Cannabis Chassidis & back when Matis had multiple ss & tt’s
Back when Matisyahu spelled his name like “Mattissyahu” (I think that lasted for a month or so) and opened up for my band, Juez at the Knitting Factory when i went by dj handler, I took a photo of Yoseph Leib with teffilin on, djin on my turntables in my Grattan St. apartment before I realized my neighborhood was hipster central. I ended up moving three blocks away to the McKibbin Lofts where the infamous rooftop punk/hiphop/BBQ/DJ parties were thrown, but before that I was on Grattan and had no clue that those lofts even existed. It was the difference between the Morgan stop and not venturing out. And the Montrose stop and being clued in. I remember Yoseph, Crazy Yoseph, as we all called him, would come over and daven to the music I was putting out on my label, I thought it was such a trip. Ahron, of Blanket Statementstein who I was living with at the time, would drag us out to LIT, just about every night and I recall Yosef downstairs cloaked in white and dancing in whirling dervish style circles…All of the sudden the bouncers came up to him and kicked him out for no other reason than, “they didn’t know what to make of him.” We all looked on in shock and at the same time found it hilarious and sad that a venue that prided itself on its weirdo & hipster patrons, kicked someone out for being themselves. Fast forward 6 years and I’m Shabbasing with Eprhyme and he shows me this book called, “Cannabis Chassidis”. I thought, ok this is going to be some stoner book that will hold my attention for at most 3-5 minutes. As I started reading, I realized the book was more about the beauty and struggle of life and how poetic it all is, even the sadness and if only one views that sadness as poetry then the world is one…..and beauty will come. Ok, I made that up…I didn’t get to read the whole book, but from what I read, it was deep, thought provoking and poetic. Yoseph writes on his blog that he will hand deliver the book if you email him. I just emailed him, but then realized we sell it in the Shemspeed Store! (direct link)
– Erez Safar
* check back in for Eprhyme’s review later this week!