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October 23, 2009

Sapoznik: "youngers of zion" cd sales to benefit Mark Rubin

This just in: Hank Sapoznik has announced that all sales of the "Youngers of Zion" CD will be earmarked to Mark Rubin's rehab fund. For those of you who missed my post on the Jewish-Music mailing list about YOV (perhaps more truthfully named "middle aged agents of Katz's deli" or somesuch) being a great place to get a Mark Rubin fix, here's what I wrote back in 2005:

album coverI don't even know what to say about this. The album cover says it all, but you'll have to read the review to know how I heard it. Henry Sapoznik, with Austin's musical ambassador, Mark Rubin, and the absolutely stunning fiddle of Cookie Segelstein, teamed up to bring us the one and only Youngers of Zion / Protocols. Listen or else.

Since you are here, now, let me encourage you to purchase this delightful CD from cdbaby.com before you go elsewhere. Or, if you already have the CD, you can help the Mark Rubin fund, directly.

October 21, 2009

Mark Rubin needs your help


Mark Rubin, from KlezKampI'd have more to say, but opinions on this country's health care system will have to go elsewhere. Anyone stupid enough to try to justify how we can pay any more for health care than any other country and have so many people underinsured/uninsured and put up with recision and denied covered the way we do, even for those allegedly insured, so that we rank at the bottom of other industrialized nations by any measure (other than money spent), should stay out of my sight. Call health care reform anything you want, but if you are not pushing for reform, you should consider yourself wilfully ignorant and thoroughly uninformed. You should be embarrassed and ashamed.

Mr. Rubin has torn his rotator cuff and needs $4000. It's volunteer week. Please volunteer some needed cash.

In the meantime, I'll talk about Mark Rubin's amazing music. I personally make sure that I hear him every few months, in some ensemble, whether I thought I needed to or not--him, Hank Sapoznik, and Cookie Segelstein as the Youngers of Zion is one cure for anything that might ail you.

About a year ago, Rubin was sitting in for Andy Statman's regular bass player at the Ashkenaz Festival. Larry Eagle was on drums, so you know that I'm talking about a very hot trio. Rubin and Statman blew the place away. I have heard both play incredible music many times, but Mark pushed Andy who pushed back into places I have never before been (although I would happily return).

An amazing bass player. An amazing story-teller. Help if you can.

October 19, 2009

"Girls in Trouble" captivates

Updated to include current contact/purchase information, 21-Nov-2015. This CD was originally released on the wonderful and much missed JDUB label. The label may be gone, but the musicians continue to make wonderful music.

Girls in Trouble CD coverNobody who knows fiddler & poet Alicia Jo Rabin's first, pre-Golem release, Sugar Shack (2003) will be surprised to hear that her latest project, "Girls in Trouble" is amazing, tuneful, poetic, and just damn impossible to walk away from.

The album's concept is simple: while procrastinating about writing a thesis to complete her Jewish Studies degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabins wrote poems about several Biblical "women in trouble" and set them to music. Then they took on a life of their own. The subjects range from the obscure (Yiftah's daughter—the one example of uninterrupted human sacrifice in the TaNaKh) to the familiar—Miriam and Ruth. Part of the fun is trying to connect the story as told in Rabins' wonderful poetry, to the actual Biblical event. But the songs are balm. Even when the tales are chilling, her ability to tell a story and set it to wonderful, quiet music, is healing.

I wasn't going to mention this CD until it's release next week, but I can't stop listening to it. Like Rabins, I have to stop procrastinating and get back to work, so let me at least pass on the word about this recording—and suggest that you get your own copy.

For more information about Girls in Trouble, visit the Bandcamp page.

You can also catch an article by Alexander Gelfund, Art Pop Indie Rock Meets Midrash from the Forward, July 1, 2009.