Hebrew School

Friday Sunset
August 28, 2009, 6:10 pm
Filed under: video | Tags: , ,

Don’t get sick, too
August 25, 2009, 8:09 am
Filed under: health care | Tags: , ,

So you can imagine my brow fulminations these days. I’ve got nothing but questions:

Is Nye Bevan U.S. health care’s Joe DiMaggio?

Is public option the same as single payer?

Does the picture above show routine health care treatment in Sweden, Cuba, the UK, or Iraq? ____________

Is the expression “six ways to Sunday” bona fide, or did someone make it up just for this occasion?

Are U.S. fire departments a red menace? Are we comfortable relying on these tax-payer subsidized, Big Government monopolies?

How accurately does this movie represent what reform proponents are up against?

Is it true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?

singapore eyeballs

Does this chart of scary-looking eyeballs prove that Singapore is actually some sort of Randian Objectivist utopia?

Is Orrin Hatch going to give up his awesome federal government health care on principle?

Is he staring deep into your soul?

…… is the NHS just terrible?

* * *

earlier healthy hebrew school:

touch me, i’m sick

dgs 1

Friday Sunset
August 21, 2009, 5:41 pm
Filed under: video | Tags: , ,

from the mailbag…
August 18, 2009, 8:27 am
Filed under: mailbag | Tags: , , ,

Yesterday, I received the nicest note from a highly-respected fellow musician here in Brooklyn who had checked out my CD. It has some of the kindest words I’ve received to date about the project, especially since it conveys a lot of my intention for the album’s listeners. With her permission, I reprint it below:

David, I keep meaning to write to you about your album. The first time I put it on I thought it was pleasant but didn’t have much of a reaction. But then I put it on again, and again. And it’s funny, but it’s just about the only thing I listen to at home. I don’t actually listen to music very much (I try to keep my place mostly silent) but when I do, Hebrew School is all I want to hear. I put it on when I do the dishes. I put it on when I do situps and pushups. I put it on when I have friends over for dinner. I keep wondering why this is. If it matches my mood, or if it’s the mood I want to be in, or what. What I like is the coolness and elegance, the restraint of the vibe combined with the bits of warmth and compassion that spark out of the lyrics. I have no idea what the songs are about, I don’t really listen to the words, but to me they feel like someone who is quietly talking to him- or herself or to the universe in a very nice gentle way. And it’s just a really pleasant and happy experience for me. I don’t know if this is actually anything you intended, or that is actually in the songs, but that’s what’s there for me. I thought you might be interested in hearing one person’s reaction. And I wanted to thank you for making the recording because it’s added something really nice to my life.

Awesome, Brooklyn! I’m feelin the love.

Who’s your Jew? Hebrew School quiz!

“Who’s your Jew” is the first in a series of posts where Hebrew School attempts to digest, swallow and/or spit out his experiences around this project’s creation and, by extension, mainstream Jewish organizational culture in the United States.

Quiz: What do you make of “identity politics?”

a) say what now?

b) to them we owe a lot! can you say, “President?”

c) makes me “think of my art and how it informs my culture.” i mean, the other way around

d) it is something from the ’60s and has to do with hippies

e) it’s the name of a spoken-word jazz sextet formed by Amiri Baraka, Leroi Jones, and Bella Abzug

f) i’m just in it for the gravlax / free falafel-based snacks / open bars

g) it’s a convenient decoy for mimicking procreation/davening, à la Grateful Dead concerts

h) it’s a cynical money-making/social-ladder-climbing gimmick within cultures

i) like health care reform it is a “socialist conspiracy

j) it’s about being a “good jew

k) it was eschewed 40 years ago by white male post-modernists

l) it’s an assurance that only folks outside of your culture/ethnicity will like your art

m) it’s a strategy to get rich Jews/gentiles/LGBTs to fund your mass-circumcision performance art piece in a public “greenspace.”

n) its current application has something to do with “networking” and “web 2.0”

o) it’s all about “yielding power” from voter demographics

p) it’s about “communing with your tribe


r) it has to do with jewish guilt/your mom

s) it is a venture capital firm invested in by Bernie Madoff

t) kidney harvesting

u) it’ll lay the groundwork for a discussion with your child about Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day falling on Rosh Hashanah.

v) it is a “voice for the voiceless” / it is “cultural hegemony”

w) it is why you can make a living by playing clarinet in rich Jewish peoples’ weddings

x) charedi pheromones

y) it obscures the only viable path to meaning which is G-d

z) OTHER (answer below)

“So Hebrew School, what’s next?”
August 4, 2009, 8:09 am
Filed under: > Project | Tags: , , , , , ,

You will hear silence… followed by a tone.

Before I dive in, I just want to thank everyone who’s been supporting me on this project for the past couple of years, including my bandmates, the throngs of you who made it to our shows, the tens of millions of you who bought my cd or got the tracks on iTunes, folks keeping up with these bloggings, folks who’ve been extolling the band’s virtues in print, web, and radio, the twitterati, and everyone who’s whispered an encouraging sweet nothing into my slightly challenged left ear. Couldn’t have done this– couldn’t be doing this– without you.

The Six Points Fellowship has been a game-changer in terms of my career as a musician. For the past decade, I’ve gotten a chance to be involved in other performers’ projects, much to my happiness and unimaginable success. From moonlighting with what has to be the coolest and joyfully irreverent Jewish band to ears and feet, to an extended dalliance into the college radio charts with another, I’ve never really looked the other way, much less had a chance to. All the while, though, I had secretly been scurrying away my own creations– with no false modesty, way too many of them. It was at this point that the Fellowship swooped in, encouraging and challenging me to take my music from the nether-reaches of my hard drive to the stage. For all this, a serious helping of gratitude is in order– who knows how long my music’s beard would have otherwise grown until it saw the light of day?

Hebrew School has represented a beginning for me to get more of this stuff out into the world, and there’s definitely more Hebrew School to come: Keep your browsers tuned here. At the same time, there are several other separate music projects I’ve been working on, to be unveiled in these pages in due course. What’s more, I’ve been developing some exciting new stuff for the web, focusing on music and jew-ish culture, soon to be linked to the light of day.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be putting together some reflections on some of what I’ve learned in this particular project’s peculiar trenches. For now, I’ll leave you with this: