Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Los Caparos-Duda

Well, Purim came and went and all that's left are dazed memories, facebook pics and useless costumes. This year it felt extra long because although the holiday itself was on Sunday and Monday (I still have no idea what's the difference between both dates), the celebrations started the previous Thursday, making it extra hard to get back to normal. I'm not really sure how to explain the word "duda" but it basically means being in a funky, lazy state, possibly hungover. It's also used as a verb to describe a strong yearning for something, usually munchies in the middle of the night. Anyways, this song captures perfectly the feeling of the morning after a party when you just want to blow everything off, shut the curtains and lie in bed. They just released a  video with exactly that scenario, including glimpses of a wild Purim party. I really love this version because it captures how wild they are in concert (and the video isn't on youtube yet and I'm technologically challenged). Los Caparos are quickly taking the country by storm with their Russian ska groove, laid back style and crazy and charismatic solo singer. They're a super refreshing group in the music scene and kind of feel like what happens when you drink Vodka (or Arak) in the sun. They just released their second album "Haim BeSeret" (living in a movie) and if this song has left you with a duda for more, check them out here:

Don't ask me why
I'm in such a mess
Don't ask me when
I'll leave the house
To fight with you I have no strength for
So don't dictate my schedule
It makes me brutal
It jumps my fuse

Today I am in duda
Duda blues

Yesterday we went out and we found
It was... ben zona
All of the world was ours
Yesterday I felt I wos on the horse
But today I am in duda
And the whole day is a waste
Upside down in the Bermuda Triangle
And not able to move

Today I am in duda
Duda blues

So don't tell me baby
Today it won't work
I'll break the guitar
I'll burn the hantropod
And don't tell me 2 at night
For me it doesn't matter
Because if the shower doesn't work
I'll, I'll hospitalize myself

Today I am in duda
Duda blues

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shmulik Kraus and Ilan Wirtzberg-Seeing Far Seeing Clear

In many ways you can say that the late Shmulik Kraus was one of the ultimate bad boys of Israeli Culture-he was hard to work with, unpredictable and I don't even want to get into his personal life with Josie Katz. And yet he left such a strong mark in Israeli music that it would be a crime not to recognize and remember his important contribution. I was first introduced to him through "The High Windows", a collaboration with Arik Einstein and Josie Katz-they released one perfect and timeless album with beautiful songs like this one that appeal to all generations. Kraus was responsible for the guitar and melody-which really made the songs into gems. Another  classic is his very powerful duet with Josie "Again".
I chose this song because it really captures his strong personality and the fire within him, and how he quieted that fire with such lovely and gentle melodies.
Ben Shalev wrote a wonderful piece that gives more insight on Kraus' complexity and superb talent:

It was so narrow
I had to then
Spread my wings and fly
To a place where
Maybe like Nevo mountain
You see far you see clear.

A person like a tree planted on water
The root asks
A person like a bush in front of the skies
In him burns fire.

So my way was lost
My life was a mystery
Thirsty like a walker in the desert
For the word of truth
That has the power to give
To face tomorrow

A person...

Fire burned inside me
I went out to ask
For days I raged like a storm
I returned to my home
To find that you are with me
Until the way to the end arrives.

A person...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ester Rada - Could it be

There were many memorable moments from October's inDnegev but I think that one of my favorites was when Ester Rada took the main stage on Friday night, prime-time hour right before the highly anticipated Biluim reunion, and sang this song. She spreaded good vibes in the crowd with funky songs like 'Life Happens' which soon afterwards became a radio hit-but we got to enjoy the freshness and discovery of hearing it for the first time. After a few songs she said that she wanted to say something serious which caught our attention and hushed us all. She said that this is a very special song for her and it means a lot to her to be able to play it live in front of so many people. And then she sang. I have to admit that up to that moment I was enjoying her music but that was about it. When she performed this song I really felt that I was connecting with her-and the whole audience swayed along with her under the cool desert skies. It was a perfect moment. And right afterwards she got us dancing again to more upbeat sounds. There's something really captivating about her calm and graceful stage presence, as well as her super confident singing. I'm so happy to hear that she's becoming a huge success. Her album was produced partially by Kutiman, the king of Israeli groove who just released a very cool mix of old Israeli sounds. Maybe you'll recognize some familiar faces! You can get Ester's EP over at her bandcamp and here's an interesting interview with her that gives some info on her background. It's also a perfect song just in time for Valentine's Day-for a refreshing change something deep and sweet and not at all corny!
Speaking of Valentine's Day here's a charming video based on a story by the always charming Etgar Keret.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Snow Clerks-Fix my roof

What a lovely song, and video! I have to admit that the first time I saw it I didn't pay much attention to the music itself because it blended in so nicely with the clip and I was so immersed in it. But the song did stick to my head and I found myself humming it so it just shows what an effortless song it is-it just fits so perfectly that you hardly feel it. Their other singles are great (and different, but in the best way) and I'm really looking forward to their upcoming debut album.