CD Review: The LeeVees / Hanukkah Rocks
The LeeVees / Hanukkah Rocks. JDUB Records Available from amazon.com
It's been several years since Rob Tannenbaum ("What I like about Jew") inflicted "Hanukkah with Monica" on an unwilling world with the claim, "there aren't any good Hanukka songs." In the intervening years, we've had Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song", and now, for the ultimate in total cultural fun, the LeeVees, featuring Guster's Adam Gardner and Dave Schneider of the Zambonis. By total cultural fun, of course, I mean that this is a CD that rocks, that celebrates Hanukkah, and has absolutely nothing to do with what you may have learned in Hebrew School. Hmm. Nope. This CD has everything to do with what you may have learned in Hebrew School, even if you didn't attend. It doesn't have anything to do with what your parents meant for you to learn in Hebrew school. This album considers the important cultural imperatives, like "Applesauce vs. sour cream" (no-brainer. Applesauce. Sheesh.) or "How do you spell Channukkahh?" with a brief bow to tradition in recounting the dreidl rules: "Nun Gimmel Heh Shin."
Some days I find myself getting uptight about this new Jewish culture stuff that celebrates symbols of "Jewish" without requiring any knowledge of or living Jewishly. Fortunately, such days do not occur around Hanukkah, when the infectious beats and good will of this album keep me full of good cheer despite that other holiday that is being commercialized all around me. I say, good will towards all, even to our goyim friends—especially if they don't mention dreidls made of clay or ocho kandelikos one more time until my nerves fray just a bit too far. Nope. I'm a convert. Hanukkah Rocks, and so will you. Don't forget to see the band in concert, too! Coming to a major center of Jewish life near you this Hanukkah season. [GRADE: ungraded, of course!]