Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Nosei HaMigbaat-The Voice of Another God



It's 2014! It took a bit of time to get used to it but now it looks just right and I have a feeling it's going to be a very good year with new beginnings and excellent new music. But before that I want to go back to 1988, when the cult (some might even say mythological) band Nosei HaMigbaat (The Top Hat Carriers) released The Cassette, which had a limited release of only 700 copies (though I'm sure there are countless copies of copies). A few days ago the band reissued the cassette in digital format and you can hear it in its entirety over here (!!). In last year's documentary about the cassette (which brought up the idea of reissuing it), one of the band members said that Nosei HaMigbaat is a band you heard a lot about but you didn't actually hear their music. And it's very true because up until this week I had heard so much about how they're such a breakthrough band in the alternative music scene, specifically the Jerusalem alternative scene, and also how influential they are on so many artists today (and without a doubt on artists in the future as well) but I hadn't really listened to their music-only to a few songs from their first and last official CD "Who Killed Agatha Faltskog" (which you can listen to over here) without even knowing who I was listening to. The truth is, even if you've listened to their CD, you don't really know the band unless you've heard the cassette. The cassette was released when the members were 17, after a few years of performing together and after dropping out from the High School of the Arts in Jerusalem. It really sounds like it was made by 17 year olds living in Jerusalem in the late 80s but it's so different from anything I've ever heard and it feels like a fresh breath of brisk Jerusalem air making it quite perfect for today. These days you don't need to look hard to find provocative artists but they clearly lack something that these boys have-"the first ones didn't know they're the first". "Who Killed Agatha Faltskog" made the band famous in 1991, the same year Nirvana, R.E.M and Red Hot Chili Peppers crossed to and forever changed the mainstream. It's much easier on the ears and very enjoyable and influential in it's own right but with different band members (Ram Orion and Adam Horovitz replacing Ishai Adar who enrolled in the army) it just wasn't the same and on some songs you can even hear the beginning of the end. Together with this cassette I discovered two other very talented groups from Jerusalem from the same period who would often perform with the band: "Shalosh Chet" and "Israel", both helping create a much needed alternative in Jerusalem and in Israel as well.

American Jerusalem I love it Yeah

I thought of walking around a bit to see,
You know there's a new building next to City Hall
I drank, I became drunk
I tumbled down the street
Where the mail clerk's tree is planted, oh the mail clerk
The little hiccups woke up
The Prime Minister in the new building
Imagine his little head
Hitting the ceiling in panic

My dear, are you awake my dear? My dear? Oh!!!!! Oh!!!!!!!

I would wander covered, in love
What a wonderful treason on the principles of the individual the principle of existence
Walking on the wild side of Santa Monica
In the afternoon
Another disgusting trip between the alleys the ruins the doubts and that's it

I thought I heard the voice of another God
This is the thing, this is the thing,
This is the time to get the acid into the brain
It's so cold, so cold and broken

I hear them in my head
I hear the stupid
I hear the wankers
I hear the liars
In my head, in the head of the next generation.
The oxygen of the underground, the breasts of the country,
Na na na,
Na na na
Na na na
Na na na

On my right the Prime Minister's head
On my left the court of the City Hall
In another minute the great flood will sweep us
The sick man of America will vomit
The national poet will document it all
And passing under the bridge I look back
Just like that they suddenly integrate you in a rehabilitation framework

The first ones, the first ones
The first ones didn't know they're the first
The last ones didn't know they're the last
The stars are shining in the darkness
The highway is empty
I'm sailing home
You can't do two things at the same time
Can't do two things at the same time,
Two things at the same time, at the same time, at the same time
At the same time, at the same time, at the same time.

The voice of another God
The voice of another God
The voice of another God
The voice of another God
The voice of another God
The voice of another God
The voice of another God
The voice of another God
The voice



This chilling song referring to Mt. Hertzl was written by Ohad Fishof, the band's lead singer, in memory of his close friend Amir Zinder who was killed in Lebanon in 1988 and wrote the songs "My God is Tired" and "Birthday" which both appear on the cassette.

A visit at the mountain
A visit to the mountain
On a gray day you see
People crying over empty graves
Lamenting their approaching day
On a clear day you don't see anything
Look at the hundreds of little lights
The shadow casts black numbers
You're so white she hasn't learned a thing

A visit at the mountain
A visit to the mountain
You can shout "Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov"
The little lights and the flags lead you
To the frozen mercury skies

During a debate in the hall he vomited
Asking in panic he says
Asking in panic he says
Asking in panic he says
Take yourself a sheep and build her a home
During a debate in the hall he smiled and was silent
For me there are no more houses

A visit at the mountain
A visit to the mountain
You can come once a week
You come more
You come more
You come more
More

(I'm going on a small winter break and will be back in about two weeks)

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