February 28, 2005
Subliminal speaks to LA Jewish Journal
Subliminal speaks to The Jewish Journal Of Greater Los Angeles on the eve of a North American tour:
On the brink of his U.S. tour, he cannot help but reflect on the fact that it’s due to the backing provided by Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and the prime minister himself.
“It’s great,” he said. “For the first time, the Israeli government is pushing us and supporting us. We’re being sent as ambassadors for Israel. And even though that’s what we’re trying to be on a daily basis, to get official support from the government, that’s a huge recognition and we’re really grateful for that.”
In the wake of Arafat’s death (no more dangling cigarettes), the upcoming Gaza pullout and the steps Mahmoud Abbas is making, Subliminal said, “I’m very, very happy that there’s this first chance finally for peace, for the Palestinians, they’re making a real effort and they have a chance to become a democracy.”
He also spoke about his first two albums “The Light From Zion” and “Light and Shadow” — released at the height of the Intifada — which include songs that state, “United we stand, divided we fall.”
“It’s militant,” he conceded. “We’re saying we have to have peace but first we have to live, we have to survive, to remain in one piece.”
Now, he said, his third album is much more hopeful, with softer lyrics and a stronger message of hope with one of the songs titled “Peace in the Middle East,” which is sung in both Hebrew and English.
“It’s more of a prayer,” he said. “We want people all over the world to understand that even the strongest soldiers have peace as the prayer in their heart all the time.”
February 23, 2005
Top of the charts
MP3Music.co.il - מצעד מוסיקה ישראלית provides what seems to be an updated list of Reshet Gimel's top songs.
Currently #1: Idan Raichel's ממעמקים
Posted by yudel at 3:24 PM
Idan Raichel on NPRTip of the kova tembel to Israelity for pointing out the NPR Morning Edition interview with Idran Raichel:
Israeli musician Idan Raichel won his country's song of the year honors with a piece that mixed pop and ethnic Ethiopian music. Raichel has helped introduce the music of Israel's immigrant Ethiopian community to a wider audience and is just finishing his U.S. tour.Great story, particularly since it's audio!
But if you want to read as well, here's a piece from the York University student paper, reviewing a recent concert there:
Most of the songs were not quite the same live, as many of the original musicians of the songs were not present (Raichel tours with only 7 of his 30 collaborating musicians), but the music was nonetheless brilliant and stirring. Though the most die-hard of fans might argue that "If You Go" was performed better on the CD, the emotion the musicians put into their singing, dancing and playing made the concert experience breathtaking.
While the sounds and sights of Idan Raichel are surprising to the first-time viewer, he believes that they should be nothing but natural.
"For me, they are the Israel of 2005, which represents the immigration and the colours of Israel," he says. The distance their group has come in three short years is amazing, he says, explaining how it felt to perform in Tel Aviv's biggest opera hall for the first time.
"I was thinking to myself, ten years ago, Avi Wassa came from Ethiopia and Cabra Kasai was in Sudan," he says. "Today", he adds, "they can walk really proud."
February 17, 2005
Chava's New "Coconut"
Chava Alberstein is convinced that her new album "Kokus" ("Coconut"), which is being released today, is an optimistic one. In one of the songs she recommends kisses as medicine; in another she releases letters of the alphabet into the air and creates new prayers from them; and in a third, a tree that is trapped in a concrete pit vanquishes its oppressive surroundings and grows taller. But Alberstein cannot help but wave stop signs in front of her listeners, little stop signs of criticism, so that no one will say she didn't warn them.
She warns about loneliness, air pollution and the future safety of our children. In the theme song, "Coconut," she even uses the word "Arabs": "Too bad there's not a coconut here / It is good for the Jews / It is good for the Arabs / Straight from the tree sweet and tasty. / Don't say that there are olives in this place. It's not the same at all. / A coconut lives the moment, an olive is planted in the past. / We also deserve nut milk and nuts / and warm rain that washes the beaches in summer."
BBC: Hip Hop in the Holy Land
Ty checks out the scene in Israel where the army runs the main radio station and the playlist is all Britney and rock.
Hip hop has been going down in the background until now: Crews made up of Jews and Arabs are grabbing the mic to express themselves on the war that dominates their lives.
On both sides of the political hating the artists stand up for channelling rage into music and say it's more constructive than the politicians' solution.
February 16, 2005
Idan Raichel speaks to the Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem Post interviews Eidan Raichel. Excerpts:
"Whatever one writes or creates comes from our depths. I don't write snappy pop songs from off the top of my head. Whether I'm writing about love or something else, what I write comes from my lowest point," he says, searching for ways of properly explaining the album's title.
Ethiopian beats - present on the first album - are still in the mix, but there's also Caribbean and Arabic styles on Out of the Depths.
"This is Israel... forget politics, this music reflects different segments of the Israeli population. I love this album. I hope others will like it, too."
Although considered a boy wonder who appeared out of nowhere one day in 2002, Raichel had been working with some of the country's leading artists for a number of years. It was this experience, plus a good dose of hutzpa, that led him to ask Damari to pool resources.
"Record company executives suggested that for my second album I work with well-known musicians. I decided against that, as I prefer to work with unknowns, with new people, with new musicians, with new vibes," says Raichel. "And though I wanted to continue with young people, the suggestion about working with someone established set into my mind. After thinking about it, I decided the person I'd most love to work with is Damari."
Israeli Music Awards, 2005
It might not have rivaled Sunday night's glamorous Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, but Israel's music industry got as glitzy as possible on Monday night with local music station, Channel 24's, first video music awards ceremony.
The star-studded event, which saw musicians sporting everything from comfy jeans to revealing dresses, was attended by anyone who's anyone in the industry, though the prize winners at the televised ceremony were hardly surprising.
Ehud Banai seemed to be the star of the evening, taking home three newly-designed Channel 24 award trophies fashioned in the shape of a hammer. Banai won the top prize in the singer of the year category, album of the year for Aneh Li (Answer Me) and lyricist of the year.
Sultry singer Arkadi Duchin won song of the year for his hit "Mi Ohev Otach Yoter Mimeni," beating out such favorites as Shalom Hanoch, Micah Karni, Amir Benayoun, Gilad Segev and Hadag Nahash, which was nominated for the "Sticker Song." Duchin, who also won composer of the year, dedicated his award to Micha Sheetrit, who wrote the words to the winning song.
Jerusalem funk/rap band Hadag Nahash was later rewarded for its catchy "Sticker Song," penned by author David Grossman. The band won band of the year and video clip of the year for that piece.
The female singer of the year award went to Maya Buskila, who also won break-out artist of the year.
Veteran artists of Mashina were awarded for their live concert DVD, and Channel 24's first Lifetime Achievement Award went to Shmulik Kraus.
Though the awards ceremony overall did not shine as brightly as Sunday's Grammys in Los Angeles, it's been a bumper year for Israeli song, and the success of the two-year-old Israeli music channel proves it.
- Jerusalem Post Staff
Posted by yudel at 10:11 PM
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