Saturday, December 28, 2013

My recommendations for Israeli movies and music

Following up on my travel tips and recipes, here are some of my favorite Israeli movies and Israeli musicians. 

Frozen Days- This began as a student movie, and became fairly successful.
Ajami- Very, very good and realistic (well, it feels realistic to me at least...) movie about an Arab neighborhood in Jaffa, which is part of Tel Aviv, more or less. It was done with no actors, only residents of the neighborhood.
Blues la hofesh hagadol- Pretty old movie about a group of friends about to go into the Israeli army.
Footnote- Cool comedy about a father and son, both professors in the same tiny field, and the competition between them. You see a lot of "my" Jerusalem in this one, and in fact I was watching it in the Jerusalem theater, in the same hall in which one of the scenes was shot.

Onwards to the music: 

One of my favorite bands, and without a doubt the one I've seen live the most, is Marsh Dondurma. My friend Noa plays the snare drum.

The Apples, an acid jazz/scratch & funk band, is one of my favorite live bands. They make me dance like no other band I've seen.

Berry Sakharof, one of Israel's most famous singers, does alternative rock sometimes mixed with Oriental/Turkish music, I guess.
Here he's playing with Infected Mushroom, a famous Israeli trance group:

Yemen Blues, they mix traditional Yemenite music with all kinds of stuff. (This is in a nargila place I've been to many times, in the Old City in Jerusalem). 

Bustan Abraham, an Arab & Jewish band that used to play traditional Oriental music.

Dudu Tassa is a fairly good pop/rock singer usually. He is the grandson of Daoud Al-Kuwaiti, who was one of the most famous singers in Baghdad a long time ago (back when the population of Baghdad was 40% Jewish or something ridiculous like that). Dudu took his grandfather's old songs and recordings, rearranged them and made a beautiful album in which he sings along with his grandfather and his grandfather's brother. - this one is with Berry Sakharof (from above).

Mark Eliyahu, amazing kamanche virtuoso. I can't find a better word to describe his live shows than spell-binding.

Habiluim, leftist protest band. (this one is called Auschwitz Blues) (and this one is called Shaul Mofaz, the name of the former Israeli minister of defence. It's about him flying around in a carriage like Santa Claus and giving family members of soldiers that died their body parts as gifts. As an aside, the minister's son was in the same army unit as me, and we always put the song at full volume, hoping he would hear it...)

Kutiman's great "Thru" series, in Jerusalem, Krakow and Tokyo:
And check out his "album" of Youtube remixes, a fascinating project in my opinion: 

Tamuz, classic Israeli rock band from the 70s:

Boom Pam, mediterranean surfer rock:
And one of their role models and inspiration, Greek singer Aris San, who isn't known at all in Greece but quite known in Israel:

Tiny Fingers, aggressive space rock: - old one, with video from my favorite festival.

Ruth Dolores Weiss, great voice and soul.  (covering one of my favorite bands, King Crimson).

Malox, I only recently found out about them. Crazy Punk-Polka duo. - the crowd in this video is not that into it, but that's because it's in a shitty city :)
Maybe this one is better: Especially with the serious sounding guy speaking in German before the concert begins...

Meir Ariel, the best Israeli lyricist, in my opinion. The problem is he's got very good lyrics, but is not a very good guitar player or singer. So if you don't understand Hebrew, I don't know if there's any reason to like him. But here it is anyway. (this is called "Hayat Habarzel", the Iron Beast. It's a criticism of modern culture) (This is Shlomi Shaban, a good singer and songwriter in his own right, doing Ariel's "Democracy", a hate song to democracy in which he compares it to a fat and ugly stripper that pees and shits on her audience).

Of course there's many more, but I think this is a good start, no?

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