Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Listen To The Maccabeats' New Album Now!

Maccabeat-Mania is almost here!

This morning, several members of The Maccabeats appeared on JM in the AM to promote their new album "Out of the Box." The interview, album preview, and live performance starts around the 2 hour mark.

In addition, tickets are still available for the concert tomorrow night at 7:00 PM in Yeshiva University's Lamport Auditorium.

For those who haven't purchased their tickets yet, there is a special discount via JM in the AM if you type in "JMAM25" for 25% off discount when you purchase your tickets.

As I mentioned before, I unfortunately cannot attend, but if any reader wants to cover it for the blog, please send me an email (address on the side bar to your right).

But the real reason you probably clicked on this post is this bit of fun news: the full album itself is now available for your listening pleasure for free on Spotify!

I hope to do an album review at some point in the near future.

Lastly, a hearty Mazal Tov to Mordy Prus, the latest member of The Maccabeats to get engaged!

That means there are only 5 of the 14 members still available. A little known trivia fact, Mordy was the most searched by name Maccabeat that lead readers to this humble little blog. And yes, I will update the image some time soon when I get a free moment.

Hatzlacha guys, and keep inspiring us all!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

So Plastic Surgery DOES = Shidduchim?

And here I thought we (the readers and I) had concluded that the issue was moot after I wrote a post based on The Grogger's video, "Jewcan Sam."

Then there was the intensely controversial that was published in the Jewish Press right around Purim by Yitta Halberstam called "Purim and the Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim." Among the many ridiculous things written in this article, I think her comparison of the extreme beauty pageant of Achashveirosh to modern day Jewish girls is horribly misguided:

"The women of the kingdom who vied for the Queen’s throne were given twelve months to prepare for the beauty pageant – why hadn’t some of the girls at the shidduch event taken a mere half hour?"

Seriously? You want to learn mussar for our daughters from the hedonistic, easily manipulated menuval who was basically complacent with our national destruction? Really?

For a great response to this article, read Rabbi Eliyahu Fink's post.

The plastic surgeon who commissioned the "Jewcan Sam" video, Michael Salzhauer, is actually under investigation by the American Society for Plastic Surgeons for violations of medical ethics in trying to "sell" the idea of plastic surgery.

On top of all that, Dr. Salzhauer now has the gall to offer plastic surgery, pro bono (that's free, for those of us less legal savvy folks) to unfortunate Orthodox Jewish singles who can't get a shidduch because of their looks, based on the recommendations of their shadchanim!

(Link hat-tip to Surfin' the Shidduch Scene. For a complete news coverage of this ongoing sage, see The Huffington Post).

This is SICK.

What is happening to the Jewish community? Instead of working on practical solutions to end the "shidduch crisis" we're focusing on the wrong things and creating more issues than we are solving.

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to physical attractiveness, and I've been to weddings where I wonder what the guy or girl saw in their new spouse in regard to their looks. But who cares what my opinion, or anyone else's is, when the chosson and kallah have found someone they find attractive and look forward to seeing when they wake up each morning?

It seems like in today's chumra-crazy society, we're taking the machlokes between Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai regarding how to praise an "ugly" bride at her wedding (Kesubos 17a) and adding in our own redaction to the Gemara. Whereas Beis Hillel says we should praise the bride as she is seen through her husband's eyes - clearly he finds her to be beautiful - Beis Shammai says we should stick to the truth and not lie about her lack of beauty.

So instead of holding like the position advocated by Beis Hillel, we're now going to make sure we can follow Beis Shammai too, since every "homely" girl out there will be objectively beautiful once she's been "fixed" thanks to Dr. Salzhauer and others, if this practice becomes the norm.

Why are we learning the wrong things from the secular society around us, which preaches and advocates the value of physical beauty above all else, including health and happiness. All this had led to is a dramatic increase in people going under the knife, eating disorders, years and years worth of therapy and doctor visits to correct damage done to women's bodies and minds, and who knows what else!

Where can we go next, as a society, if we don't stop these shenanigans soon? Check back later this week find out....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Maccabeats "Out of the Box" Preview Video

The Maccabeats have released a video that previews their new CD "Out of the Box" in addition to drumming up some publicity for the CD debut concert, which will take place next week on March 28th:

Some of my predicted (Jewish music) songs are sample here, as well as one Hebrew song I didn't recognize and several secular songs as well. So far it sounds great, and I can't wait to get the actual CD in my hands - and playing in my car.

Tickets for the concert are still available for purchased at this website.

Unfortunately, I will be unable to go because of grad school demands on my time. If anyone who will be attending wants to write a guest post/review of the concert, please email me.

As a bonus, here are the several members of the Maccabeats singing "Keep Your Head Up" by Andy Grammer, which will be featured on "Out of the Box."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Where Are The Purim Music Videos?

Freilechen Purim / Purim Sameach!

It looks like there are almost no new Purim music videos/songs this year. The one real exception I could find was the Shlomones parody called "Good Groggin:'"

For my money's worth, the two best Purim songs out there are:

1) "Umordechai Yatsah" by the very talented Jeremy Gaisen (why doesn't this man have his own CD already?).

I think this song was overshadowed by the #2 choice, simply because Purim was the first post-Chanukah holiday with real song potential (sorry Tu b'Shvat and Shlock Rock).

2) "Raise Your Glass" by the ever popular Maccabeats.

Have a safe and simcha-filled Purim!

PS: I hope to get back to regular posting soon, but school has been quite time-consuming and may only increase in intensity in the near future. I am determined not to give up the blog, so G-d willing, keep checking back for updates! Thank you for reading!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Maccabeats 2nd Album Release Concert!

Just saw this on Facebook, posted by a member of the Maccabeats:

Maccabeats CD Launch Concert
Wed. Mar 28, 2012 at 7:00pm
See a bigger version of the jacket art for "Out of the Box" here.

Join us as Lamport Auditorium will be packed to capacity on March 28th for the highly anticipated release of the Maccabeats new CD.

The group released its first album, Voices from the Heights, in March 2010. In November, they released "Candlelight", a Hanukkah-themed single. The song garnered international attention and became a YouTube sensation, receiving over 7 million hits.

The Maccabeats will be launching their new CD, "Out of the Box" at a concert at Yeshiva University. The CD boasts an array of 11 new songs and arrangements.

The Maccabeats have performed at venues all across the world, from The White House to Hong Kong (and everywhere in between.)

Be the first to hear these new songs.

Tickets can be purchased at this website.

This is very exciting! The title of the Maccabeats second, highly anticipated album will be "Out of the Box." Pretty catchy, but I don't think it tops "Voices from the Heights." Anyway, the title of the album isn't what's really important, it's the songs!

I can't wait to hear the new CD- and see how many, if any, of my predictions for songs to be included were right.

Parsha Spoiler?

I noticed something interesting when doing my weekly Shnaim Mikra v'Echad Targum this week.

The beginning of Parshas Tetzeveh (Shemos 27:21) starts off with HaShem telling Moshe how Aharon and his sons will be in charge of lighting the Menorah. Yet, it is only in the next posuk (28:1) that we learn the reason why - because Aharon and his sons have been chosen to serve as the kohanim, performing the sacrifices and other duties in the mishkan.

To me, it would have made more sense for the Torah to place this posuk describing the job of maintaining the oil burning after Aharon and his sons had been appointed as the kohanim, presumably in place of the first born.

Incidentally, for those who follow Rashi and not Ramban, that the Torah text isn't necessarily in chronological order, I think this entire section is a point in team Rashi's favor. If the first born were supposed to be the kohanim, but were only replaced after the Chet Ha'egel, why are they already being "replaced" now?

At any rate, I was only able to check Rashi, who doesn't comment on this seemingly out of order placement of these 2 verses.

Does anyone have any ideas that they've heard/learned?