Last night was the first show of missFlag’s mini-tour of Israel. A packed house assembled at the Yellow Submarine in East Talpiot to hear what turned out to be a most excellent show. The boys were in fine form and the venue was a perfect match for the band’s intimate brand of emo-rock punctuated by fine musicianship, Assaf Kraus keeping the beat and Ohad Eliyon’s breathy vocals. A little birdie told me that they may perform again on July 3rd in Jerusalem at Shlomzi in a show that coincides with ROI120, but don’t tell anyone.

The highlight of the evening for me, and by highlight I mean period of absolute mortification, was when the band dedicated their cover of Britney Spears’ Toxic to me. I mean, the gesture was sweet and all, but what am I supposed to think when Israel’s leading indie band, poised on the cusp of stardom, sings the following lyrics in honor of me: “With the taste of your lips I’m on a ride, You’re toxic I’m slippin’ under, With the taste of the poison paradise, I’m addicted to you, don’t you know that you’re toxic? And I love what you do, don’t you know that you’re toxic?” So much for my campaign to promote myself as a good, nice, sweet, dependable guy. Now I’m told a guy like me should wear a warning. Thanks guys. I love you too.

The after party was fun as well, and we were joined by the usual suspects including Lori, Esther and Lindsay of Livnot. Fun times, fun times. I really am truly sorry that you all couldn’t be there. This has nothing to do with Zionism and everything to do with what an excellent time we had. Why aren’t you here?? Seriously. Quit your job, hop on a plane, look me up and let’s all just enjoy the fabulousness that is Jerusalem in the summer. Fuck politics, Gaza, Hezballah, rioting Haredim, the shidduch crisis, cold sores, Yoni Shimmel’s bakery, the World Jewish Congress, Barack Obama, cellulite, 9-11 conspiracy theories, your goofy uncle, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Renewal Movement, Heeb magazine – fuck all that.

Let’s party. Oh… and happy birthday Leah Stern!

Here’s the bonus footage I was talking about – it’s missFlag performing a cover of True Colors by Cyndi Lauper.

Just so you know, the band also performs original music, all in English. You can hear it on their Web site or simply search for “missflag” on youtube.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Of course my lungs are black from being in the smoking room, but I guess that’s the prices of being a VIP. Live fast, die…hopefully no time soon. I’ve got deadlines.

  • How can you call it emo-rock? Its no where close to emo, thats a slap in missflags face.

  • I was waiting for some music geek to jump down my throat for that incorrect designation. “emo” is a term of art and missFlag is neither Fugazzi nor My Chemical Romance… let’s just say missFlag is a rock band with influences such as Coldplay, REM and uh… GWAR. Yeah. GWAR. OK? Now you can jump down my throat.

  • Jon: Well, not really, certainly not in the sense of hanging out backstage and servicing the boys. But they are friends of mine and I like their music as well as their mission to project an image of Israel overseas that is fun and not all political and full of conflict. Also they are on this mini tour, Assaf the drummer is an ROI120 participant AND they will be performing during the conference. So they’ve been unusually newsworthy of late. But check out my next post… we don’t support only one band…

  • Are there original songs available, or just covers? Because if the latter than *yawn*.

  • CR: “Just so you know, the band also performs original music, all in English. You can hear it on their Web ( http://www.missflag.com ) site or simply search for “missflag” on youtube.” That was in the post.

  • CR: Even good ones by say… Me First and the Gimme Gimmes? Marianne Faithful’s painful rendition of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” that totally transcended the original? Laibach’s version of “Sympathy for the Devil?” 10,000 Maniacs’ version of Cat Stevens/Yussuf Islam’s “Peace Train?” I mean, covers can be good ya know – as long as you bring something new to the table. I could go on and on of course but you get my point, right? missFlag’s cover of Toxic is like that, Ohad made it his own. Not so yawn inducing I think.

  • 10,000 Maniacs’ “Peace Train?” Dude, Merchant sings it “Peace Twain.” That is decidedly not a classic just like Merchant’s “Because the Night” is a pale copy of Patti Smith’s version.

    For a great cover, we head over to Canada for the Cowboy Junkies’ “Sweet Jane.”

  • I don’t disagree with you on Cowboy Junkies’ “Sweet Jane” but Nathalie Merchant can eat you for breakfast. You probably don’t like Le Tigre either. It’s OK. Different strokes for different folks.

  • I’m failing to see how missFlag is making this “their own”. What they’re doing is taking a poppy, not particularly serious song, and making it semi-serious. Half the novelty is hearing something silly painted up with emotion. BTW, I believe Travis did this a couple of years ago with “Hit Me One More Time” – and that too was a Britney song! (And it was done as a joke). I realize this process of seriousing-up a song has a long and rich history (although it seems to have reached epidemic proportions in the YouTube age), but personally, I’m not down.

    Good covers? Bowie’s covers of Pixies and Neil Young on the last two albums. Took the songs and made them his own in the style of the album they were on.

    Can’t wait for the video clip of Chris Martin singing “She’s like, so whatever, I’m like, you can do better”…

  • I just got depressed that the video included the description a “real old classic.” I mean, it’s The Pixies, not Cream.

  • Oh CR! You did not just judge an Israeli band made up of non-native English speakers who perform in English to David Bowie?? I am not saying that their joke cover of “Toxic” is an instant classic. I put the vid up because a) they dedicated it to me b) I thought that was hilarious (see previous conversations on the “Gay or Israeli” game we like to play here. Now cut these boys some slack CR – or better yet, come hang out with us in Jerusalem and find out where Israel’s real party capital is. Seriously. Do it man. I’ll even buy you a beer.

    Adam: I hope that “real old classic” description was tongue in cheek…