Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Israeli Alternative

This past summer, I went to see Dengue Fever at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia. I had just moved into an apartment in Old City after living outside Philly for 15 years. A college friend living in Boston had emailed me a track from Dengue Fever, and two days later I was at a sold out concert in what is now my favorite live music venue. The place started getting a little too hot so I went outside for some fresh air. That's where I met Ramon "el rock" Martinez who has a show on Y-Rock on XPN. The show, called Y-Rock Internacional, has a foundation of rock in Spanish, but Ramon also does shows on music from different parts of the world. I told him that I was an expert in Israeli music, particularly progressive rock, reggae, DJ mixes, samba, and any other alternative music. This summer we taped a show, which aired sometime in September.

I've been meaning to put a guide for that program on this site. My hope is that Y-Rock will make the show available as a podcast, or maybe I can get a good recording of it and post it on This Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7:00PM, I'll be giving a similar talk on the same subject at Steinhardt Hall (215 South 39th St.) in Philadelphia. Click here for more info.

Here's the playlist with some notes on the selections. Where possible, I've linked the artist's name to their site or MySpace page. The album name, in parenthesis, has a link to a store where you can buy the album. At the end of the post I link to a few videos featuring some of the artists discussed on this page. Finally there are links to Amazon where you can buy some of the tracks on this list as MP3.

I am a huge Shem Tov Levi fan. (See previous post.) In 2007 he put out an album called Stations. I found out about this album because my father forwarded me a video clip of his ensemble at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat. I was hooked immediately. In the 1970's, Shem Tov set out to create a new style of music; in 2007 he succeeded. I don't know how to categorize this song or this kind of music.
Here's a clip from the Red Sea Jazz Festival:
mezzo performance of shem tov levy ensemble

Kutiman brings together a lot of the goodness on the Israeli music scene. See some of the videos below where he orchestrates a collaboration between Funk 'N' Stein and Karolina.

The second disc is finally out, but it seems like you need to call to ask for a copy. I'll do this next time I'm in Israel. Here's a link their MySpace page.

I'm such a big fan of this album and this band, that I am bringing them to Philadelphia for a concert at the North Star Bar on December 27, 2008.

Great news: The second Lemmus Lemmus album is out. You can download it as MP3 at Amazon.

Here's a bunch of fans singing along with the band:

These guys have played Rome, Barcelona, Spain, New York and Tokyo. I think they may be ready to play Philly.

New Release for 2008: Buzzin About

  • Charlie Megira - Live At The Hotel Diplomat
And now for some videos:

Shem Tov Levi Ensemble - The City

J.Viewz Rehearsal - Under the Sun with Yossi Fine

The Apples - Killing In The Name Of (Rage Against The Machine Cover: Live!)

Kutiman and Karolina - Music Is Ruling My World


Buy these tracks on Amazon: