News and Views on Jews and Music

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Paul Wieder is putting Jewish music on your playlist! Plus updates on Jewish music festivals, reviews of Jewish music websites and blogs, and insights from Jewish music producers and promoters. Let’s make Jewish music part of your well-balanced musical diet!

News and Views on Jews and Music

A Jewish music blog about other Jewish music blogs

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So what else would you call a blog post about other blogs? I am new to the Jewish music blogging game, but here are some who have been around for a while that you should also check out.

For me, the grand-daddy of all such sites is The Klezmer Shack. Initially a home for news and reviews on the klezmer scene, it has long since expanded to cover klezmer's cross-pollinations with rock and other more recent genres, as well as other traditional Jewish musics like Sephardi and Mizrahi. There is also a list of Jewish acts and their contact info. It's a well-researched and written resource, and I encourage all Jewish music fans (and also all music fans who happen to be Jewish) to check it out.

There are dozens of other Jewish music blogs online, but the largest slice seems to be for those blogs covering Chasidic and yeshivish music. The most professional-looking are The Jewish Music Review and The Jewish Music Report, which are both visually appealing and easy to navigate. Similar, but about more than just music, is The Cool Jew Show.

For the more online-diary style of blog, try Jewish Music Blog, The Jewish Music Blog by GalPaz Music, and A Jewish Music Insider. Then there is the more hard-core YK's Jewish Music Forum, which is very thorough, with track-by-track comments on new recordings.

Jewish Music Plus posts videos of performances… and The Second Son has just one post of videos, but it's sort of an exposé on some of the sources of this genre's music.

Chabad's website has a music page, too, and it's a very comprehensive archive of traditional, holiday, Shabbat, and inspirational melodies, along with new material. Jewish Music Derech (Hebrew for "path") helps you find a wedding band. And Heichal HaNegina mixes two great Chasidic traditions: music and storytelling.

Of course, there also are blogs that cover the urbane, edgy, and decidedly un-orthodox side of Jewish music. One of my favorites is Teruah; it's named after the staccato shofar blast, and it looks like a 'zine you'd find in a skate shop or chai place. And Shemspeed's blog is a great place to keep up both with that label's amazing new music and the wide cultural interests of its main dude, Erez.

Contemporary Jewish music is part of Jewish life, so it's part of other Jewish sites from the earnest My Jewish Learning to the mostly-kitschy Jewlicious to the arched-eyebrow musings of Jew School that cover and express opinion about a wide range of Jewish material.

And if you're not sure where you fit on the Jewish spectrum Blog in Dm (That's "D-minor" for you non-music-reading types) deals with Jewish subjects with a lot of compassion and humor.

One genre the that links the zeydies and the hipsters is klezmer, and both will enjoy the offerings of the Klezmer Podcast Blog (and did anyone think klezmer would still be around to be put alongside the words "podcast" and "blog"?). This is geared to the newer side of klezmer and Jewish music in general; the most recent posts are about the progressive klez band Veretski Pass, the Klezmatics on Conan, and the searingly hot Israeli act Yemen Blues.

Cantors and fans of liturgical music will enjoy E-Hazzan and Chazzunes. And for those who compare (or confuse) cantorial music with opera, there is a blog that details the history of Jewish contributions to orchestral and classical music.

There are blogs focusing on Jewish women's music, too. Tofa'ah is a band that offers, it says, "Jewish music by Jewish women for women." The blog has news about the band, of course, but also other groups' music and other items of Jewish women's interest. And Jewish Women's Music also provides updates on the latest music for and by Jewish women, with samples.

If all of this makes you want to learn more about Jewish music and its origins, check out Jewish Music WebCenter. The site reminded me of a used-book store; the focus here is less on looks than tons of content.

But what if you just want to learn to sing the songs themselves? That's available, too. For newer songs, try Lor's Jewish Music Lyrics Blog. And for older (in some cases, ancient) songs, you'll want the well-stocked archives of Know the Words, a fantastic resource for teachers, songleaders, camp counselors, and other educators.

And if all that's not enough Jewish blogs for you… try this list!

Is there a Jewish music blog I missed? Let me know in the comments!

 

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