Archive for November, 2013

Israel, and the World, Pays Tribute to Arik Einstein

November 27, 2013

This piece first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

blog-arikeinstein-112713News of iconic Israeli singer-songwriter Arik Einstein’s sudden death November 26 at age 74 spread quickly throughout Israel and around the globe. Israelis and Jews the world over, including political leaders and famous artists, poured out their shock and grief, many saying that the beloved entertainer’s passing signaled the end of an era.

While he had not performed live for quite some time, Einstein maintained a special status in Israeli popular culture. Many believe that had he not come on the scene when and as he did, Israeli music would not have developed as it had. “Einstein was the harbinger of Hebrew rock n’ roll, the man who, with a small group of talented friends, absorbed the sounds of the Sixties and translated them into Israeli,” wrote Liel Leibovitz in Tablet.

“A part of Israel passed away on Tuesday night. A slice of its soul has departed. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis, possibly millions, have lost a close personal friend, an intimate lifelong companion. A voice of Israel — the voice of Israel, for many – will sing no more,” wrote Chemi Shalev in Haaretz.

As preparations for Einstein’s funeral Wednesday afternoon at Tel Aviv’s Trumpeldor cemetery were being made, news of his passing continued to lead Israeli news websites. Social media feeds were clogged with posts of personal reminiscences about the singer, as well as videos of his performances.

Click here to read more.
© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Israeli Singer Arik Einstein Dies at 74

November 26, 2013

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

blog-arikeinstein-112613Legendary Israeli singer Arik Einstein died at age 74 after being admitted to Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv Tuesday evening. He was reported to have suffered an aortic aneurism.

According to Ynet, Einstein was rushed to the hospital and was sedated and intubated before he was taken in for surgery.

Einstein, a Tel Aviv native, is considered one of Israel’s greatest musicians. He began his recording career in 1960, a year after his discharge from the IDF, and put out his first solo album in 1966. Together with Shalom Hanoch, he put out some of the country’s first rock albums. Einstein’s most famous songs include include “Ani Ve’ata” (“Me and You”), “Sa Le’at” (“Drive Slowly”), and “Oof Gozal” (“Fly, Little Bird”).

The singer was involved in a serious car accident in 1982, and in the 1990s, his career started winding down as he stopped performing in public.

Einstein has four children, two with his first wife Alona, who died of cancer in 2006, and two with his current partner, Sima Elihu.

Click here to watch a video.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Beastie Boys Not Amused by ‘Girls’ Parody

November 26, 2013

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

o-GOLDIEBLOX-facebook

It seems that parody will get you nowhere with the Beastie Boys. The hip-hop group is not amused by the use of its song “Girls” in a viral advertising video by GoldieBlox, a San Francisco-area start-up that designs toys encouraging girls to explore science and engineering. (You’ve probably seen the video — it’s the one with the adorable little girls who built an incredibly cool Rube Goldberg contraption.)

GoldieBlox, say the Beastie Boys in an open letter, has the right to fight to encourage girls to become engineers, but not to use their music for commercial purposes.

The toy company, on the other hand, thinks it has every right to put out a parody version of the song, whose original anti-feminist lyrics speak of girls who do the dishes and laundry (in the GoldieBlox version, the girls build spaceships and code apps).

It seems the start-up knew Beastie Boy members Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (third member Adam “MCA” Yauch died in 2012) would not approve of its use of “Girls.” The company filed a preemptive lawsuit last week against the Beastie Boys, their record label and producer, asking the California federal court to classify the video as an example of fair use.

Here’s some of what the musicians had to say about GoldieBlox’s actions:

Click here to read more and watch the video.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.