Sarah sez, "BBC radio is doing a piece about the influence of Yiddish on American culture - they have a great clip describing the ways in which Yiddish songs made their way into jazz (see blurb below). My grandma - the last surviving member of my family who remembers hearing Yiddish spoken in the home - got a real kick out of it."
Hell, I get a kick out of it! My father's first language was Yiddish, and I grew up taking Sunday Yiddish classes at the secular Workman's Circle school in Toronto. It's still the language I use to communicate with my family in Russia (they don't speak English and I don't speak Russian). It's a fantastically expressive, ironic language made for joking and tummeling and kibbitzing. It's a kind of weak Sapir-Worf: it's nearly impossible to speak it without turning ironic and funny.
And of course, Yiddish jazz like Mickey Katz (brilliantly covered by Don Byron) and the Yiddishisms in Slim Gaillard's music (Matzoh Balls, anyone?) just plain kicks ass.
Audio slideshow: Inspired by Yiddish
Yiddish - a language once spoken by more than 10 million Jews - had a profound effect on American culture in the first half of the 20th Century.
It originated in central and eastern Europe - and spread to the United States when thousand of immigrants arrived in New York.
Zalmen Mlotek is the Artistic Director of the city's last surviving professional Yiddish theatre - the Folksbiene.
With the help of his piano, he has been telling Radio 3's Dennis Marks how the language influenced jazz music - and the likes of George and Ira Gershwin.
The Pantone Color Institute announced “Love Symbol #2,” a shade of purple honoring Prince. A collaboration with Prince’s estate, the hue, actually labeled with Prince’s logo, is now the official color of his brand. From CNN: Pantone has long been the authority on color trends and design. Since 2000, the corporation has released a “Color […]
REM performed on October 10, 1982 at North Carolina’s Raleigh Underground less than two months after releasing their debut EP, Chronic Town. This is thought to be the first pro footage of R.E.M. playing live. Posted by zararity on YouTube: The setlist: 1. Wolves, Lower 0:52 2. Laughing 5:41 3. 1,000,000 9:46 (NOTE: Mitch Easter, […]
Last night, NBC Nightly News aired the wonderful video below about the Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set I produced with my friends Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad! Forty years ago this month, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and beyond, into the mysteries of […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]