30 August 2009

Eprhyme's Album Release Party

Darshan performingOn Wednesday night, I attended Eprhyme's Album Release Party down at Drom in the East Village. I went as I had met Eprhyme (Eden Pearlstein) a few weeks ago at a friend's wedding in Indiana and I figured it'd be a good cultural event to attend (for having lived in NYC for five years, I seldom attend music events, etc.). I arrived at some p
oint during the first act's performance and hung out until Eprhyme took the stage. Actually, it was with Shir Ya'akov, his Darshan groupmate (as well as with Diwon). They
Darshan performing
performed about five songs, generally with a Jewish flavor. I really enjoyed their stuff: it was a good balance with Shir's singing and Eprhyme's rapping. Their first song was about the holidays (I think entitled "Why Wait"), which was neat. Their third song was a little bit more dancey, bassey, more uptempo
and involved the phrase "יוצר אור ובורא חושך", which was neat. I also liked their fourth song, which involved a celloist and was offbeat.
One problem that I had with the entire evening's performances was that the music was playing so loudly that I had to strain to understand what the performers' lyrics were. Oddly enough, once I put earplugs in my ears, I was able to better understand the lyrics and I didn't feel like I was contributing to my eventual deafness, but, at the same time, also could hear the music just fine.
After Darshan performed, KoshaDillz did his thing.
KoshaDillz performing
KoshaDillz, notable for his recent Summer Jams battle win, performed also about five songs, of which I enjoyed his "Bubblegum" track. He definitely had a lot of energy - that's for sure, and tried to rally the crowd to this cause.
After KoshaDillz departed from the stage, up came Eprhyme
Eprhyme and Shir Ya'akov on stage
returned to do his own songs. Again, I struggled to discern the lyrics on account of the loudness of the music, but he definitely was vibing. The second of his songs was "Punklezmerap", the music video promoting his new album. The third song was an interesting one on the way to getting to peace is accomplished through love and not through the military complex - clever. The fourth song was one with which he prefaced by stating that he doesn't just not rap about nothing. The fifth song was a nice offbeat track. His sixth song was "Bohemian Rhapsody", a song about Olympia, Washington. He had several others to finish off, including a freestyle (one song involved the line "When you raise a fist, make sure you blow a little kiss" - clever).
Homeboy Sandman performing
At this point, this was all the music for which I had come down to hear and expected. However, up came a guy of whom I had never heard - Homeboy Sandman. His first two tracks made me stay (I wasn't the only one). He then broke into an interesting freestyle on the need for better nutrition, as bad nutrition is a serious danger (trudat). As an aside, I was amused by the demographics shifting from a larger Jewy crowd for Darshan's and Eprhyme's performances to less so of one for Sandm
an's performance (when I left, after everything had finished, very few of the yidden I had seen earlier had remained).
Homeboy Sandman and the AOK Collective
Anyways, Sandman definitely was quite talented and eventually brought up his crew, AOK Collective (including Fresh Daily), to join him up on the stage. I enjoyed the rest of the performance and, in particular, I enjoyed 8thW1's MC'ing (so much so that I bought his new CD, lovemoneyandmusic).
On the train back, I saw Shir Ya'akov who, among other things, informed me that Darshan is planning on releasing their upcoming album in October and may be having a release party. If there stuff is as good as it was on Wednesday night, It'd be worth my time to attend.

26 August 2009

My Theological Conundrum on What to Say In Response to a Baby Compliment

So, we get compliments from people on our daughter - yay. Initially, when people said something nice, I would amusingly make some noise, not sure what the right thing to say was.
Then, my wife said that the proper response is to say, "Thank you", since they are proferring a compliment.
However, my problem with this is that while we were involved with creating her, a rabbinic statement says that there are three partners involved in the creation of life: a male, a female, and God (Niddah 31a), so why are we necessarily accepting the compliment.
Furthermore, any glance at the Bible will yield the obvious result that the proper response should somehow entail a recognition of God's blessing and handiwork and that this is surely it.
Personally, I don't feel comfortable saying "Thank you" on people complimenting the cuteness of our daughter, because I think that we should say "Thank God".
The one problem with this is that it may sound weird for two reasons: 1) I may come out sounding like a religious freak and 2) someone expecting an appreciate response such as "Thank you" may feel slighted at not being properly acknowledged for their proffering.
Oh well, I guess I will have to figure it out situationally.

25 August 2009

Ah....If Only...

In this recent edition of the Jewish Week, Alan Zeitlin wrote a piece called "Can A Rabbi Help You Get Your Groove Back?" One line stuck out to me, speaking to my heart, quoting Ari Goldman,
“Rabbis who hide in the library with their faces in books are not doing their job,” he wrote in an e-mail. “It is not enough to be a scholar. Working with people in need is the greatest thing a rabbi can do. And people with dating concerns are very much in need.”
Ahh...what I would give to be able to just camp out in the library or beit midrash doing research, etc. Alas, it isn't to be. Maybe one day I will merit to spending some solid library time...or not.
I, of course, am not trying to say I want to avoid working with people, especially as rabbis do work for the Jewish people. Anyways, just my two little cents on a dream job (if there are any random donors out there...).

24 August 2009

Oy - The Summer's Almost Over & I've Barely Blogged

There've been quite a few things about which I've wanted to (and still may yet) blog, but I haven't yet gotten around to it. Some fodder right off the bat have been my wife's and my trips outside of NYC, but I haven't got my act together yet to do so. However, we have been getting ready to move (right now, we're staying within Washington Heights, just moving a couple of blocks over), I've been trying to find a job, and my computer has been in the shop for the past few weeks (I'm using my wife's computer). So, I haven't stopped blogging, nor do I intend to (in the foreseeable future).