The Summer of Aharoni 5755

The spring here still hesitates. Jerusalem is really cold and windy. Tel-Aviv is very hot in comparison. The weather has gone quite crazy. I don’t mind, Israeli summers can be a drag.

Berry Sakharof released a new album. The timing is quite surprising – he usually releases his records in the winter. This time his reluctance from publicity took to a new level – he didn’t even release anything to the radio.

The record is good. Highly addictive. The best since Calor en la Luna. I admit that i was surpised and relieved. Negioth was a great disappointment after the stunning Luna and L’autre was excellent at times, but somehow imperfect. The new record, 11-alef, has Rea “Dumbeat” Mochiach in the production seat, and his electronic touch is felt, but the record is still rocking and very consistent.

The interesting part about the album, except the great music, is that the legendary studio wizard Steve Albini (of the Surfer Rosa and In Utero fame) is listed as one of the “recording technicians”. In Hebrew! I posted a question about that on Berry’s official message board and got an official reply from Mr. Mochiach himself, that Steve indeed recorded the drums on the song “The Whole Elephant”, Rea’s characteristic mumblefunk piece, in the vein of “Ani Rotse Midaber”. This messageboard question, however, lead to another wholly surprising development: a female board member, whom i shall call K. for privacy reasons, told me that she doesn’t know much about Steve Albini, but that my blog was interesting and that she’d be happy to meet me at the gig in Jerusalem. This was good, cuz first of all i didn’t even notice that there’s going to be a gig in Jerusalem, and more importantly, because i love meeting actual living people from the other side of the Net (Oh, Silvia, quando ti incontrerò?).

I went to the concert alone – Hadar was too busy with the homework. K. identified me and we had an interesting talk – apparently she’s a very serious musician. The gig was totally amazing. One of the best. As usual, it was much better than anything Berry ever played in Tel-Aviv, even though he had a sore throat. Rea played drums and was very precise and cool; he also sang backing vocals most of the time but, as usual, he was inaudible. In fact it’s getting quite annoying – keyboards and backing vocals are almost never heard at Berry’s gigs. I wonder why guitarist/back-vocalist Oren Lotenberg bothers at all. I think he even tried harmonies, but maybe i’m just imagining. To tell you the truth, however, it doesn’t really matter, because the guitar, bass and drums sound was superb. Berry knows what’s important. The place itself, “The Lab”, was surprisingly clean and orderly and large; it had an actual stage and seats and a dancefloor. Almost like a little Cinerama. Which is good.

K. stood next to me most of the time, but i lost sight of her at the end. It’s a shame, i didn’t even get to say “good night” properly. Even though i knew her for only a few hours, it felt kinda awkward.

Ah, and the beer was good too.

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