The Wailing Wall is New York-based multi-instrumentalist, Jesse Rifkin.
The Wailing Wall's first record, Hospital Blossoms, released free on the JDub Records website, was downloaded well over 15,000 times by new fans all around the world. That project landed Jesse live spots on MTVU, WNYC Soundcheck, WFMU and Fearless Music TV. omega replica watches
Now, Jesse's new record, The Low Hanging Fruit, is a mirror of his own struggle with a much beloved and alien world. Still hungry and skeptical after 11 years of Orthodox day school education, and questioning his belief in a benevolent higher power, Jesse turned to the strains of Sufi Qawwali music, Hindu Kirtan chanting, Renaissance and Baroque church music. Looking back, perhaps this wasn't a turn so much as a return:
"My parents first met in a Siddha Yoga ashram in California where they both spent years following a guru named Swami Muktananda...[and] I grew up meditating and chanting with them. So throughout my childhood, there was an awareness of both Jewish and Hindu liturgical traditions," says Jesse.montblanc replica watches
Indeed, the vibrant, multicultural dreamscape on The Low Hanging Fruit is a great departure from the rough, woodland edges of Hospital Blossoms. The Wailing Wall has expanded his instrumental palate, including the disparate choices of sitar, singing saw and pipe organ. Still, Jesse maintains his trademark attention to detail and a preoccupation with language. "Throughout the ages, mystics have come up with some astoundingly beautiful ways to express things that are inherently beyond expression. I am in love with the poetry of the Bible, especially Psalms and Song of Songs, and have also been heavily influenced by St. John of the Cross, Rabindranath Tagore, Mirabai, and Rumi, among others."
The Low Hanging Fruit is the product of a difficult year for Jesse, fueled by a series of personal setbacks and letdowns. However, even in times of darkness, Jesse was able to find some sense of comfort, hope and spiritual purpose in the act of self-expression. On "For C.M.R," he laments "that light is hidden still because/the light omega replica watches hides like it always does/sometimes I wonder why we bother trying/but still somehow we able on/another dusk another dawn/and I feel another song my lips are forming."
The record could not have come together without Jesse's collaboration with ANTI recording artist Tim Fite. Tim guided the recording process, which primarily took place in a barn in Columbia, NJ, with additional work in a high school auditorium in Blairstown, NJ, Tim's studio in Brooklyn and Wesleyan University's memorial chapel. "My process in recording and performing has always been to follow spontaneous moments of inspiration...[but] Tim taught me how to make a record with care and patience, to put bvlgari replica watches consideration and work into every single note until it is at the exact place where it needs to be, and to let those moments of spontaneous inspiration lead to even greater moments of total awareness and control."
Over the past few years, The Wailing Wall has been joined live and on record by a diverse and lengthy list of co-conspirators, including members of and contributors to such bands as Camera Obscura, Titus Andronicus, Eli "Paperboy" Reed, Pepi Ginsberg, Mountain Man, DeLeon, Dinowalrus, The So So Glos, Thanksgiving, The Grates and Wolf Colonel.
Girls in Trouble’s Upcoming Album
Half You Half Me
Brings the Stories of Biblical Heroines to Light
“I find myself often going back to that record [Girls in Trouble] and marveling at the storytelling skills of Alicia Jo Rabins… Half You Half Me is another captivating collection of first person tales of women in the Torah.”– Largehearted Boy
On May 17th, 2011 JDub Records will release Half You Half Me, the sophomore album from “hauntingly lovely” (LA Weekly) group Girls in Trouble. Through Girls in Trouble, unrecognized Biblical heroines are given a voice to tell their side of the story. Brooklyn poet and multi-instrumentalist Alicia Jo Rabins’s lyrics bring these women to life with tales of androgynous storm demons, jealous sisters and knife accidents.
The album is already available for pre-order through iTunes! California tour information below!Hailed by Largehearted Boy as a “Favorite Album of 2009,” the band’s self-titled debut was “filled with stories of women from Jewish history that resonate strongly in today’s world.” In one song, Moses’s sister Miriam is exiled and struck with leprosy—in another, a little girl is sacrificed by her father. On Girls in Trouble’s debut, the women featured as passive heroes: on Half You Half Me, they fight back.
Half You Half Me is the logical next-step from the band’s debut: on Half You Half Me, lyrical and musical horizons expand past sweet story telling into more complex terrain.
Rabins gives voice to the first woman who dared to stand up for herself against man on the album’s first single, “We Are Androgynous.” Before Adam and Eve, there was Adam and Lilith, and they (literally) could not be separated. In one version of this creation myth, the pair originated as a two-headed being. After being split, Lilith acted as if she was Adam’s equal– and was banished from the Garden of Eden as a result.
Preview “We Are Androgynous” HERE!
Through Half You Half Me, the stories of these embattled Biblical women play out amidst a spirited orchestrated background. Girls in Trouble utilizes their full band to bring life to each song, featuring upright bass, drums, accordion, and electric guitars.
Learn more about Girls in Trouble through their MySpace page and follow their “California Exodus Dreaming Tour” on Facebook!
Catch Girls In Trouble when they perform LIVE in your city:
4/13/11 San Francisco Viracocha
4/14/11 Davis, CA Sophia’s Thai Kitchen*
4/15/11 Berkeley, CA Subterranean Art House*
4/16/11 Los Angeles IKAR
4/17/11 Los Angeles The Smell
4/20/11 San Diego Tin Can Alehouse
4/23/11 Santa Barbara Biko Garage
5/4/11 Columbia, MD Oakland Mills Interfaith Center
5/5/11 Raleigh, NC Pinhook
5/7/11 Atlanta, GA Highland Ballroom
5/8/11 Carrboro, NC Leo Gaev Metalworks
5/11/11 Baltimore, MD Windup Space
5/19/11 New York, NY Joe’s Pub
5/20/11 Hudson, NY Spotty Dog
5/29/11 Beckett, MA Dreamaway Lodge
* with Mirah
For press inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Huffington Post recently interviewed Jesse Rifkin on the Wailing Wall and reviewed his new album, The Low Hanging Fruit.
Within the mellifluous chords of The Wailing Wall’s indie music, we hear the discord of a ukulele jamming with a guitar, a trumpet vying for airtime with a bass, and a harmonium and pipe organ on stage with a trash can. This beautiful, organic pandemonium again puts us in touch with the creative origins of Jewish prayer.
That’s Jewish rebellion at its best. That’s real ‘bad.’
The Wailing Wall received a great review today on Pitchfork from writer Joshua Klein. In the review Klein writes of “The Low Hanging Fruit” the new album from The Wailing Wall as:
“No Old Country kitsch fest. Rather, Rifkin goes deeper and broader, invoking the Bible as an anchor but opening up beyond the standard Judeo-Christian axis. Influences here include Qawwali drones and Hindu chants to go with his folk-rock echoes of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.”
Holy Shit, they compare him to Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan, that’s one hell of a compliment!
But the review gets better:
“There’s an undeniable poetry to Rifkin’s words as well, which certainly helps convey the personal nature of this particular musical journey. Admittedly, when it comes to pop culture, religion is the ultimate low-hanging fruit. A sprinkle of theology can easily, lazily convey a hint of import or profoundness even where none exists. But for all its time-tested signifiers, Rifkin’s struggle to find meaning in life rings honest and compelling.
What’s more impressive than Rifkin’s introspective voyage, however, is the confident way he flits from tabla and sitar vibes on “Bones Become Rainbows” to the austere guy-with-guitar of “For C.M.R.” (where he manages to out-nasal Dylan), or from the sunny folk-rock of “Dandelion” to the harmonium bliss of “Fear No Apple, Fear No Flood”. These songs flow together with convincing inspiration. If the results themselves are ultimately less inspiring than they are admirable, that likely has less to do with Rifkin’s craft and more to do with the album’s meditative nature. After all, he’s the one on the road to revelation. We’re just the spectators, curious to learn where he finally ends up.”
The Wailing Wall’s new record, The Low Hanging Fruit, is officially out today!
called the record “open-eared, with sounds plucked from every patch of earth.”
Above, watch the band performing “Bones Become Rainbows” during the recent CD release show in NYC!
Multi-instrumentalist Jesse Rifkin aka The Wailing Wall have a new record called The Low Hanging Fruit which drops next Tuesday, June 8th and is available for Pre-Order right NOW from Amazon, iTunes and the JDub Webstore (for only $7.99 + a free pin).
Furthermore, The Wailing Wall and Tim Fite will be playing a show at NYC’s Mercury Lounge this Friday and this is one show of the summer not to miss.
Friday, June 4th
@ Mercury Lounge (217 E. Houston St.)
Doors 7:30 pm
The Wailing Wall 8:00 pm
Tim Fite 9:00 pm
and don’t forget to become a Fan on Facebook
Check out this little impromptu performance of the band rocking out to a song from their new record in someone’s kitchen and some people wearing their jammy’s.
A legend in his own right, the Gangsta Rabbi is a one man machine, playing flute, bass (backwards and upside down) and a myriad of percussion machines and pedals. By day, a town comptroller, by night– Steve Lieberman is the Gangsta Rabbi, a snarling, savage beast on stage and in his home-studio.
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