Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy Hanukkah

Shirim, A Klezmer Nutcracker

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, a wonderful Christmukkah and the best Festivus ever! I hope that y'all got everything that you asked for, that Hanukkah Harry and Santa Claus brought the loot.

I thought that it would be a nice change of pace and a nod to this season if I would upload a klezmer take on the Nutcracker Suite. This is the work of a band called Shirim, which was really just the famous, experimental klezmer trio Naftule's Dream doing interpretations of classical music. This isn't life-changing music, but it is a fun time and an easy way to get into klezmer, the music of the East European Jews. You're probably asking, why would I want to get into this? That's a good and fair question, as it sounds like something awful and antiquated. While it may be old, it is far from dead. In fact, it is a joyous, celebratory, mourning music that can make you dance and cry, sometimes in the same song. Give it a chance, and you will be surprised to hear music so alive despite not being played in 50 years.

Go here to get the full CD, which has a second part devoted to klezmer interpretations of classical music. Go here to find out more on Naftule's Dream, one of the groups keeping the music alive and bringing it out of the shtetl and into the 21st Century.

-Here is a great story on the huge impact that Jewish songwriters had on the Christmas songs that are so popular today.

-This news is really all I could want for Hanukah, as it sounds like Arrested Development could be picked up by Showtime for next season. This would be wonderful news, not just because it would give a second chance to the best show on television, but also because it would provide it with the artistic freedom and freedom from economic demands that premium cable affords.

-Again, happy holidays to everyone. I am going to be putting up some gifts over the next week to celebrate and thank everyone for reading this year. The new year beckons, and there are going to be some changes here at Pound for Pound, as we try to spread the good word about booty music, thug rap, Philadelphia, cities and sneakers.

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