A ridiculous amount of music stuff.
First of all, new music column up on Nextbook: Israeli hip-hop and Bible Belt punk-rock.
Hadara Levin-Areddy is a one-woman cultural steamroller. She’s a secular Jew living in Jerusalem, a pianist who plays rock music, a determined iconoclast who’s at once playful and dark-humored—think early Bruce Springsteen meets early Alanis Morrisette. She's carved out a niche for her own art-pop music in Israeli radio that’s not exactly Top 40, but still holds down a demographic of her own, roughly equivalent to that of NPR listeners. Hadara's seventh album, K’ilu Ain Machar ("Like There’s No Tomorrow"), finds her branching out both musically and lyrically, abandoning pop songs for hip hop. more...And then I talk about it on MJL:
The launch of Jewish Music Report probably has nothing to do with the upcoming Event, starring Lipa Schmeltzer — but I’m sure the timing couldn’t hurt either. Since last year’s sudden cancellation of the Big Event due to rabbinical warnings, Lipa has blown up from a wacky-but-talented opening act into a full-fledged major with wacky Youtube rap videos into a major Hasidic media star. The coverage provoked a profile in the New York Times, and, in many ways, backfired on its organizers — some rabbis who authorized the ban later admitted to having been coerced into signing, or signing without really knowing what was going on. It also propelled Lipa’s fame into uncharted waters. Whereas before, everyone in the Hasidic world kind of knew about the singer who did holy parodies of secular songs in Yiddish, now everyone — even non-music listeners — knew that he was a good Jew who just happened to ire the wrong rabbi.And I am so, so lucky -- I can't believe that I am related to these people (courtesy of JMR):