What I Like About Jew Watches. Heh.

Two words for you (or potentially, two words hyphenated into a two-word word. which in any case is two words. Whatever.) Heeb-Hop. This term comes to you courtesy of two entities, the JTA and the home of Hebrew Hipsters Gone Wild, London, England:

[…] call them Heeb Hoppers, Heebsters or harbingers of Jewish hipsterism, London youngsters are picking up where Two Live Jews left off, intent on questioning tradition and creating dialogue about what it is to be a Jew.

Poor word choice. If I were writing this, I’d have to go with “harbingers of Hebraic hipsterism,” to maintain the alliterative flow. The article identifies the new musical trend of hip-hop artists identifying with their Jewish roots (hence, “Heeb-hop”), including of course the “Chasidic beatboxer” Matisyahu. They also mention Emunah and Ghettoplotz, and a student/Zionist/hip-hop artist known as Anithesis. But then the article segues to the love of CK’s life the Heeb-Jewdas Punk Purim party. Which we’ve covered enough.

But Jewish music comes in all flavors, from Heeb-hop to klezmer hip-hop fusion, from heavy metal to Pop (or Aba music, as it’s known in Hebrew-speaking countries…yes, folks, she’s kidding…), Jews are representin’ and are in da bayit, yo.

No genre is safe from the lampooning lyrics and music of What I Like About Jew, which is a good thing. And while some of the songs (from their new album “Unorthodox” and which they will perform in concert in NYC this Thursday night, see details below) are certainly likely to ruffle some of the more straitlaced among us and plays with stereotypes in a way that many might not be comfortable with (“Jews drink blood/we’ve done it since the flood/we drain it from the veins of Christian babies ’cause it makes the matzah taste so good.”) the comedic intent should be clear.

“Jewish Chicks” features WILAJ, also known as Rob Tannenbaum and Sean Altman, doing their best Rat Pack imitation for the loungesingery song, which revels in the stereotypes and the grooviness of hot Jewish chicks. The undulating Eastern tones and the patchwork of historical lyrics of “They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived) Let’s Eat” make you yearn, through your laughter, for a better educational system. “Jews for Jesus” begins by lulling you into the comfort of a slower-paced mellow song (think “Crimson and Clover”), with lyrics like “I’d gladly baptize you in my toilet/for you just like the bowl are full of shit…” before the transition to a punk chorus. “A Little off the Top,” is a father’s plea to a mohel, reminiscent of a Sesame Street song (Ernie and Bert come to mind, in particular) that needs no further explanation. And “Taller Than Jesus,” as it turns out, is something many Jewish men can claim…which, come to think of it, would make an excellent description in the “height” category on JDate.

It will surprise no one that the songs I found to be the most relevant was “JDate” with its chorus of “Everyone’s funny and everyone’s smart/And three inches shorter than they say they are” and the self-explanatory and slightly stalkerish but kind of sadly heartbreaking “I’m Better Looking (Than the Guy You’re Going Out With)”.

They’ve been called the “Bart Simpsons of the Yeshiva,” but I think that the equation runs more like this:

(Weird Al + Jewish education) x 2 + (Barenaked Ladies/They Might Be Giants) to the power of South Park

Surely this is something you’d like to experience for yourself, and now, thanks to Jewlicious, you can! We’ve got one pair of tickets to this Thursday’s 9:30 show in NYC and one pair of tickets to the April 20 show at the Tangiers in Los Angeles (location info below) available for Jewlicious readers…and all you have to do to win is to answer this “Six Degrees of Esther” trivia question…

Rob Tannenbaum was part of a television project in which my brother (stage name “Simmy Kay”) also participated. What was the name of that TV project?

First correct answer in the comments section wins a pair of tickets. Only answer if you can make the 9:30pm show in NYC on Thursday night.

Second correct answer wins a pair of tickets to the concert on April 20 at the Tangiers in Los Angeles.

Didn’t win? Want to join your friends who did win? Catch them live in New York Thursday night (2 shows) at the Canal Room ($18 advance, $20 at door, 7pm and 9:30pm, 285 W. Broadway (at Canal St). Tix available at available at Ticketmaster, ConcertsTonight, charge-by-phone, (212) 307-7171 or the Canal Room box office, (212) 941-8100. West Coasters never fear…they’ll be back in Seattle and California during the rest of April. Info on all shows is available on their website.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.

20 Comments

  • I’ve been using the term Heeb-Hop since I started listening to Hadag Nachash many years ago.

  • Ahhh!! Im in New York on Thursday!! Perfect!
    um…must find out what the hell u are asking about!…

    Ok, lets see what google got me then..
    20 Most Awesomely Bad Songs of 2004?? It would seem..

  • Hmm, why am i the only one answering this damn easy competition? Geez, i really am a loser.
    Whatever…Your marvellous search engine gave me:
    VH1’s All Access: So Jewtastic.”

  • Grrrrr….exactly—I knew what the answer was (before reading the comments), but unless I get a free airlift out of the Midwest, I can’t go. Ah well, have a great time!

  • jessi, i don’t think the contest was meant to be particularly challenging. but it would be lame to win a contest in which the prize is useless to you, just for the sake of winning. and anyway esther forbids it.

  • I stole that joke from W.C. Fields, Esther. But now that the contest question has been answered correctly and publicly, let’s see if anyone else gets it right. Or maybe ck can persuade American Apparel to airlift Ziva out of the Midwest.

  • Rob – your t-shirts are not made using American Apparel so fuck that idea. How about this? Insstead of 2 tix to the New York show, we add one pair to the Thursday, April 20 show at the Tangiers on April 20th – the evening of the end of Passover. I’d suggest the next day’s show but that’s on shabbos and we don’t do that ya friggin sheigetz!

  • What’s this “we” crap. soddomite? A rabbi came to our early show Saturday in Vermont. OK, a reformed rabbi, but still: a goddamned rabbi. I expected to see him eating a Swissburger next, or driving a BMW. Welcome to Judaism, where no level of relativism is off limits. Happy to add a pair of L.A. tickets, but I think we need a new quiz question, no?

  • What’s this “soddomite” crap? Rob! You said “What happens in Montreal, stays in Montreal.” Well! You can forget my promise that next time you don’t have to be the bitch.

    As for changing the question, let’s see how fast anyone from LA can simply answer the question that has already been answered. So you got that Los Angelenos? Free pair of tickets to “What I Like About Jew” concert April 20 at the Tangiers in Los Angeles.

  • Jessi’s on her way to NY from London and will be joining me at the show on Thursday night. Do we have another NY person who wants to win by answering the same sorry-ass question?

  • I know! I know!
    It’s VH1’s All Access: So Jewtastic!!!

    I’m in LA, but I had a New Yorker read and explain this thread to me.

  • OK, I think we should give a pair of tickets to David, for his keen intelligence. Unless David was planning to buy a pair of tickets, in which case I should take his cash and give the tickets to someone less affluent.

  • I’m a new fan and think the CD is brilliant. However, I just googled around a bit and found that Sean got married a couple of years ago. If this is true (and I know that everything on the web is absolutely, undeniably true), then I am truly crushed. Sean, do you believe in polygamy? I think you should.

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