jewlicious at the beach

That’s right, we’re adding one hasidic reggae superstar to the Jewlicious @ the Beach guest list.
matisyahu
Matisyahu and his wife Tahli will be joining the JTB2 participants over shabbat, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them.

Spaces are filling up fast, so reserve your spot now for the fun filled extravaganza.

The conference takes place over President Day weekend, Feb 17-20 in Long Beach California.

Click here for more info or here to register now.


About the author

Laya Millman

40 Comments

  • I just registered. Can’t wait to escape the Boston winter and hang out with hundreds of Jewlicious folks in warm Long Beach!

  • and harry, whilst in Amsterdam make sure to put some sumpin’ sumpin’ in your sumpin’ sumpin’ – nawm sayin?

  • You mean there is more going on in Amsterdam than the Van Gogh museum? Ck, you must be talking about putting mayonaise on my french fries. Michael, not sure if they actually make Anne Frank House snow globes…

  • Yo DeathPig! Matisyahu is in town for some reggae ragamuffin festival in Long beach on Sunday. As far as Saturday night goes, well… I can’t promise anything but I know we will have musicians on standby in case Matisyahu wants to flex his vocal chords a little.

  • Oh Harry! How did you know I had a snowglobe collection?

    And congratulations, you left Jewlicious Comment#25,000. Your prize is access to our private FTP with “blue” pictures of the Middle’s penguin from the About Us page.

  • 1- love your site.
    2- didn’t like to see the word “Hashem” of a girl’s boobs.
    3- Matisyahu is number ONE!!
    4- If you want to learn more about Matisyahu go to this new blog:
    http://the-little-things-in-life.blogspot.com/

    there you can find related videos, live shows, photos, P.O.D collaboration with Matisyahu (Roots In Stereo, i’m listening to it right now !), radio interviews, T.V. interviews, press …

    and you can get Matisyahu albums for free :

    http://the-little-things-in-life.blogspot.com/2006/01/get-matisyahus-full-albums-legal-mp3s.html

    5- thank you
    6- have fun

  • Well no Michael. It’s not spam if it’s clearly not mass generated and makes relevant comments to the topic at hand. Matisyahu is going to be our guest. Directing people to his blog, which i didn’t even know existed, is totally appropriate. Even if it’s designed to sell more albums. I mean we blogged about that baby Jesus thing… it was available for sale, no one said boo.

  • Hate to rain on the Matisyahu-love parade, but I saw Mattisyahu on Letterman and I thought he sucked.

    Chabad-babble set to a fakey-sounding reggae beat.

    This is what the fuss is all about?

    Lame, lame, lame.

    Sorry.

  • Ephraim, I could not agree more, I said this months ago.

    I suggested to Matis, that he shift his music to Jewish oriented. He should do well in that genre.

    The whole premise is so full of shtick, that it is impossible to take him seriously.

    The whole idea of someone learning in Crown Heights for a few months and then going on tour 24/7. Playing in places where drugs are sold and consumed, sex and licenciousness are prevalent, and there is some Hassidic figure entertaining them?

    Even a group like ‘Blue Fringe’, there is some value and spirit there.

    Someone seriously tell him to drop the pose, and just do Jewish Hassidic rock.

  • Touring 24/7?

    Not 24/6?

    (Rim shot)

    So he’s Chabad, right? The second I heard him croon “we want Moshiach now”, I immediately thought “OK, we’re done here”. I suppose I should be grateful for all of Chabad’s kiruv work and stuff, and the Chabad rabbi out here has been unfailingly kind, etc., but there’s just something about Chabad that I can’t get behind. I guess I’m just a Litvak at heart.

    Every single frum/Jewish rock band I’ve heard has just totally sucked ass. Lousy bar Mitzvah entertainment, cheap and hackneyed.

    Just stick with real Jewish music, OK? This attempt to be cool to attract fringe-dwellers, while laudable I suppose, just falls on its face aesthetically. It just makes us look incredibly lame, like we have to copy the goyim in order to be “cool”.

    Give me Ofra Haza any damn day of the week. My Hebrew sucks and so I can’t understand the lyrics except for a bit here and there, but at least it’s real Jewish music, even if it was kind of Euro-popped up.

  • What the hell is “real Jewish music”? Avrum Fried? Mordechai Ben-David? There hasn’t been any indigenous Jewish music since the Temple. It’s all ripped off from the goyim. Ofra Haza may be cool and all, but what’s she singing? Jewish lyrics over standard Middle Eastern pop with a European flair, which, allowing for genre difference, is ultimately no different from Matisyahu. Tons of Chasidic niggunim are ripped from European folk songs. The friggin’ Ha-Tikvah is taken from a non-Jewish European song.

    It’s not like I’m the world’s hugest Matisyahu fan, because apparently unlike some people I have no qualms with listening to music made by gentiles and therefore listen to authentic roots reggae, but I think y’all are misunderstanding him. Speaking as a musician (and this may shock you), most musicians like to play the kind of music they like to listen to. Matisyahu liked reggae. Then he got religious. So he continued to perform in a reggae style, except with religious content. It’s not like he plays reggae as sinister Chabad plot to get the fringe Jewish kids involved in order bring Moshiach. He plays reggae ‘cuz…he…likes reggae. Who are you to say that the guy shouldn’t play the music he loves? He’s not a Chasidic rocker pretending to be a rude boy. He’s a reformed rude boy singing about Moshiach. And he sucks a lot less than a lot of his brethren doing “real Jewish music.”

    But the real issue here is this weird fear of everything the gentiles have to offer. Music is music. Its merit comes from its quality, not the religion/ethnic affiliation of its writer. Face it: since Jews are something like .02% of the world’s population, the vast majority of quality music is going to come from non-Jews. Why deny yourself aural pleasure because the guy who wrote the song has a foreskin? That’s…pointless.

    But in the meantime, I guess, enjoy Avrum Fried. Who I really shouldn’t make fun of, since I’ve had dinner at his house and since he’s a really nice guy. But you get my point.

  • I don’t oppose listening to goyish music at all. For example, I love the Renaissance German Protestant composer Michael Preatorius in spite of the fact that his lyrics are blatantly, even sickeningly, Xian. I just bleep them out, since I don’t speak German. I love his sound, though. And I heard some very nice Jewish Baroque music. Sounded just like regular Baroque church music except the lyrics were all in Hebrew.

    As far as Haza is concerned, a lot of her niggunim were traditional Yemeinite stuff just gussied up with Euro-pop instrumentation. But her stuff was, at heart, traditional Yemenite stuff. Or so I have been led to believe. Besides, when you say it’s just standard ME pop music, how do you not know that much of that was not influenced by Jewish music? The Jews were just as much a part of traditional ME culture as was anyone else. The same in Europe. Who influenced whom?

    I guess it was the combination of Chabad/reggae that turned me off. The guy came off as a poser, that’s all. But if he’s a reggae dude who got religious, fine. More power to him.

    Still don’t like it though.

    And I have no friggin’ idea who Avrum Freid is.

  • Avrum Fried: King and Master of, uh…”niche market” Hasidic pop.

    So I guess I misinterpreted you. For that I apologize. However, about Jews influencing music in the Middle East and Europe, I would argue that since they tended to be oppressed and powerless and in small numbers, not to mention insular, they probably didn’t have a profound cultural influence. I mean, logically, if the Jews had their own indigenous music that they carried with them to the Diaspora, then different Diaspora communities should have had similar music, which is not really true. Which isn’t to say that minority groups strongly influencing their surrounding dominant peoples culturally is impossible (look at black people in the US), but the fact that every Jewish community has its own music roughly equivalent to that of the surrounding gentiles would seem to imply that most of the influence came from the gentiles themselves. Ofra Haza’s music is definitely chiefly Arab-derived – she recorded albums in Arabic. Jewish Yemenite music isn’t really any different musically from Arab Yemenite music in terms of instrumentation, tonality and rhythm. Sure, maybe the Jews came up with it first, but probably not, and in any case, I don’t want to get into a chicken-and-egg argument.

    As far as Matisyahu, I don’t really see any conflict with Chabad and reggae per se. Most reggae is religious music, and Rastafarianism of course draws extremely heavily on Judaism. You know, Zion, Babylon, Tribes of Israel, slavery. So, in a way, Jewish reggae is just taking back our imagery.

  • You may or may not be right. It really doesn’t matter too much to me, really; taste in music is probably one of the most subjective things there is.

    And I don’t do the chicken-and-egg thing unless it is to make the delicious Japanese dish Oyako Donburi, which is essentially a bowl of rice topped with a soft soy-sauce flavored chicken-and-egg omlette with a lot of green onions (hence the name “Oyako”, which means “parent and child”; the “donburi” is the bowl). Nummers.

    Of course, Matisyahu can sing whatever he wants, more power to him. Just not my thing. I don’t think there is necessarily any “conflict” between Chabad and reggae; the Chabad part of it probably bugged me more than the reggae.

    And I seem to have a real problem with overt and self-consciously “spiritual” music; it affects me the way “Kumbayah” does; I just want to gird my loins and start slitting throats. I got some CD of something that, to my horror, turned out to be some kind of New-Agey, chavura-ish crunchy granola Whole Jewish Catalog Jewish “World” music: some guy breathlessly singing religious lyrics in a self-conscious “look how spiritual I am” kind of way.

    Dude was damn lucky he wasn’t in the room with me when he tried that shit.

    Give me that shit-kicking Mizrachi stuff any day.

  • Chabad is the best and only movement bein’ true and upfront wit us. Yeah they “want Moshiach Now”, but that is like the highest level. What else do y’all want!!

  • You are all loosers…. He may have some shtick & I am not really into the reggea thing myself, but how foolish is it for you to tell him what kind of music to sing for him to be good? Last I checked he was # 35 in the US in CD’s sold on Amazon!!!!! I dont think he needs your advice how to make it….

    And what’s up with the Chabad thing?? I am a “secular” Jew but I love the Chabad Rabbi & his crowd on campus. Every time I hear someone make a snyde remark about about Chabad, all I can think is … another self hating Jew…..

  • So now I’m being called a “self-hater” by some secular dude?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    Why don’t I like Chabad?

    1) The Rebbe is dead. He wasn’t the Moshiach. Get over it.

    2) You don’t need a Rebbe to know which way the wind blows.

    But that’s a problem I have with Chassidut in general, not just Chabad.

    My guess is that in typical secular fashion, since you don’t observe and are secretly guilty about it, you think that Chabad are the “real” Jews, so you warm yourself by their fire as you go along with your chazzer-fressing Chillul Hashemming ways, content to know that when you need your Yiddishkeit fix you can always go slumming in the shtetl. Fine, knock yourself out.

    And since when am I telling Matisyahu to do anything? I just don’t like his sound.

  • by Jewish music, that is to use our sources, as is done. Why not take a particular pasuk, which very few people heard, and make it popular to them, this could lead to many good things.

  • Michael misunderstands the authentic Baal Teshuva person. One who does these commandments completely and so on. The dress he wears, the Chassidic garb is meant to be holy, now you may smirk at this, but that is their philosophy.

    So what is he doing playing venues that suck, in terms of this philosophy that he took upon himself.

    I could care less about the R’ aspect of the music. I happen to like R’ alot, but my taste is more Bob Marley but I do enjoy this sub genere or how you refer.

    I am speaking as a music consumer, that I am not getting that much out of his music.

    SO I want him to do stuff like I would enjoy, sort of if you are at a concert and you want the band to do a song, so they listen to you or not?

  • I feel bad for you Ephraim, why so angry? You have problems that go far beyond your hatred for Chassidut and Chabad – how could you talk in such a way about a fellow jew and group of jews -especially a Tzaddik like the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
    And yes little Dylan-chik – you DO need a Rebbe to know which way the wind blows… (make wailing harmonica sound here). I hope Moshiach comes soon so you can get a spiritual “potch” you so richly deserve.

  • There are plenty of mitnagdim who do not have a “Rebbe” in the Chassidic sense. Are they going to get “spiritually potched” also?

    I have no hatred for Chabad or for Chassidut in general. It just ain’t my style.

    As I said, the Chabad rabbi out here in my neck of the woods has been unfailingly supportive, and in many ways they do great work. And the Chabad shaliach in Tokyo opens his house to everyone and is an all-around great guy.

    I was, however, hearing Friday night kiddush delivered by a Chabad guy once, and right in the middle he added a bunch of stuff about “our Rebbe, the Moshiach”. I practically plotzed right then and there. I thought I was hearing a straight-up kiddush, and all of a sudden this guy just goes off on what seemed by me to veer dangerously close to an avodah zara schtick. I mean, who gave him permission to change the wording of the kiddush? Yes, I know that Chabad has undergone something of a schism over this issue and that there are people in Chabad who are not Rebbe messianists. But this element of Chabad gives me pause.

    But, like I said, the main thing I didn’t like abiut Matisyahu was the fact that his music sucked and he seemed to be something of a poser.

    That is simply a matter of my personal taste. If you like him, go ahead and listen.

    And, yeah, I’ll stick with Dylan. His midrash on the Akeidah in Highway 61 Revistied is deep.

  • I hope MT will just do zemiros and Carlebach at least on Shabbos, it would be much better for all.

    I did like that Israeli group, I thin called Shutei HaKfar? Pretty nice sound, altho on the mellow side. I bought one at the BG airport recently. The guy at that music store said there was another group to get as well, but I was already moving on.

  • I have alot to say, but, I don’t think anyone reads comment number 35!
    Still, michael:

    1- yes, I do make a little money (very little) from reffering people to download Matisyahu’s albums for free. what is wrong with that?

    – You get free and LEGAL albums.
    – Matisyahu gets credit for it.
    – Many more people get to hear Matisyahu, and maybe go and see him live.
    – I get some cash.

    It’s a win win …

    If me making alittle money makes you feel bad, go to eMusic and download the albums stright from their site. I hope that will make you feel better.

    2- I’m from “The Land Of Milk And Honey” so I’m unfamiliar with the term “brownnose”.

    3- I have made a very nice blog, you might enjoy reading through it, relax I don’t get paid when you just read it (oh, careful not to click the google ads).

    4- Not sure if michael is a female or a male.

    5- For all you jews who never been to Israel, you should come, we have a grate country. I believe you will feel right at home.

    6- Take care and say “NO” to drugs 😉

  • wow jewish people pretty much suck, you guys control all the media, Isreal is a disgrace…Free Palestine…you guys are a bunch of penny pinching whores…leeching off the american dreams. P.S. Your still going to hell.

  • Hello i just came to this page cause i was searching for meaning of hasidic reaggae obiviously due to popularity of Matisyahu. Right here i am from India never heard the word hasidic. Than i came across this page with some critics of that guy.
    Hey dudes i think Matisyahu is doing what other jewish singers couldnt do that is spreading the words which people like me never knew existed like words like Mosiah , Hashem and all other. As far as i think ppl here criticising Matisyahu are nuthin more than leg pullers who wont let any body rise but pull legs coz they cant do something fruitful themselves.

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