News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

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30 May 2005

Up from the fœtid Comment Sewers of Vleeptron; Klezmer Rap; Roovayn the Singing Refusenik

Shabbat Shalom (time zone dependent) salaam shazam selam sh'boom sh'boom bonjour Ramadan Kareem Wie Gehts Merry Xmas ola hola buna salut privet konichi-wa sup & howdy! It's moi, Droog4, winner of the 2000 Nobel Chat Prize ("... for his ceaseless efforts to bring peace to the war-torn Balkans while sitting for hours every night at his computer ..."), with some sweet and sad stuph that was down in the fœtid and dark Comment Sewers of Vleeptron, where no one ever goes because it smells really nasty, like the Medieval Sewers of Prague.

IF YOU ARE REAL NICE TO MESHUGINEH BOB, later I will tell you about the Medieval Sewers of Prague. Surprisingly few tourists ever climb down the ladder into the Medieval Sewers of Prague. But Meshugineh Bob did. Because Bob knows what's down in the Medieval Sewers of Prague, and you don't. When I tell you what's down there, you will be buying a pair of Wellies (rubber sewer boots) and looking for cheap fares on .

But anyway I have rescued the following exchange from the fœtid Comment Sewers deep beneath the sweet-smelling clean sunny streets of Ciudad Vleeptron. The Comments have been slightly edited because Bob is a little on the anal-retentive side.

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DespicableTeacher said...


Do you know «The Klezmatics»? There is a song by them I find very moving 'An Undoing World':

a little of the lyrics:

Dispossession by attrition is a permanent condition
That the wretched modern world endures.

A refugee, who's running from the wars,
Hiding from the fire-bombs they've hurled;
Eternally a stranger out-of-doors,
Desperate in this undoing world.

This song was written 7 yrs ago I think, and yet nothing has changed!

9:24 AM

DespicableTeacher said...

Ohh I should say the words are by Pulitzer-Prize winner Tony Kushner.

9:25 AM

Bob Merkin said...

Bob knows the Klezmatics! But Bob didn't know they were winning Pulitzer Prizes. Bob will begin doing ear research immediately.

The local University of Massachusetts [ @ Amherst, home of the chain-link-fence Labyrinth with the beer cans and used condoms ] FM radio station has had a Jewish/Israeli music show for many years. The deejay changes -- except for me, and liberal arts graduate students, you can't stay in college forever. [For poetry and creative writing graduate students, you CAN stay in college forever! Choose your university major wisely!]

As John Belushi screamed in "Animal House" when he was expelled from 4-year liberal arts Faber College ["Knowledge Is Good"]:


He stole that scream from me.

Anyway one day I am listening to WMUA-FM and I keep hearing this Strange Mystery Noise. It sounds somehow familiar. But I have no idea what the singer is singing. Well, he's not singing. He's ... uhhh ... what the hell is he doing?

I telephone the student deejay. [ 413-545-FM91 ]

" :))) Hi! 'Matzoh Ball Soup' here!" says the adorable young ethnic musicologiste Heather Saperstein.

"Uhh ... is that ... No, it can't possibly be ... I'm sorry for the dumb question. Is that Hebrew rap? Israeli rap?"

" :))))) Yes! It is! I just got back from my vacation in Israel and I brought back all these Israeli rap CDs!"

"Okay. Uhhh ... I got a weird request. You can hang up if you want."

" :))) Okay, if I have it, I'll play it."

"Uhhh .. do you have any Refusenik music or Israeli anti-war music? You know ... pacifist kommie songs from contemporary Israel?"

(A Refusenik is a nice Jewish Israeli boy who refuses to put on the Paul Newman "Exodus" costume when he turns 18 and gets his draft notice. Shortly afterwards he goes to prison. Have a nice day.)

":))) Oh sure! I'll put it on when the rap is done!"

So anyway Shlomo finished rapping b'Ivrit, and then this young guy started singing. It was definitely folk-song acoustic guitar stuff.

My Ivrit sux, but actually I didn't have much trouble with the translation. In a mournful minor key, he was whining the following through his young nose:

??? shalom ??? shalom shalom ??? shalom ??? shalom shalom ??? shalom ... shalom ???? shalom shalom shalom ??? etc.

I think the song had something or other to do with Peace. It was rather sad. It was rather sweet. I'll bet Roovayn gets laid a lot. And also gets the crap beat out of him a lot.

6:25 AM


Blogger Joana said...

Well The Klezmatics did not win a Pulitzer prize-Tony Kushner did, he wrote the song «Undoing World » for them.

Anyhow get their CD «Possessed» and embark in 53:23 minutes of joy.

Critic's Review

Darryl Cater, All Music Guide

Much of Possessed is a collaboration with Tony Kushner (the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning playwright of Angels in America). He contributes lyrics to two songs, and the second half of the album was designed as a musical score for his play A Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds (an adaptation of Jewish folk tales by S. An-ski). The marriage of artistic sensibilities is perfect. The Klezmatics' ethos is at once deeply traditional and deeply progressive. Their music is a lively engagement with Jewishness itself, inflecting Eastern European klezmer music with other genres so seamlessly that it seems misleading even to name the other influences (classical, Dixieland, bebop, Middle Eastern folk, modern rock...). Their song catalog includes religious traditionals, but it also includes original Hebraic odes to marijuana and homosexuality. All of which is very much in line with Kushner's endless quest to sort out his own disparate influences as a gay, Jewish, democratic-socialist, Louisiana-born, New York-adopted artiste. The collaboration has afforded the Klezmatics an opportunity to expand their palette. While there is plenty of their familiar frenzied spiritual party music, there is also some goregeously evocative minor-key mysticism. The titular theme of possession is, on its face, a reference to the ghost story in A Dybbuk, but it's best explained by Kushner in his smart, funny, gushing liner notes. "Are we not possessed," he asks, "by the multitudes we contain, not only multitudes of observant and unobservant brave martyred ancestors...but of all the cultures through which we have wandered, which we have helped to shape, in which we were at home and never at home?" That's a pretty good description of the Klezmatics' music, which is itself a singularly Jewish assimilation of multitudinous influences.

Blogger Joana said...

and here you can preview the tracks from Possessed:

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Fascinating! I am REALLY gonna get this CD!!! Oy vey! He's Jewish, he's gay, he's from Louisiana (like Gram Parsons, the dead-boy Star of Acid Country), he's a socialist in the USA, the Mecca of Kapitalism, he's a Democrat (not a Fun Thing to Be during Bush Administration ... Oy vey! Poor guy! Tsuris!

Thank you for leaving a Comment. Nobody has been leaving Comments. I was just about to shoot this adorable kitten if nobody left a Comment. It's not my fault. I didn't want to. You people have been reading my blog -- or NOT reading my blog! -- but not leaving Comments. So this is your fault. You made me do it.

-- Meshugineh Bob


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