Don't get me wrong, I listen all kinds of music - everything from Opera to Eminem, but nothing does it for me like a zaftige new album from say - Shwekey, or Lev Tahor. I was excited to get Rihanna's new single, but The 8th Note made me rejoice, and while I love a good Michael Buble Shtickle, he could never satisfy me the way Ohad, or Baruch Levine can.
"How could you listen to that?" My wife asks me all the time, and I really don't have a good answer, I vehemently disagree with most of what is said in these songs, and often find myself laughing at what I'm saying when I sing along with them, yet I persist. As I type now, I'm listening to Yeedle's new album, (it's not bad).
It's gotten to the point where I don't even hide it anymore, and I've had to explain what the hell it is that I'm listening to-to more than one Lieutenant Colonel, (don't ask). I've even gotten a buddy of mine - who's Mexican and has never met a Chassidic Jew - hooked on The Yeshiva Boys Choir! At the gym in the morning, there's only so far you can go with the Rocky theme, but give me J-Walking, and I'm good for hours, and there's really nothing like pumping iron to The Chevra.
I listen to hours of podcasts weekly, but the one I look forward to most is The Sameach Music Podcast, and one of the web-sights I frequent most is The Jewish Music Review. I was highly disappointed - yet not surprised - when The Big Event was canceled, although I wouldn't have been able to attend, I was looking forward to the videos.
In other words I'm obsessed with Jewish music.
I do realize that if I where to have a conversation with any one of these Jewish music stars, I would be annoyed to no end by them, in fact I have met several of them, and I wouldn't want to associate myself willingly with them, but somehow when they put their words to a tune I can't get enough of it.
Growing up in the Chassidishe community, music was the only thing I whole heartedly embraced, while I didn't quite feel comfortable with many aspects of my upbringing, music always made me happy. And what a fan I was, I would go to every live show I could, memorized every detail about every Jewish music star, and built a huge CD collection. But I never paid much attention to what was being said, although I knew and understood all the lyrics, and I feel the same way now. For that reason, I can listen to Christian rock, The Gipsy Kings, or sappy love songs, and enjoy them, as long as the melody is nice, the musicianship is good, I can dig it.
Sometimes my wife will say things like "are you sure you don't agree with what their saying?" While she and I both know better, I still wonder - what is it that has me so hooked? Is it just that I grew up listening to this kind of music, or is there more to it?