Sometimes you see two 8 and 10 year old little California Jewish girls and all you can think is ‘damn, I wish I had that talent.’ Aviva and Tovah Zafrin do. And they’re hilarious.

Seriously. I’m a jaded hipster a-hole and even I find them to be just darling. Look at the video below of their parody, California Jews.

Thought that was good? Their Rehab parody, called ‘Mikvah’, is even better.

Wondering how these adorable little children became such wonderful entertainers? It’s a classic story about Jewish girls getting into gymnastics, then singing and the like. Ugh I hope my kids are this lovely or else I’m gonna send them away to an adoption agency or Isreal or whatever you do with children who are disappointments.

// Thank you to our friends Jew on This

When I think of racial/religious politics in regards to Israel, it’s usually not a positive thought process. Here in the US we have our own problems, and holy shit there are a lot of them, but Israel is also pretty bad. Whether it’s how Arabs, Palestinians, Druze, Ethiopian Jews, or African immigrants are treated, it never sounds particularly positive. In a country that’s supposed to be united by Jewishness, it amazes me how little positive articles I read about the treatment of Ethiopian Jews.

This doesn’t make sense. Maybe I just appreciate African cultures, but you’d think diversity in Judaism, a group of people known for having so much sex with each other they’re susceptible to Tay-Sachs Disease, would want some different genetics. You’d think a group of people that constantly complain about the ‘intermarriage problem’ would be jumping hand over feet to make sure all new Jews were accepted into the Israeli community at large. (Or is this only an American problem? Seems like Orthodox Jews everywhere would identify this as an issue.)

Which is why it’s nice when a Ethiopian Jew wins Miss Israel. For the first time.

Yityish_Titi_Aynaw

I’m not sure, with all the other stupid Birthright trips, there isn’t one for people who are looking to hook up with a black Jew. All the frat bros would be in on that.

//Ynet

Custom made pinball art machines as playable art, bridging the gallery and the arcade… Amazing… There is nothing I love more than playing pinball. Sure, beer and women are okay, but not nearly as great as a pinball machine. Tall legs. Sticky flippers. Pinball machines have it all. So You can easily assume that I am in love with this project. And I am. Which is why I suggest you help fund this and get this going. Who knows, maybe this will catch on and I’ll actually have to wait in a line to play one of these beautiful, elegant machines.

Help them out here

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Hooooly sheeit there are a lot of Hipsterjews performing at South By Southwest this year. Maybe I did my research well enough, or maybe it’s just our year, but jeez. Below is the list. All 50+ musical groups.

Do you know a musician/are you a musician who I missed? Put your name in the comments below, and I’ll try to get to you.

3421
Allison Weiss
Avi Avital
Betzefer
Borgore
Chris Cohen
Dawes
Elizabeth and the Catapult
Ensemble Yaman
Ester Rada
Ezra Furman
Fort Lean
Gliss
Golden Bloom
Hank and Cupcakes
Kids From Nowhere
Kinski
Kisses
Kol Dodi w. Mika Karni
Kosha Dillz
Marnie Stern
Maya Isacowitz
Miracles of Modern Science
My Jerusalem
Psychic Friends
Ravens and Chimes
Rona Kenan
Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes
Royal Canoe
Sarah Jaffe
Sarai Givaty
Schaffer the Darklord
SHI 360
Shlohmo
Simon Rex
Soul Khan
Telekinesis
The Andy Statman Trio
The Coathangers
The David Wax Museum
The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet
The Riff Raff
The Wellsprings
The Young Professionals
Trummors
Vampire Weekend
VietNam
Why?
Wild Belle
Zvuloon Dub System

I’ve been a big fan of Josh Ritter since I first heard “Lillian, Egypt” on The Hype Machine years and years ago. He represents something of a confluence of genres–bluegrass, folk, rock–that has steadily gained in popularity until it finally won a bunch of Grammies this year, although Ritter himself has not. Given Ritter’s complicated and hyperliterate songwriting (the man is also a novelist on the side) and my own predilections for such things, I guess it should come as no surprise that he’s something of a darling over on NPR, where his new (and seventh) album The Beast In Its Tracks is playing on First Listen. I’ve given it six listens since it was posted on Sunday. I’ve been listening to it as I write this post.ritter2

I’ve never been divorced, or even married for that matter, so the album, which is written in response to Ritter’s own divorce from musician/sound engineer Dawn Landes, is full of subject matter that is probably a little beyond me. It’s in a vein to his previous album, So The World Runs Away, and like that one it is more ethereal and less aggressive than Animal Years or The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. My highlights from this new one are “A Certain Light” and “New Lover,” the latter of which I think offers a syncretism of the ballads of So The World and the bounce found in earlier songs like “Hello Starling,” and “To the Dogs or Whoever.” It’s that same syncretism, which I think pervades the album, which give it less of the luster (it doesn’t quite connect in the song “Bonfire,” for instance, which feels both too fast and too insubstantial) found in either So The World or Animal Years/The Historical Conquests. Which is to say that I like it, but wasn’t in love with it instantly in the same way I was with “Lillian, Egypt” and the rest of Animal Years. Which also isn’t to say that I won’t instantly buy it when it drops on March 5th (because I now have money to occasionally buy music created by my favorite musicians).

But maybe I shouldn’t. Perhaps I am being too hasty my support of the music of an artist I enjoy. Let me stop and consider what could be Josh Ritter’s rueful place in history. According to NPR Disqus commenter “Yogurt Head” (who notes he, supposing he is a he, is a professional musician), NPR would be better served ditching such producers of popular music. Indeed, Mr. Head goes on to offer this bit of profound wisdom:

 Just think about how music has devolved over the centuries, and how our cultural decline has been a direct result.

Do think on it. I mean, if we go back a century ago, to 1913, you could note that music was a lot less accessible to many people, as the first radio station in the United States would begin broadcasting in 1916, and the first radio station in the world had only begun broadcasting four years earlier. So most people only experienced whatever music existed within their own ethnic sphere unless they were some place foreign…like Louisiana. So, naturally, there wasn’t as much contribution to culture by people who were, you know…poorer. Which, according to Mr. Head, was better. With less riff-raff, contributing to music and such, “culture” was better and not in decline. And certainly, while there were fewer instruments in the past, meaning fewer different sounds that could be generated, music has devolved. Before, we used to just have orchestral music and early folk. Now we have stuff like jazz-infused post-punk revival music and other simple garbage like that.

So maybe on March 5th you shouldn’t bother buying Josh Ritter’s new album The Beast In Its Tracks. That would be contributing to the horrific cultural decline caused by the musical decline as epitomized by talented singer-songwriters like Ritter.

Because this is the fate the awaits a world with Josh Ritter in it.

Because this is the fate that awaits a world with Josh Ritter in it.

For the rest of the week, NPR will be streaming The Beast In Its Tracks over at First Listen.

*If I were Chicky there’d be some number of Hall and Oates here, but I don’t really like ratings and we don’t have much in the way of an established editorial policy regarding reviews, so if you desperately need a number to go with this review, um…312. You’re welcome.

mel_brooks-hitler

Oh India. Full of your crazy Indian goodness. What would we do without you? More importantly, what would your minor politicians do without Adolf Hitler?
In some countries, there are laws that require you name your kid something that isn’t entirely fucking stupid. In India it’s all fair game.

Adolf Hitler is running for election in India. So is Frankenstein. Among the 345 contestants running for the state assembly are Frankenstein Momin, Billykid Sangma, Field Marshal Mawphniang and Romeo Rani. Some, like Kenedy Marak, Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem and Jhim Carter Sangma, are clearly hoping for the electoral success of their namesake American presidents.

I’m sorry, but India can not be a legitimate country. India has to be some bizarro would that an American invented, possibly The Onion, to make a ‘LOL’ at our expense. I mean there’s no way a country of a billion people is filled with that many assholes with that many asshole sounding names, right?

Then there is Hitler.

Okay…I’m listening.

This 54-year-old father of three has won three elections to the state assembly with little controversy over being named after the Nazi dictator.

His father had worked with the British army, but apparently developed enough of a fascination with Great Britain’s archenemy to name his son Adolf Hitler — though he also gave him the middle name Lu, Hitler said.

Yeah, back in my day, the year 2000, we wouldn’t call that a ‘fascination’ with an ‘archenemy’. We’d call that an unsympathetic dickhead. If it was America, I’d call him a Klu Klax Klan member, but I don’t think that would apply in this situation.

“I am aware at one point of time Adolf Hitler was the most hated person on Earth for the genocide of the Jews. But my father added ‘Lu’ in between, naming me Adolf Lu Hitler, and that’s why I am different,” Hitler told The Associated Press from the small village of Mansingre, 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Gauhati, the capital of the nearby state of Assam.

Ooooh! Okay. I didn’t realize your father was a practical dick, so he gave you a middle name. This changes everything!

Hitler said his name has not stopped him from traveling the world, including to the United States and Germany. “I never had problems obtaining a visa but I was asked many times during immigration as to why I should have such a name. I told the immigration staff I possibly didn’t have a role in my naming,” he said.

Weird. In most countries you have the ability to change you name when your asshole parents name you something stupid and asshole-y. But the apple always sticks with the name the tree gave him, right?

Either way, thanks India! Your inability to keep up on Western history suddenly makes me feel okay for knowing very little – actually pretty much nothing – about your country.

//Associated Press

Ok.

Seriously now.

Could this please stop happening?

When I’m eating a form of meat, I expect to actually be eating the form of meat I think I’m eating. I don’t want to be eating some four-legged horsey baby when I think I’m eating a doe-eyed cow baby.  Or a lil big-earred donkey when I think I’m eating a fluffy, clucky chicken.

There’s this growing trend in crappy places to eat across the world of replacing the meat you think you’re chowing down on with some farm animal that usually pulls things in a cart.

Hey cute baby donkey, you’re next

In Tesco shops in the United Kingdom it was discovered that their burgers had traces of Irish horse meat. Did Mad Cow Disease have no effect on you, Europe? Rethink yourself.

In South Africa, more than two thirds of meat products tested contained undeclared ingredients like water buffalo, donkey, and goat.  Come on now, South Africa  That’s distasteful.

Is Adonai teaching us a lesson about kashrut? Is every vegan/vegetarian person you know rubbing this in?

I just want meat to be meat again. heheh that’s what she said

 

Kosha Dillz has done it again. He met his Kickstarter goals and put out a new music video, Hangin’ Out, just as catchy as his last song, Sweatpants Song.

My favorite lyrics are below:

I aint got no pasta Mamma all I’ve got is history/

My flow is so unorthodox religious girls don’t mention me.

Sometimes you just need a song with hooks about nothing. Kosha continues his climb towards big time success. Big ups. Wickit.

Well, that’s it. Bring on the chinese food, and a visit from Ben and Jerry. A-Samberg has gone and done got pre-hitched. I’ve acquired  my sack cloth, my ashes and am ready to do it Mordechai style.  I mean like, not “do it”like the sex. Like mourning. Though some do get pleasure from being sad and disappointed but probably not the sexual kind. I mean I don’t know. Loss of Samberg is making me rambley. Also coffee and lack of anything actually interesting to write.

don’t know who this Joanna Newsom is, but I’m not impressed. Even though she has been pushing to play the harp since she was 5. And even though she went on a spirit animal quest as a teenager and makes fun of herself for it in a self-deprecating way. And freaking  even though she did some vocals in the theme song of The Muppets. Thanks Wikipedia.

Who am I kidding? She’s adorable. Sickeningly so. I can’t handle it.

Joanna Newsom

Stop smiling you precious minxy nymphlet

Well you know what they say, if you love someone, you must write obsessive love poetry until they change their mind and never, ever give up or let it go.

Purim Gone Wrong

The Duckman —  02/25/2013 —  Comments

Purim is over. But of course there has to be some sort of controversy surrounding the holiday. Three incidents happened over the Purim weekend and we have to wonder if this holiday is actually good for the Jews or if it brings out the worst in some people.

Incident 1: Twin Towers 9/11 costumes

twin-towers-purim

A wonderful father in Israel dressed his twin 7 year old sons as the twin towers being hit by airplanes. How terrible of a person do you have to come up with this idea and then to force your kids to wear such a despicable costume? Very?

Incident 2: Black Face Politicians

racist-purim

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind thought it was a good idea to bring up old racist stereotypes and bust out the black face. I originally thought he was an umpa loompa, but apparently he dressed up as a basketball player which doesn’t help the racist costume at all. SMH… //Heeb Magazine

Incident 3: Hanging Haman outside your school

haman-haniging-purim

If non Jews can hang skeletons on Halloween, Jews can hang dummies to represent Haman and his 10 sons, right? I’m sure everyone knows the story of Purim, right? It’s not like anyone would take this as a threat… no… of course not… (Holy shit, what were you thinking? This was some sort of good idea?)

So…

Who took Purim to the worst level?

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