Monday, May 29, 2006

Yom Yerushalayim concert review

Monday, June 5, 2006 update: I have just received information via e-mail that I may have had the performers' names in the wrong order!!! Such an error would, obviously, render this entire review invalid. If that's the case, I apologize. Apparently, I'm going to have to be much more careful with my reviews in the future.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 update: Now that I've received his permission, I'm posting a copy of a Mon, 5 Jun 2006 e-mail from Aryeh Kunster:

Hi Shira, i happened to have come over this review of the show i played at. there are however a bunch of mistakes - first off your review for teva was actually my set with "Mizmor Shir" etc. And i didnt get up with blue fringe - that was heedoosh. the order of the show was Aryeh Kunstler, the Teva (the band i think you lost your hearing in!) then heedoosh and then blue fringe. Thanks for the giving the review though! If you need my link its Thanks!

I have listened to some of the music on Aryeh Kunstler's website and on the Heedoosh website, and it does, indeed appear that I got everything inside out. Aryeh Kunstler's song "Split the Sea" is, to the best of my recollection, the song that I referred to as the Yom Suf song that I incorrectly attributed to Teva. And if you go to the Heedoosh website, click on the album jacket, then click on "Lecha Dodi," you can hear an audio clip of what I'm pretty sure is the "Sefardi L'cha Dodi" that I incorrectly attributed to Aryeh Kunstler.

My sincerest apologies to all of the performers for my errors.

Here’s that review of the Thursday, May 25, Yom Yerushalayim concert at CODA (34 East 34th Street at Madison Avenue), at which Teva, Heedoosh, a band that I think was called Aryeh Kunstier (Kunstler?) and Blue Fringe performed that I told drumbumJ I’d try to write.

Let me say, up front, that CODA is a very fine club indeed, for those for whom it is intended. Unfortunately, a Jewish rock concert at CODA is, apparently, no place for a




To put it in plain, er, Yeshivish, it’s a shidduch scene, a place for mingling, mixing, meeting, and, with any luck, marital matching. As I was telling my son while I helped him unpack his car at 1:30 AM after arriving home from the concert, I apparently do much better, to my considerable surprise, with the younger folks at concerts intended for and/or drawing a largely college crowd, because the college students are actually there to, ahem, listen to the music!

That said, CODA is an absolutely wonderful place for those of you seeking a bashert (a “destined” marital partner). Be forewarned, however, that there’s no place to sit except either the bar or the $20-minimum tables, so understand that those four-inch spiked heels are definitely going to “cost” you, comfort-wise.

Ahem. The review, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself.

Teva (sorry, their hyperlink is not currently working) Correction: Aryeh Kunstler performed a short set that included such enjoyable pieces as “Mizmor Shir,” “Eilu va-rechev,” and a song about the crossing of Yom Suf, the Reed (mistranslation: Red) Sea. I would, no doubt, have enjoyed myself even more than I did if I’d felt free to dance, but, since I was the only person on the floor who showed any inclination to do so, I confined myself to bebopping as discretely as possible.

I regret that I cannot review Heedoosh Correction: Teva at all, despite having heard their entire set. It was a classic case of “both ends against the middle”—the tenor lead singer at the high end and the bass player (sorry, Mark) at the low end were both so loud that I finally gave up and went for earplugs, which I spent almost five minutes trying to insert in my ears in such a way that they wouldn’t fall out. A gornisht helfen—that didn’t help. I actually spent half the set standing in a hallway by the exit behind a wall, to no avail. The volume of the music was unbearable, no matter where I stood. If it had occurred to me, in the middle of the set, that, having been banded like a bird (with a strip of red paper fastened around my wrist) and stamped like a passport (with an ink stamp on my hand), I could walk out of the club and return later, I would have done so. For me, the only thing interesting about the band was that the bass player, who, much to my surprise, traded instuments with the lead guitarist for two songs, then traded back, was the same one who’d played bass for Aron Razel at the YU concert in early April.

I finally got smart and took a walk around the block between sets to try to get my ears back, so to speak, and walked in probably partway through the next set. I assume that the reason why the security guard had rachmones (mercy) on me and gave me a bar stool to sit on was that he was shocked that I’d actually come back. :) It was, of course, just my rotten luck that, precisely because I finally got a load off my feet, I immediately got a foot cramp! I decided to tough it out, rather than standing up again, for fear that the guard would take the chair away, but I did spend the entire set bebopping around on the seat. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the exact name of the band. Correction: This was the Heedoosh set. Aryeh Kunstier was the name displayed on the video montage of upcoming acts. (Kunstier?? Kunstler, maybe? I can’t find a link to a band under either name.) At that point, having been standing for literally more than two hours straight, I was too tired to take notes, but I do remember that they did a delightful Sefardi “L’cha Dodi.”

Finally (!), it was time for Blue Fringe. (Frankly, had I not been waiting to hear them perform, I would have left in the middle of the Heedoosh [correction: Teva] set.) At that point, having had some time to rest my feet and being quite sick and tired of behaving myself, I just threw caution to the wind and got up and danced my fool head—er, feet—off, as usual. This is where things got really strange—a couple of the guys came over and tried to dance with me. (My impression was that the guys in question, not being exactly surrounded by women, decided that they might as well at least enjoy themselves by dancing with the only woman on the whole fracking floor who was actually dancing.) Mind you, no one made even the slightest attempt to touch me, but I gotta tell ya, as a woman married almost 29 years, it’s been one heck of a long time since I’ve had my personal space invaded in that fashion without my express consent. It was really most uncomfortable and embarrassing. One woman was kind enough to keep coming to my rescue and shooing the guys away. Obviously, if I’d had any sense, I would have stopped dancing, but, equally obviously, if I’d had any sense, I would have left shortly after realizing that CODA is a “’meet’ market.” Well, suffice to say that I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll never go to a concert at CODA again, no matter who’s playing. I’m too old and too married for the club scene.

Ahem, back to the review, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself again. Blue Fringe played Lo Irah (here’s a link to the lyrics of many of their songs), a thoroughly appropriate piece of music for Yom Yerushalayim, since the lyrics deal with living a normal life in Israel despite the matzav (“situation”) of facing constant terror attacks. They also played Av Harachamim, which I love. Then they invited Aryeh Kunstler (?) and his lead guitarist to join them for one song, which was a kick—I just loved watching the two lead guitarists taking turns—and kept the lead guitarist for a rousing round of—what else?—the Shidduch Song, which they played along with their equally appropriate Shir HaShirim. (Hey, four single Orthodox musicians playing a gig at a shidduch scene . . . :) )

A fun time was had by all.


Blogger Shira Salamone said...

In defense of "the scene," Jewish singles do need places to meet. It was just the wrong place for an older married person.

That said, I was a bit disappointed that the audience paid so little attention to the music.

Wed May 31, 12:14:00 AM 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>