Hebrew School


The Voices Four
August 5, 2007, 5:42 pm
Filed under: records | Tags: , , ,

 My forays into Jewish music, as a means of research for my fellowship project, have brought to the surface some interesting and unexpected finds. While I didn’t necessarily suspect I was doing anything intrinsically “new” by undertaking a Jewish rock project, I’ve been nonetheless surprised with what’s out there.

Endlessly fascinated by kitschy religiosity (which is to say, regularly assaulting my friends’ ears with the likes of this and this) and the cyclical threats undergone by popular music’s gesticulations toward easy listening, my eyes and ears turned unavoidably late ’60s and ’70s-ward. Here, these two phenomena seemed to collide in a very conspicuous way.

I first happened upon the Voices Four while listening to WFMU a while back. Having come of age during the great Twee scare of the 1990s, I was in the midst of a mass episode of discovering and rediscovering bands like Os Mutantes, the Free Design, Odessey-era Zombies, etc. I really only had a vague idea in my head, at that point, of doing something Jewish, but I suppose in retrospect that this was the point where it all came together. (Real Audio link.)

So happy was I that I picked up a vinyl copy on Canadian E-bay for $8, which not only plays great but is signed by lead singer, David Koffman!

Check out more samples of this album at its adopted home here.

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Did you know that the one of the girls singing the Monkey Song, from Jerry Falwell’s show, is Crystal Bernard, who grew up to star in the TV sitcom Wings as Helen, the cello playing girlfriend of Joe, one of the brothers operating Sandpiper Airlines on Nantucket.

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