Yosi Piamenta was as virtuoso guitarist who had a long career performing original music as well as traditional Israeli and Arabic songs arranged in his signature style.
Modern Orthodox punk band The Groggers are known for tangling with controversial issues. From their first viral video hit, “Get,” to one of their latest, “Jewcan Sam (A Nose Job Love Song)” about, well, getting a nose job, the band has drawn equal measures of enthusiasm and scorn.
It all started with a video that went viral.
Clarinetist Chilik Frank plays exquisite arrangements of Hasidic melodies and dance songs. Binyomin Ginzberg says it’s some of the most moving Jewish music he has ever heard.
There is a time for mourning and there is a time for PR. The shocking murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, z”l, in Borough Park this week, is an unspeakable horror. And yet, with what seems to be a total lack of sensitivity regarding what kind of public reaction is or isn’t appropriate, Haredi artists are racing to release songs and videos in response to the event.
The new single and music video titled “The Japan Song,” released March 29 and featuring prominent Hasidic singers Avraham Fried and Shloimy Daskal, is not what you might expect. Although its purpose is fundraising for relief efforts, and the video includes some footage of the tsunami, it is not a fundraiser for Japan at all. Rather, it is the latest in a new trend of Haredi musical activism on behalf of Jewish prisoners.
The English-speaking Haredi Jewish community produces an awful lot of original Jewish music, though critics might consider it a lot of awful original Jewish music. With rare exceptions, the lyrics of popular songs in English — as opposed to settings of liturgical texts or Yiddish lyrics — come in just a few flavors, ranging from preachy to maudlin to just plain bad. Good lyrics are few and far between, the repertoire consisting of less-than-subtle presentations of the importance of Torah, Shabbos, and especially Moshiach and Geula (the Messiah and Redemption).