Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Soldiers' Choice

I love reporting these kinds of things...

A survey was conducted among thousands of Israeli soldiers, asking "Who is your favorite Israeli singer or group?"

The winner? Ninette Tayeb (who hasn't even released her first album!).

Coming in second was the lovely and talented Shiri Maimon, and Beit Habubot came in a distant third. Last year's winner, Ivri Lider, came in fourth.

The winner will perform at a gathering of soldiers in Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv on June 27th. Ninette will be there, in addition to boy band The Gameboys.

Just further evidence of the impact "Kochav Nolad" has had on Israeli culture. Amazing.

(Source: Reshet Gimmel)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Shlomo Artzi's New Album

Big news from Shlomo Artzi:

Reshet Gimmel , quoting Yediot Achronot, says that Shlomo Artzi's next album will be available in time for Passover 2007 - typically a popular time of the year for new releases.

Fans, stay tuned...

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Israel Hour: June 4, 2006

Rami Kleinstein chats with us about his latest album, his wife Rita, his collaboration with Shiri Maimon and his future plans!


The Israel Hour: May 28, 2006

It's the 39th Anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem, and we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim with a plethora of songs professing love for the eternal capital of the State of Israel! Also - enjoy brand new music by Miri Messika and Aviv Gefen.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Rami Kleinstein / Shiri Maimon in NYC 6/6/06

(Note: As you read this, you may notice that I have a new-found crush on Shiri Maimon. Yes, I know I'm a married man, but let's ignore that for now...)

I've always been a big fan of Rami Kleinstein. I've seen Rami live in concert about five times now. He's always impressed me in a big way...from his intimate "Rami and the Piano" show to "Rami and Rita: The Joint Concert" - I've always thoroughly enjoyed watching him perform. He has a great stage presence, is an incredibly talented pianist, and TOTALLY warms up to the crowd by telling some great, humorous stories. And of course, he sings all of the hits. He's usually a bit hoarse when we see him, but it's easy to look past that because we're having so much fun.

With that said, his concert Tuesday night at Symphony Space in New York City has got to be the best I've seen. This time, Rami performed along with his new band, "The Council 2". Although he spent much of his time behind the keyboard, the band's presence allowed him to move all around the stage all night long.

And as we've seen Rami (and Rita) do in the past, he took some time to walk through the audience, with hugs, handshakes, even some photo opportunities for all who could reach him. How cool is that? How many other artists would do the same thing at their concerts?

He sang just about everything you could hope for: (In no particular order) Chutz Mimech Klum, Od Lo Tamu Kol Pla'ayich, Tapuchim U'tmarim, At Shara Baradio, Aish, Inyan Shel Z'man, Al Hagesher Hayashan, Tza'ir Lanetzach, and many others. He also sang three songs from his latest album: Ruchot Milchama, Mashehu Tov and Delet Ha'knisah.

About half way through, he began singing "Bayom Shel Haptzatza." After one verse, he introduced Shiri Maimon, and they finished the song as a duet.

Let's talk about Shiri. Ever since I heard the highlights album for Season One of "Kochav Nolad," I've been blown away by Shiri's voice. What an incredible talent! I still think she should've beat Ninette on Kochav Nolad. She has a phenomenal voice that's incredibly powerful. She sang three more songs on her own: Kama Pe'amim, Hasheket Shenishar and Le'an She'lo Telchi.

True, she didn't do much I hadn't heard before, but I was thrilled to see and hear her live. I could listen to her all day. The audience was genuinely impressed, and in speaking to her manager later, it looks like they're really grooming her to become the next big thing. She's already seen a ton of success in a very short time in Israel, and her manager tells me that they're looking to set up a larger-scale American tour, perhaps later this year. Mairov thinks that, with a few dance lessons, she's going to become Israel's next Rita. We'll see...

(BTW...Some famous people tend to look much better under the lights on TV or on stage, but when you see them close up in person they're not nearly as attractive. We had the chance to speak to Shiri up close and personal after the show, and she looks just as incredible. Hence, my crush...)

Shiri left, then Rami came back. Soon he got the audience up on their feet, cheering and dancing throughout the theater. For an encore, he called Shiri back and they did "Le'an Shelo Telchi" again together, since Rami wrote the song for her (why would they have her sing the same song twice?). Then Rami kicked her offstage to do a couple more songs on his own.

We had a great time. Rami never disappoints and it was a thrill to see Shiri in person. Don't miss either of 'em the next time they're in your town.