06 November 2006

Monday's mp3: Hangin' Ten in Tel Aviv

Boom Pam is a band that defies logic and plain good sense. I mean, Israeli music is supposed to be all about old klezmers kvetching into their clarinets and women wailing ethnicaly, like Ofra Haza or Yasmin Levy. Right?

Well, yes and no. Remember that Israel is a nation of immigrants, and it's got lots of nice waterfront. As much as anything, those two factors explain Boom Pam's pairing of duo surf guitars with tight tuba bass lines. Crazy Balkan time signatures and minimalist percussion make their self-titled album irresistible to the musically curious, whether your usual fare is rock or world music. Mostly instrumental, the feisty songs bear titles such as " The Souvlak," "Kova Plada (aka Tango)", and "Wedding Song."

One should take warning of the immensely creepy song "Let Me Touch" with lyrics indicating a certain, um, lack of romantic sensitivity. I'm not saying I dislike it -- I laughed out loud at the over-the-top lyrics. But it's scary enough that I included it in a Halloween show. Whether because of that track or in spite of it, this album comes highly recommended.

[mp3] Boom Pam: "Wedding Song"
from their self-titled album Boom Pam

[Whether the surf guitars have anything to do with the Israeli surfing scene, I don't know. Maybe you should ask someone at the beach.]

A number of other new Jewish/Israeli albums have been showing up recently, which we may or may not get around to reviewing. They include:
Lenka Lichtenberg & Brian Katz: Pashtes/Simplicity info
Channe Nussbaum & Spielniks: Copenhagen Klezmer and Jidishe Mame info
Theresa Tova: You Ask Me Why-Tova Sings Beyle info
Makondo: Makondo info


Anonymous said...


"Israeli music is supposed to be all about old klezmers kvetching into their clarinets and women wailing ethnicly, like Ofra Haza or Yasmin Levy. Right?"

As an Israeli, I find this really amusing. It's quite difficult to find an Israeli who would be willing to listen to kleizmer music for more than 30 seconds without running away... and Ofra Haza's international career came when she started making music that, from an Israeli perspective, sounded like "Israeli" music for tourists; it wasn't too popular here in Israel, as opposed to her earlier recordings.
As to Yasmin Levy- she's amazing, but to me her music sounds Spanish- I was really shocked to find out she's Israeli.

SpinTheGlobe said...

Well, that's not what I think, but that's a paraphrase of what Boom Pam says by way of introducing their rather modern, non-klezmer Jewish music.

And your comment about Levy brings up the curious fact that much of what people might casually label as Israeli music is actually music from the Jewish diaspora -- klezmer and neo-klezmer from the USA and Canada (Socalled, Nikitov, Krakauer, Klezmatics) or from Brazil (Fortuna) or elsewhere. It's a big, crazy world out there.