Currently Browsing: Music 14 articles

jews feature

Pop Jews Rocking On

David Drimer explores the relationship between Jews, pop and rock ‘n’ roll. We’re endlessly amused by the essentially semitic game “Who’s the Jew?” In my house, we fervently celebrate the Jewish identity of celebrities, athletes, artists and writers or historical figures famous or obscure, and bitterly lament the transgressions of Jewish bad actors (see Madoff, […]

beatle feature

“A Hard Day’s Night”

David Drimer explores the Jewishness of the famous Beatles movie.  One Sunday night in 1964, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and the world somehow changed. Almost 60 days after the Kennedy assassination, it broke America out of its national malaise. In the midst of the “British Invasion” – a slew of bands […]

nose feature

A Revolt Against Jewish Body Shaming

Yvette Deane writes about the Iraqi Jewish punk rock band challenging notions of beauty and Jewish power. On the fifth night of Hannukah, Loolwa Khazzoom released her latest single, “I Love My Jew Fro.” Khazzoom and her punk rock band, Iraqis in Pajamas, opened the song with a Hebrew poem, Ya Hasel Yona Mehaka, traditionally […]

The Kosher Beatles feature

The Kosher Beatles

As The Beatles: Get Back streams on Disney+, Nathan Abrams considers the Beatles’ Jewishness. As we know, beetles are not kosher but maybe the Beatles are. Let’s put this in context. Liverpool, where the Beatles hail from, has been a magnet for Jews since the eighteenth century. According to JCR-UK, there have been over 20 […]

simon feature

Solomon and Rabbi Simon

Barbara Borts tells us how Simon and Garfunkel explain Kohelet. Paul Simon has just celebrated his 80th birthday, keyn eyn hore, and Art Garfunkel has his coming up soon. All the celebrations have sent me with nostalgia back to their music, which formed a significant part of my teenage playlist of folk and singer-songwriter melodies. […]

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Shaddai

Mirushe ‘Mira’ Zylali reviews Loolwa Khazzoom’s new album. The Aramaic-language piyyut ‘Yah Ribbon “Alam”’ ends with a prayer for a restored Jerusalem. Written in the late 1500s by Rabbi Israel Najara, the then-rabbi of Gaza, it has been sung for four hundred years as a Shabbat hymn – that’s 21,000 Shabbatot. On Shabbat, God asks […]

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Neshama Reggae

Forty years after his death, Martin Elliot Jaffe reflects on Boby Marley’s Jewish Soul. My heart pounds a bit as the stage lights dim and after a long pandemic-enforced hiatus we return to the jam night stage of the Winchester in Lakewood, Ohio. Guitarists await the count, the drummer signals me and I launch the […]

pointless featured

Pointless

Loolwa Khazzoom shares the story behind ‘Pointless’ a new song on her band’s debut album, Iraqis in Pajamas (June 4 release). The BackstoryThe world knows little or nothing about indigenous Middle Eastern Jews, like my family, who lived on the land of Iraq for 1300 years before the Arab Muslim conquest of the region. My family lived on […]

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My Metal, My Judaism

Adam Kammerling reflects on metal, theatre and Judaism. The first song to move me to tears was the Avinu Malkeinu, as sung by the congregation of the Bristol and West Progressive synagogue. I was fifteen years old and it took me by surprise. It was the hyper-normative, mega-hetero, small-town, the early noughties. Boys couldn’t just […]

conga featured

Congahead: Martin Cohen

Martin Jaffee reflects on Martin Cohen’s lifelong love affair with Latin music. On stage, hidden behind my full set of congas and bongos—a warm evening at Cain Park, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the Workmen’s Circle Klezmer Orchestra ( now Tischler Klezmer Orchestra) launches into Ich Hob Dich and I latch onto a sinuous Latin rhumba on […]

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