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066: Rickie Lee Jones, ‘Skeletons’

Hope you’re enjoying the new format of SoTW. Please do leave comments – always glad to hear from you. Thanks to David Rubin for the great photos from Eilat. I had the good fortune last week to attend the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat as a member of the press, representing the Jerusalem Report. […]

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050: The Rolling Stones, ‘Gimme Shelter’ (Kent State)

Forty-two years ago, the day after the Kent State shootings, I walked onto my completely abandoned and unearthly silent campus, and experienced a musical hallucination of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’. In the minds of me and my friends and the entire Woodstock nation, it has become emblematic of that terrible time when American soldiers killed American citizens.

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036: Laura Nyro, ‘Sweet Blindness’ (“Eli & the 13th Confession”)

Laura Nyro’s masterpiece, “Eli & the 13th Confession”. She embraces her lover like a god, her God like a lover. It’s a pageant of bright lights and fierce emotions. It’s gospel and doo-wop and a spiritual carpet ride through sex, love, the elation and deflation of relationships, drugs, God, the devil. It’s a trip to the entire gallery of experiences of an eccentric, passionate, spiritual, loving person, and you’ll be a richer person for joining her.

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024: Oi Va Voi, ‘Refugee’

I’m a seriously committed Jew, but I don’t like any flavor of klezmer. I don’t believe in world peace, and I don’t like world music. I don’t believe in leaderless bands with amorphous rosters. But I’ve coerced literally dozens unsuspecting friends and acquaintances to listen to Oi Va Voi’s “Laughter Through Tears”, and nary a one hasn’t apologized for snickering. It’s is an utterly irresistible album.

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SoTW 16: Bob Dylan, ‘Percy’s Song’

A real good thing happened to a real good friend this week. Neal Hendel was appointed to the Supreme Court here in Israel. It’s a little hard for me to digest. I don’t know a lot about the judging business, but I have an awful lot of respect for his judgment about things like morality […]

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SoTW 15: Tracy Nelson (Mother Earth), ‘Down So Low’

My friend Avi knows more about a whole range of subjects than your average person – computer graphics, carpentry terminology, and the mechanics of assault rifles, among a whole myriad of others. And music, he does know a whole lot about music. When I have a question about a concept (‘Was Van Gogh really that […]

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SoTW 13: Tim Hardin, ‘Black Sheep Boy’

Tim Hardin has perhaps the finest career I know of based on the fewest accomplishments. Two significant LPs in his mid-20s, a drug-ruined mess by 30, dead at 39, far fewer than a dozen great songs. But he managed to do more in two minutes than many others did in decades of writing and recording. Each song is a paragon of honesty and restraint – beautiful and precious, but without a millitrace of the maudlin. I guess it was hard to be so honest.

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011: The Idea of North, ‘Fragile’ (Sting)

“Art is a matter of taste.” No one has the right to say what’s ‘good’ and what’s ‘bad’. Everyone’s entitled to his/her/its opinion. Well, I guess I begrudgingly go along with the idea that everyone is entitled to vote. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that everyone has a right to an […]

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