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The Somewhat Litvshe Yid

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Going back and forth...

So, I'm a Chozer B'Tshuvah. (Not a Ba'al Tshuvah...I took a good dose of mussar from the bochen at YU, who when I mentioned I was a Ba'al Tshuvah, looked at me askance and said "Really? I'm still working on it.") Having grown up in America, in your standard middle class home, public schooling, non-Jewish friends, etc. I garnered a healthy appreciation for a very wide range of music. Everything from Classical (I lean towards 19th century Russian composers, much to my Rav's amusement, he seems to think Tschaikovsky is over rated and once explained to me the concept of Merkavah using Mozart as the example of what a Merkavah is, though he prefers Bach) to hardcore Punk and Metal (my cellphone ring was Metallica's Enter Sandman, but my wife gave me a look, so I changed it to Lynard Skynard's Sweet Home Alabama). I have days and days worth of it on my iPod (as well as lots of shiurim, since I'm not a complete sheigitz).
The thing is I wouldn't let my kids listen to any of it. So, on some level, I know it's not really the best thing for me to listen too. I just can't bring myself to listen to Chassidshe music. I mean, the occasional MBD or Avraham Fried song is palatable. I can deal with Matisyahu (even with all the Chabad lyrics), since he's playing real music, not over produced show tunes. But...when will I get a band like the Clash with Heimishe lyrics? It's also a simple question of range. There just simply aren't enough musically inclined Jews out there willing to write/perform songs with the type of lyrics I'd be happy exposing my kids too. How many frum music acts are there? Two-three hundred? I'm not talking about wedding bands who rehash other people’s music, I'm talking about people able to create their own sound. I don't care if it's in Hebrew, English, or even Yiddish. There will never be a serious frum Ska scene; there isn't enough talent and not a large enough audience.
So, I guess I'm going to have to either stick with what I've got and hope it doesn't affect me spiritually, or I'll have to give it up, which I've tried in the past. I was miserable. I've even tried to listen to only Classical. That worked for a couple weeks. Then I got very stressed out about something at work and from experience the only thing that would calm me down enough to be able to deal with the kids when I got home that night, was to find the hardest song with the heaviest beat and play it as loud as I could on the car ride home. Worked wonders.
So...that's my dilemma of the week. To rock out or not to rock out.
Now, pardon while I put on some U2 (which happens to be the last band I saw live in concert...but that's another story, one that got me quite the look from my Rav at YU).


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