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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 2, 2004 /9 Adar, 5764

NEW PURIM PARTY MUSIC!

By Paul Wieder

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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | The main theme of Purim, says the Megillah, is "v'nahapachu," or "turnabout." And the main activity of Purim is… making noise! So what better time to explore some of the new Jewish music that is turning the (turn)tables and standing music's Hamans on their triangular ears:


The Rabbinical School Dropouts ear-popping CD, Cosmic Tree. The standout track is its irrepressible opener, "Dung Gate." The Arabic-tinged big-band sound is made by, well, a big band: 10 musicians on 18 instruments, ranging from a trombone to a tabla to a toy piano. Fun is the objective, as evidenced by the titles themselves: the swinging-in-the-shuk "Mosquito from Megiddo," the lounge jazz of "Nuclear Jet Set," and spacey tango "Warp to Level Three."


The Dropouts record on John Zorn's envelope-shredding Tzadik label. So does Paul Shapiro, whose album Midnight Minyan is interested in exploring traditional Jewish liturgy through jazz. There are no vocals, but you will find yourself doing mental karaoke to "Ma Lecha Hayam" from the Hallel, "Sim Shalom," and "Aitz Chaim He." Shapiro experiments more with these melodies than say, Jon Simon, but so ends up in more dissonant territory. He also plays some niggunim not often thought of as songs: Haftarah blessings, the Misheberach, and the Amidah.


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Back in 2000, a DJ known as Zoom Golly put out an elctronica-dance album called Let My People Go-Go. Along with Wally Brill's The Covenant from the previous year, it opened up the idea of laying Jewish vocals (in Brill's case, those of classic cantors) over electronica tracks. Go-Go features Golly's booming voice and is the more dance-able of the two. The songs on it are evenly mixed between Israeli folk songs and Jewish traditional; Golly weaves them with reggae, disco, Latin, and other rhythms and both acoustic and electronic instruments. The sound is that of a kid happily discovering which of his old toys work with the new ones he just got for Chanukah.


Somewhere between Brill's work and Golly's is that of Zohar's onethreeseven. Not to be confused with the American-Jewish band Zohar (from Putumayo's Jewish Odyssey), this UK outfit twines traditional cantorials like Yoselle Rosenblatt's with sophisticated electronica tracks. Where Zohar's work expands on Brill's is in the use of modern and non-Jewish singers like Zehava Ben and Oum Kalthoum, and in their cutting and pasting these vocal tracks themselves. The album is also more subtle than either Zoom Golly's or Brill's, but matches them in playfulness.


Still, in that area, few can match the rambunciousness of YIDcore, the Australian Jewish punk band. Their second release, The Great Chicken Soup Caper E.P. is more of their speaker-immolating desecrations of favorites from the Jewish holiday and campfire songbooks. The top-of-the-lungs delivery, the faster-than-speed guitars, the turn-that-junk-down drums… this is a Spinal Tap done by a Jewish doctor (in fact, the lead singer is a lawyer). The last track is a live cut of "To Life" done at the legendary CBGB's, so they have "cred," too.


If punk is "from" that club, then David Krakauer is from Krakow, and that is exactly where he cut his most recent album, called, simply enough, Live in Krakow. Krakauer, a veteran of the Klezmatics, plays klezmer clarinet. But his music is anything but old-fashioned; his band, Klezmer Madness!, features an electric guitar- and on this concert, he was accompanied by samples and beatbox provided by turntable prodigy SoCalled Krakauer switches between klezmer bulgars and street beats, and sometimes combines the two. Less than an hour's drive from Auschwitz, Krakauer summons up music ancient and anguished, futuristic and freylach. Am Yisrael chai, indeed.


Purim is a time when, as a great Jewish poet has said, "The first one now/ Will later be last… For the loser now/ Will be later to win." It is a day of masks, surprise endings and turnabout. So this Purim, surprise yourself and your guests with some of the endless supply of innovative Jewish music. You just may end up enjoying the whole megillah.

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JWR contributor Paul Wieder is a public relations associate at the Jewish United Fund and a columnist for JUF News. Contact the author or the magazine by clicking here.

© 2004, Paul Wieder