't just the original song but the encounter between Jack in the Box, who are clearly out of their comfort zone, and the residents of the neighborhood who probably don't usually listen to that kind of music, which is in itself very fresh in the music scene. There's a feeling that the authenticity of the neighborhood is dying away with the older generation and as rent prices just get higher and higher there'll likely be a completely different feel to the neighborhood in 20 years (or even earlier).

Get off get off get off
From the sinking Aaron ship

Get off get off get off
From the sinking Aaron ship

Shame on your shoulders
Too bad about your neck

You have bougainvillea hair

You have bougainvillea hair

Make yourself carrot juice
Make yourself beet salad

But I can't get off
From the sinking Aaron ship

I can't and don't want to,
I'll go ahead

Can't and don't want to,
I'll go on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCVY9DEbHc4&feature=related

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerem_HaTeimanim

http://sites.google.com/site/chicky99/maayan2

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-In-The-Box/120908584610098

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sun Tailor - You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go



I was so sad to hear about the Toulouse murder in which a gunman killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school. I found out the news when I was buying vegetables after class and it was on the tv. The grocer and I, along with a few other people just stood there in a bit of shock horrified by the news. When I came home to check the news on the internet I saw that the European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton condemned the attacks and compared them to the killing of children in Gaza:  "And the days when we remember young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances - the Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world - we remember young people and children who lose their lives." I feel very sad for the children in Gaza who have to live in a horrible reality because their parents elected the Hamas, which uses children as human shields and launches its rockets to Israeli civilians from civilian populated centers near schools giving Israel no choice but to fire at the rocket launchers to stop the rockets. Israel tries very hard not to hurt civilians and I'm pretty sure it's part of the reason why there weren't any more military attacks on Gaza-even after grad rockets kept falling in southern cities two days(!) after the cease-fire. The situation in Gaza is messed up but to compare it to the murder in Toulouse? The comparison that appears in my mind is last year's Itamar shooting when Palestinian shooters broke into a house in Itamar and murdered a whole family just to create controversy. Of course, there are victims of all religions and it's important to note that the gun used in the shooting also killed two Muslim paratroopers last week. I hate bringing stuff like this up when the focus should be on mourning the Toulouse victims, but it just feels like remarks like Ashton's just lead to more unnecessary violence.
On another note, I really like this version of Bob Dylan's song, even more than the original. It just feels much more emotional. Of course, it's about saying goodbye to a lover and not the death of a family member but it seems very relevant today. Sun Tailor is extremely talented and he's definitely on my list of performers to check out live.

http://www.facebook.com/suntailor

I’ve seen love go by my door
It’s never been this close before
Never been so easy or so slow
Been shooting in the dark too long
When something's not right it’s wrong
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Dragon clouds so high above
I’ve only known careless love
It’s always hit me from below
This time around it’s more correct
Right on target, so direct
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Purple clover, Queen Anne’s Lace
Crimson hair across your face
You could make me cry if you don’t know
Can’t remember what I was thinkin’ of
You might be spoilin’ me too much, love
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Flowers on the hillside, bloomin’ crazy
Crickets talkin’ back and forth in rhyme
Blue river runnin’ slow and lazy
I could stay with you forever and never realize the time

Situations have ended sad
Relationships have all been bad
Mine’ve been like Verlaine’s and Rimbaud
But there’s no way I can compare
All those scenes to this affair
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Yer gonna make me wonder what I’m doin’
Stayin’ far behind without you
Yer gonna make me wonder what I’m sayin’
Yer gonna make me give myself a good talkin’ to

I’ll look for you in old Honolulu
San Francisco, Ashtabula
Yer gonna have to leave me now, I know
But I’ll see you in the sky above
In the tall grass, in the ones I love
Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go

Sunday, March 11, 2012

KOB-Rome



I was supposed to be writing this from my apartment in Beer Sheva-probably writing something banal about how Purim festivities are over and I'm having a hard time adjusting to the new semester and the overload of work. But I'm writing this from my home in the center, where there are no rocket threats (yet) and I can do normal everyday stuff like taking a shower or buying groceries without fearing the interruption of the dreaded siren. It all started on Friday afternoon when I read in the news that the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees was assassinated for plotting a terror attack from Sinai. I should have known then that things would heat up but I was too preoccupied with a paper I had to finish and my costume for the Sunday parties in the south. I even skipped out on an amazing Purim party on Friday to finish the paper so I'd be able to celebrate on Sunday "with a clean head". Needless to say, the Purim festivities were cancelled, as well as University and the semester hasn't started yet. Just proves that you really never know what tomorrow will bring. On Friday morning, the student union site had a banner reading that the new semester will open with a huge boom, because of all the events. On Saturday they changed it to "The semester will open huge (depending on the security situation)" and by Sunday it read "The semester will open late (depending on the security situation)". There's been a lot of talk of making a 2012 edition of the underGRAD tee shirts that were sold in the past. I'm trying to relax a bit during this unexpected vacation but with one eye on my facebook news feed checking on friends from the south and the other on the news site to see if there are any developments (right now there's talk of cease-fire but at the same time they're saying that Palestinians recently fired 5 mortar shells into the Eshkol Region and 2 rockets to the Ashkelon coast so to say that things are tense is an understatement. Then again mortar shells to Eshkol were a daily event even in calm days) it's quite difficult. You can't really understand what they're going through unless you're there. People here in the center are saying that they have the Iron Dome which is saving lives and yes, without the Iron Dome things would be much more awful, but it's not 100% effective and you still have to run in the middle of the night to safety- not to mention the fact that there are so many old buildings without bomb shelters so the citizens wait under the stairs (if they're lucky and not outside). It just feels that there's a lot of bitterness from people in the south who feel that the rest of the country (and mainly Tel Aviv) don't really get what they're going through. I hate the feeling of uncertainty and not knowing whether there will be classes tomorrow. but at least I have the "privilege" to get a full night's sleep and live in peace.
On another note, I really love this song by KOB-it's been a while since I've heard a really good rock song that managed to evoke strong feelings in me but then again I might be over sensitive these days. It's just a really great song and just what I need. There's nothing like a good break up song to remember that there are other things going on right now.  KOB is a stage name for a guy who in real life is a lawyer and deals with artist's rights. So he makes music as a hobby and as a result, doesn't compromise his work to be more successful-luckily for us. I strongly recommend checking out his new album which is available on Bandcamp, as well as his previous one which is dubstep and shows how versatile he is an artist. Oh, and in the past he sang more about social issues and less about relationships. Here's a clip called "indifference" from happier times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTLWYfgwGrg

http://kobmusic1.bandcamp.com/album/simaney-tshuka

Midnight prayer
She has doubts
The heart fell eyes on the sides
It's a lost fight
Dying in agony
She worries about me worries about words

Go to Rome
Go to him
Don't exhaust the heart don't pretend to be interested
Go now
Go to Rome
Fly to him
Don't exhaust the heart don't waste time
Don't send a letter

A heavy city, every step of a dance
Blunt honesty
Honesty of a lost generation
A bitter moon, don't expect anything
It's not over
No...this is the end

The sand is slowly running out...it's the clock
Couples pass by in the crowd
When will the bell announce-final stop

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-wETUOJDmc&feature=BFa&list=UUawNWlihdgaycQpO3zi-jYg&lf=plcp

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

IZABO - Time



The Purim celebrations have already started, even though the holiday itself is tomorrow or Thursday, I never really know (and of course celebrations will slide into the weekend-I already see how facebook will make me feel a bit guilty for having only one costume). Izabo officially released their Eurovision single and it goes great with the festive time is short let's get drunk Purim atmosphere. For the first time in quite a while I might even tune into the contest because I think they have a really good chance of taking a top spot. Choosing Izabo came as quite a surprise because they may be super successful in the indie world (there are no official headliners at the inDnegev festival, but they did perform the prime time slot of Friday night) as well as internationally but they weren't exactly a household name. Some of the "who are these guys anyways??" talk-backs reminded me of the "who is bonny bear?" twitter. I really love the song- the Eurovision is supposed to be light and fun and they really succeeded in that without being too tacky. Plus there's the great mid eastern vibe and overall it's just a great fun song. Not to mention that wishing for a bit more time(and for it to work slower) is something we can all relate to. Izabo always has very creative clips-just see this or this. They've also collaborated with Avraham Tal's The Fools of Prophecy and the one and only Barry Sackharof so I'm really looking forward to Time's video clip and will make sure to post it. Happy Purim!

Time, time, don’t let me down
You’re the man in my playground
What you say I will obey night and day

Feel free to turn me on
Feel free to change my song
I will count and you will go on sing my song

I say
Time, time, give me only a sign-sign, give me the time
Why are you pressing on me, go to sleep

You got to give me more time
Time, time, why won't you sleep-leep tell me how much time
Why be black and white

Time, time, could you be mine?
I will feed you songs and wine
I’ll make you lazy, I’ll make you late
Wait, wait, wait

Wait, wait, we two are one
But you always take the lead
I lay down and you just run
Mind your speed

I say
Time, time, give me only a sign-sign, give me the time
Why are you pressing on me, go to sleep

You got to give me more time
Time, time, why won't you sleep-leep tell me how much time
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme time
Why be black and white
You don’t know what we talk about

Time time, give me only a sign-sign, give me the time
Why be black and white

Time, time, don’t let me down

http://www.facebook.com/IzaboPage

*as promised, here's the video clip. Maybe not as artistic as others but it doesn't disappoint!