Category Archives: News

Here’s To Moving On

This has been cross-posted on Yidwise. Thanks for the ride, guys.

Hey guys,

So in case it wasn’t obvious from the title of this post and the fact that I haven’t updated either site in months, I’ve made the decision to put both Yidwise and Jewish Music Underground to bed.

My reasons for this are many and complicated and maybe someday I’ll write a whole essay about them, but a major one is just a simple lack of enthusiasm. While I still listen to and even appreciate some Jewish music, it’s not the overriding passion it was when I started blogging two years ago, and it makes more sense for me to start devoting my energy to other endeavors.


This isn’t to say I have any plans to stop writing, or even that I’ll never write about Jewish music ever again (no plans at the moment but anything is possible). I have a few ideas for new writing-related projects, and being a broke college student, anything I can get professionally published is worth it.


If you want to follow new stuff from me and don’t want to subject yourself to the depressing sewer that is Twitter, I’ve started a Facebook page that I plan to update with any future projects I come out with. There’s not much there as of yet, but if anything happens that’s where I’ll post about it, so keep an eye on that for the foreseeable future.


Thank you to everyone who’s followed and supported me through this weird little experiment, and here’s to a hopefully lucrative and non-broke future 🙂


Best,

Sam

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Chant Records debuts with Zion80, Darshan, and more

The newly-founded label Chant Records debuted earlier this month with a plethora of ambitious new albums. (All can be purchased through the label’s website as well as their Bandcamp page.

Raza is the sophomore effort from alt-rap duo Darshan, here comprised of rapper Eprhyme (Eden Pearlstein) and Pharaoh’s Daughter frontwoman Basya Schechter. The album reimagines the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat prayers and draws heavily from Eastern musical traditions.

Warriors is the third release from Afro-jazz ensemble Zion80, led by guitarist and Tzadik Records alumni Jon Madof.

What We Found Along The Way is the debut full-length from Sandcatchers, an Americana-meets-Arabic ensemble fronted by oudist Yoshie Fruchter, another Tzadik veteran who is also in Zion80.

MukashiBanashi (Japanese for “tales of long ago”, a term for Japanese folk tales) is the debut from avant-rock outfit The Fugu Plan. Named for an effort to bring Jewish refugees to Japan during World War II, the band, fronted by Japan-born vocalist Yuka and Israeli bassist Shanir Blumenkranz, draws from Japanese folk traditions as well as surf, psychedelic, Ennio Morricone, and noise rock. The album is being re-released after originally coming out in February of 2016.

The label has also released Strength In Numbers, a 101-track showcase compilation featuring the above artists as well as a massive array of others. It can be downloaded and streamed for free from the label’s website.

Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird drops”Freedom Is A Verb” video

German-based klezmer punk act Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird recently released the video for their new single “Freedom Is A Verb“, directed by Patrícia Bateira. Powered by a menacing speakeasy vibe and the titular frontman’s snarling vocals, the track delivers biting criticism of America’s current political situation and reminds listeners that freedom is “something never finished, never done“. The video adds to this commentary with shots of politically-motivated graffiti and artwork (including some aimed at a certain American president…)

“Freedom Is A Verb” comes from the group’s upcoming album The Butcher’s Share, which comes out November 17 on Oriente Musik.

Levi Robin releases new single “Hey Love”

Indie folk artist Levi Robin has released a new single entitled “Hey Love“. The track, another in his recent string of lush, atmospheric folk ballads, was produced by Stu Brooks and mixed by Joel Hamilton. The song’s lyrics, dedicated to an ailing friend of Robin’s, use references to Tehillim and a Breslov axiom to illustrate how, in Robin’s words, “even in the darkest moments and experiences, the Divine Presence is with us.”

Moshiach Oi! release lyric video for “Sitra Achra is Dangerous”

Hardcore punks Moshiach Oi! have released a lyric video for “Sitra Achra is Dangerous“, off their latest album Rock Rabeinu. The clip, which evokes both street art and Breslov gedolim, was created by Fiverr user ‘guywhoedits’.

The lyrics are themed around spiritual warfare (“sitra achra” is a Kabbalistic term meaning “Other Side”, the realm of evil), with audio samples from an unnamed rav emphasizing the emptiness of the physical world. Musically, the song is one of the heavier on the album, bordering on metal in the intro, but their punk lineage is revealed through some Black Flag references – the opening chant is from “Rise Above”, while the verse guitar riff is modeled on “Six Pack”.