Last year, our friend Duvid Efune invited Leonard Cohen to receive the Algemeiner’s ‘Warrior for Truth’ award (previous recipients include Bernard-Henri Lévy and Elie Wiesel). His response, which he has shared with us, was an unparalleled lesson in humility and grace:
May I be frank? I have never been comfortable in the world of honors and rewards. These designations seem to compromise the heart-to-heart intimacy on which my line of work depends. The song is somewhat muted when it comes from a distinguished person. I can’t whisper in anyone’s ear as the Warrior for Truth. As far as possible, in this celebrity culture, I prefer to operate undercover. There is no room for victory in this curious realm of fragile healing. I seem to be one to whom the scriptural cautions apply: avoid the company of princes and the powerful. I hope you will forgive me.
Once again I thank you for your devotion to our people.
Keep me as the apple of the eye,
Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings,
From the wicked that oppress,
My deadly enemies, that compass me about.
Love and blessings,
(In their discussions, he always signed off with his Hebrew name.)
This holiday always reminds us of the all vocal hip-hop record we produced with beatboxer (Yuri Lane) and rapper (Y-Love). One of the songs is about Sukkot and how to ‘Shake It’ for your Maker (It being the Lulav).
As the High Holidays approach, we wanted to be sure you all are Semitically Swagged out. So, as a big Thank You to all that have continued to support us, we are launching a sale with 35% OFF of everything in The Semitic Shop!
We are loving Eric and Happie’s debut album ‘It’s Yours’! It was just released to the world, and it’s already hit #13 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart!
Eric and Happie might be new to the music world, but their songs and relationship introduce a love that never gets old. Happie Hoffman is a Tennessee southern girl from four generations of Memphians and met Eric Hunker in 2008 at a Jewish Summer Camp in Lake Como, Pennsylvania. There was only one issue; Eric was her counselor. As time passed, the two began running musical programs at Summer camps. Years later they started dating (don’t worry, they’re only three years apart) after everyone but themselves knew that they “liked” each other. Although summer ended, dating, exploration, and youth are all topics that bleed into their music, seamlessly sharing their youthful love.
Eric, on the other hand, is from the DMV (DC, MD, VA) and started making music at ten years old, when he recorded his first demo, “High Voltage.” Reminiscing, Eric has said, “Looking back, I think I was cooler back then. I think I was inspired by the idea that life as a musician meant a life of adventure, almost like a modern day wizard – conjuring something out of nothing. The same idea still inspires me. The idea that when you’re creating music, you’re bringing something new into the world. That still blows my mind.”
The two met 8 years ago, and 5 years later became a couple, writing lines that bring to mind Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. In songs like “It’s Yours”, the lyrics depict classic old country romance, “If there’s any love left in these old bones of mine, it’s yours”, the couple truly convey being wise beyond their years. The EP’s title track is Happie’s favorite, “It speaks to so many people and so many couples when they hear it.” she stated, “It’s the idea of dedicating yourself to someone, even after having been in other, very real relationships before.” For the traveller at heart, songs Like Louisiana and Oklahoma will hit close to home no matter where you are from.
Eric and Happie’s debut album, “It’s Yours” was recorded over the course of a year at studio/animal sanctuary – Mockingbird Studios in Byron, NY. The album highlights the honest weight of love and with a sound reminiscent of Tennis meets The Strumbellas, and a bit of The Civil Wars, their harmonies and song titles might make you jealous of a millennial heart, impossible to attain.
This Wednesday night at one of our favorite venues in Los Angles, Bardot (the home to It’s A School Night), Ninet takes the stage from Israel with love. And with over a decade making her way to the top of Israel’s music scene, Ninet Tayeb has become one of the most successful and infectious female artists in her country, now planning the worldwide release of her 5th album.
Tayeb has shared the stage in support of an eclectic & diverse group of artists over the year including Jesus and the Marry Chain, Cindy Lauper, Robbie Williams and many more – Ninet is definitely ready to bring her live female rock’n’roll energy to a global audience en masse’ – and you’d better want to be there to witness as she takes the stage.
Here’s a #ThrowbackThursday for you all of an unreleased Yitz Jordan (Y-LOVE) track dubbed ‘The Beat Goes On’, produced by Da Prophet and featuring frequent Shemspeed/ collaborator, Jamaican artist, Tj Di Hitmaker.