Sunday, July 31, 2011

Boom Pam-The Moon and I

So much can be said about the sweeping social protests taking place in Tel Aviv and all over Israel that I don't know where to begin and I have the feeling that I'll be writing about this again. It all started when Daphne Lif was evicted by her landlord in Tel Aviv who wanted to raise the rent. She decided to camp in Rothschild Avenue, the most expensive street to live in in Tel Aviv in protest against the dramatic rising rent. The main idea was that many people feel angry at the rising price of their living situation (not just the rent, also basic staples like food and gas) and if they'll meet with each other they'll share their collective emotions, talk with each other and possibly find solutions. This is based on what Daphne said to TimeOut a few days before the protest. One thing led to another and it became a huge protest by the middle class asking for social justice and the option to live decently. More or less. Apparently there are lots of frustrated people who are tired of sitting in the living room complaining that despite the fact that they're educated and have good jobs, they can barely end the month and live well. Lots is a bit of an understatement. There's been talk that the Rothschild tent city has the vibe of Woodstock and there's a sense of revolution in the air. Except instead of hippies there are hipsters and instead of protests against war, (although they are there) there are protests for more money. Or as I saw on a bumper sticker on a tent "Let Me Be". There's always been talk of the right and left state wise, on the security side and it's a bit new to me to hear talk of left and right socially. I know that Israel started out as a socialist country European style and eventually became more Capitalist a la America, reaching a height with the current government. I'm not very acute (and I have some serious catching up to do), but I always assumed that the change was gradual and almost natural. I had no idea there was such tension. The protest has also raised the middle class's frustration at the government money generously given to minorities like religious settlers and Orthodox Haredim. One tension that isn't really talked about, but is unavoidable is the dilemma of what's more important: Social issues or national security? I still don't know the answer myself and it's impossible to know what society thinks. It all depends on the situation. And for a change the current situation doesn't involve outside enemies but major citizen protests colored in red. I chose this song by the amazing Boom Pam because it seems to capture the youthful, and naive, optimism in the air, as well as the restlessness.

Head to head,
Only the moon and I
The pockets are empty
But the moment is mine.
Another day is over
And the head is heavy on me.
I must move
Just not fall asleep

We'll paint the night in white.
We'll conquer the city and take our time.
Without money, without looking back.
If we'll stay sane till the light will come.

I can't stand still.
Another round outside
Here it is impossible to breathe.
The streets are quiet
And you're beside me.
The skies are in silence.
I want to take off.

We'll paint the night...

Head to head,
Until dawn will rise
The moon is singing
It's not too late
The eyes are tired
And the body is mad at me.
I must move
Just not fall asleep.
We'll paint the night...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shay Gabso-Exactly at the same minute (Bendo)

I'm not in such a great mood today. Maybe it's because of Amy Winehouse's tragic death which although predictable, still hit me by surprise, and maybe it's also other stuff that's going on. For whatever reason, this song by Shay Gabso, which is actually a live version to a song he released in 2004 (and sounds quite different) fits my mood pretty perfectly. I thought about translating the conversation but I'll just sum up that although it looks like a deep soul to soul conversation it's about a guy, Bendo, who always refers to himself in 3rd person because "when you say Bendo it means that you're temporary". Feel free to interpret that however you want. I'm not exactly following Gabso's career, but I know that he's changed a lot in the past few years and it's only fitting that he'll change his old songs when performing. I really love this live version and it sounds like he's giving all of his soul when performing. And he manages to sound so romantic that I wouldn't mind having a "deep" conversation with him over beers and chasers, no matter how drunk he seems to be.

I have no more words
To describe your beauty
My strength has ceased
To describe your power over me
My tears have frozen
To restore my longing
My chords have joined
To sing of your loveliness maybe

I'll close my eyes
Exactly at the same minute
And I'll imagine your figure
Closer to me
I won't wake until
You'll smile to me

My hopes have gathered
To continue and keep going
My minutes have gathered
To think of my travels
To tired are my eyes
To continue and see
To locate the quietness
That's after the thoughts maybe

I'll close my eyes...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cohen@Mushon-From Up to Down

You can always count on Cohen@Mushon to put out a funky hip hop song that's perfect for the summer (and I'm usually not a huge fan of hip hop) as well as a creative video. I love how these guys take their work seriously, but they look like a couple of good friends just having fun and passing the time. Which is probably what's so great about them. All of their previous videos are just as great and should be checked out. And it's a great beat that will get you dancing in the heat! (sorry, I know that was lame, but I had to)

Check the microphone, one, two, hey
Preparing myself to go to the e-n-d
Okay, deejay, press play already
We'll fill the place with love like on Valentine's Day
Sending flowers, raising smiles
There are needs that we all need
So make room in the cart, prepare the community
Hopaleh, who is it coming and answering every prayer

I'm a caveman, I have a familiar face
And my words walk just like Teva Naot
I live in a country, but there aren't any wonders here
I'm not daunting? Now, but there are warnings
It's a bit like katketim, addictive like nicotine
Hip hop here is frozen, so I'm a heat wave
Because you ate badly now I'm waiting
Mushon became a condeson, bouncing the smurfs

Hey yo Mike are you ready?
I have no doubt!
My bro always trendy
I have no doubts!
Don't give credit
To whoever hitches rides
Moving the feet like bebop and rocksteady
From up to down
Put the hand on the prominence
If you break you pay
If you heard you understand

Vorbeshte Romaneshte, rap inteligentzia
Like the Apples I tell you attention
You wanted to define but understood there's no name
Cohen@Mushon don't miss the connection
Flying connection, dripping on you morals
Baking cake with too much sugar
The Mike Mushon acts like a senator
Helps the guitarist whose chord breaks

Without aura of instant fame, a product with no use
There's no rerun so you should record
Without a strategy without a plan
I have no main point I just sit on a beat
Changing the angle and the axis (he's so young!)
Known all over town, some say unbreakable
Great potential, will fill a senior role
Cohen on the mike every story sounds plausible

Hey yo Mike are you ready…

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Harel Skaat-Love Awaits Me

Harel Skaat is one of those perfect people who smile all the time to the point that it can be annoying, but he still manages to be very likable. I can't help but feel so happy for him especially with everything he's been through. A while ago (maybe a year?) Harel was outed by the journalist and filmmaker Gal Ohavski, who also happens to be one of the most famous gay Israelis around. It made quite a buzz, although there was (at least from my part) the feeling that this wasn't too surprising (just look at him). Anyways it seems that Harel's embraced his new status as a gay pop icon and he looks very happy and at peace with himself. I hope he really is. Anyways this is a perfect song for summer nights to make you forget that it's 80% humidity and all other worries. And I love singing with friends in the car before going out and the whole good feeling positive rush that the song and video captures. And it's insanely catchy.

Love awaits me
One that I haven't known
I've forgiven the pain I've made peace with time
The lost hope I insisted on
Finished me slowly
I stood on the side
Without knowing where

Love awaits me
That I'll go only after it
Whole and crazy
From a life of waiting
It'll strip me slowly when I'll get to it
From all the regret

Separate but not alone

And it'll come to me
After I've already thought of giving up
Yes one day maybe
I'll have love that will stay
Love without fear

Love awaits me
I've waited for years
Between all the souls
And God
I'll have love years I haven't seen
How I waited
Between all the people
Burning a lifetime

And it'll come to me
After I thought of giving up
Yes one day maybe
I'll have love that will stay
Love without fear

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Arik Sinai-Noblesse

Sometimes you don't need a creative and well-thought video that pulls all the stops to make you say "wow" and watch it until the song ends. Sometimes watching a singer smoke and sing while listening to his song is enough and you hardly feel the time pass by. I don't know that much about Arik Sinai-only that he was pretty successful in the 80's and now he's in a reality tv show which is a VIP big brother/singing competition. Actually I'm not really following the show so I don't know if he's still there, but I hope he is. He seems like a good guy and an interesting person to watch, and not just smoking a noblesse. All I know of noblesse is that it's considered an "old people's" Israeli cigarette, created in 1952 and that it has a very strong smell and high nicotine. I'm not sure if it's because of the cigarettes but Sinai has a really great voice and kind of reminds me of Amir Lev. I checked out one of his early songs, not sure if it's originally his or a cover (maybe of Arik Einstein's) but it's pretty breathtaking and it's a shame he isn't too well known today (or maybe that's just me) but maybe that's part of his charm.

Long before the dust around me sank
Long before the worn out prayer for the road
I promised not to let this happen
I promised not to let this happen

Look the night is peeling my shells
And is exposing everything that's happened to me
I promised not to let this happen
I promised not to let this happen

But the truth is after it was over
I woke up lying on the couch in yesterday's clothes
I stank of noblesse, and I didn't learn a real lesson
Maybe we never will be able to be anything
Except a heart pinched couple, drinking bitter wine
And Bruce Springsteen is in the background
And a pair of used words

A moment before another curtain falls on me
Come back to me only so we can say goodbye again
I promised not to let this happen
I swore not to let this happen