Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Survey of the Modern Israeli Music Scene

This is, again, one of those things that would have been a bit more apropos to have mentioned last week, but that I did not end up doing so due to lethargy alone. I can't say I have nothing to do, but I can say that the spirit of industriousness can be found nowhere within me.

Anyway, as I was saying, I wanted to mention that in a post last week, the popular Chaviva Edwards made a request for Hebrew music suggestions, since she's trying to learn Hebrew (something which helped me learn Hebrew in High School). I gave a few quick recommendations, but I also listened to some of the famous Israeli artists that others recommended, and explored around YouTube myself for other popular artists. I ended up finding a lot of good artists I hadn't heard of before.

I think this is important because I feel that any improvement that's made in the country of G-d is, in way, giving honor to G-d. I've always felt that way. It's our responsibility to encourage Israeli art, Israeli music and all forms of Israeli industry, because the development of G-ds people in G-d's land is somewhat representative of G-d Himself.

I wanted to start with Rona Keinan. Her music is in the style I like most I guess; a soft and contemporary sound. Yet her musical style has something very particular about it, it has the feel of older "Establishment of the State" type songs. In fact she also sings the poetry of some of the early Israeli poets.

Another surprising figure that is rejuvenating the early sound of Israeli music is, surprisingly, a Christian Arab girl; Miryam Tukan. She became famous last year on Israel's "Idol" show (כוכב נולד), and mixes in an interesting Arab sound to songs that otherwise have a very...Russian feel to them..

A few other interesting and contemporary sounding female singers are Keren Peles and Efrat Gosh. I even revisited a few female singers that I usually considered too "pop", like Shiri Maimon and Maya Buskila (the truth is Maya Buskila is still a little too pop for me!). ..I already knew about some others, like Aya Korem from Israeli radio..

Among the male bands that were suggested were "Hadag Nachash", who's style I like for it's political irony and religious leanings. The same goes for Shotei Hanevuah for example, who's music is a little too reggae for me, but has that aspect of religion/political commentary.

There are some bands that were suggested though, that to me are trying too hard to copy the musical style of Israel in the 70's. I mean for G-d's sake, the world has had enough Shlomo Artzi! I'm speaking of bands like Hadorbanim and Beit Habubot. Not that I'm bashing them. I enjoy listening to Ehud Banai for example, even though he has a notoriously 70's-like style. But he particularly is known to have a special affinity for new sound, the Hebrew language and religious topics..

The people who I suggested there were Dana Adini, Daniel Solomon, Din-Din Aviv, Aviv Geffen, Sheigetz, Subliminal and Amir Benayun. I like Benayun because his style is very "Moroccan" in a way, some of his songs are kind of deep, and he's a ba'al tshuva!

I know that Mosh ben Ari and Ivri Leider were some of 'Rachel's favorites, but Mosh ben Ari seems kind of gay to me, ..and Ivri Leider is it's lot looking so good for the either of them..

The truth is my own cousin in Israel has been trying to break into the musical scene recently. It looks like it hasn't been easy for him. I haven't heard his tunes, but it seems like he's running some sort of rock duet with some chick named Liat Sagi. Let's hope for the best.

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