Co-founded by my pal David Katznelson, the Idelsohn Society is a nonprofit dedicated to the musicology of great old Jewish music by the likes of Irving Fields, Gershon Kingsley, and The Barry Sisters. Their new compilation explores the intersection of Jewish and Latin culture, or as they describe it, "bagels and bongos, Spanish and Yiddish, manteca and schmaltz, that’s been a bubbling undercurrent of American pop music since the early 1900s." The two-CD set, It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story, 1940s-1980s, features mambo movers by the likes of Tito Puente, Abbe Lane, Carole King, Herb Alpert, and many more. Above, Ruth Wallis sings the title track. Check out a couple more cuts here.
If you're in San Francisco tonight, there's a CD release party tonight (12/5) at the Contemporary Jewish Museum with records spun by DJ Oro11 and DeeJay Theory of Tormenta Tropical, noshes by my favorite Jewish deli Wise Sons, and a cash bar! Party details here.
It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story, 1940s-1980s (Amazon)
Pussy Riot’s video for “Straight Outta Vagina” frames the poppy, danceable song with visuals calculated to enrage the Kremlin, with LA’s Ace Hotel standing in for church where various genderbent dancers receive communion while singing the praises of vaginas. Given that the last iteration of this theme landed the musicians in a hard labor gulag […]
Pete Burns, fabulous freak singer of 1980s dance-pop group Dead or Alive, died yesterday of cardiac arrest. He was 57. From The Guardian: Burns rose to fame in the 1980s with the band’s hit so ng You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). He also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, coming fifth in […]
Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box […]
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]