Did you know my unknowing muse Ivri Lider has a new album? Live, backed up by the Revolution Orchestra instead of his usual (amazing) touring band. Really nifty arrangements of classsic tracks—including a gorgeous version of “Leonardo,” my favorite from his first album—and two each from his two most recent studio albums. Plus one new song, the delightful “Blah Bla Blah.”
Thursday 2 August was my late mother’s birthday. She would have been eighty-six. Also my imaginary friend Rusty Shirazi’s nineteenth, who shares Lee Jeffers’s birthday for reasons I’ve enumerated before. I was preoccupied with freelance work all day, though, and shamefully forgot the duple occasion.
Friday 3 August, yesterday, my muse of the last four or five years Ivri Lider released his sixth full-length studio album, Mishehu Paam (Somebody Once). Naturally I bought and downloaded it right fast. I’ve been w.a.i.t.i.n.g. His last, Beketzev A’hid Batnu’ot Shel Haguf (The Steady Rhythm of Body Movements), came out in 2008! I mean, the last four years haven’t been entirely barren of Ivriana—his side project with Jonny Goldstein, The ¥oung Professionals, is tremendous fun—but, well, Ivri’s solo work broke my ten-year-long writer’s block.
And so, how is it, the new album? Admittedly, Ha’anashim Ha’chadashim (The New People, 2002), the first album I downloaded, will always be the sentimental favorite and Beketzev A’hid Batnu’ot Shel Haguf on first listen made me wish to die, on second to live forever. So Mishehu Paam had a lot to live up to. The title track was promising: the video hit YouTube in May.
Heartbreaking visually, musically and vocally powerful.
The remaining twelve tracks? Took a couple of listens to creep up on me. No standout that’s going to displace “Ha’anashim Ha’chadashim,” “Al Kav Ha’mayim,” “Sfarad,” or my god “Bo” from the 2002 release or basically every track from the 2008 from my affections, but really. Yes. Yes.
Here’s the second video, “Mazal Tov Israel,” a doubtless terribly topical (if one understands Hebrew) collabo with Mooke.
Added to the soundtrack for the three stories I’m working on: “The Oily Man,” a tale from the subcontinent first mentioned back in May and Still. Not. Done. Dammit; another, as yet untitled, subcontinental story; and the fourth Liam story, “…and the Changelings.” And for the on-going revision of the novel in which Rusty Shirazi plays such a central part. (Happy belated, Rusty!) And the designing and the editing and the designing and the proof reading.
Oh, unlikely. But still a flattery: my bite-size science fiction story of the very near future, “The Arab’s Prayer” (M-Brane SF #24, January 2011), has been selected for reprint in Steve Berman’s Wilde Stories 2012: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction. A book I will most likely copyedit, design, and lay out. Meta or what?
I will take the opportunity, as I do just about every time I mention “The Arab’s Prayer,” to embed the video for Israeli pop star Yehonathan’s anthemic “Waiting for You (Tel-Aviv),” which provided both inspiration and soundtrack.
I’d been peripherally aware of T¥P all summer. One of its principals is Israeli superstar Ivri Lider, about whom I go on and on. But I hadn’t paid a great deal of attention as A) the project appeared to be directed toward an international—that is, English speaking—audience and a significant aspect of my infatuation with Ivri’s music has to do with my inability to understand the Hebrew lyrics; B) the first single was called “D.I.S.C.O.,” which, well, really? in 2011?; C) I had a lot of other stuff on my mind.
I was wrong, okay? I even like “D.I.S.C.O.” although my favorite tracks, I think, are “Wake Up,” “Deserve,” “Dirty Messages,” and the cover of Suzanne Vega’s “Blood Makes Noise.”
Ravishing new English-language song from ravishing Israeli singer Ivri Lider, whose discography has had a profound effect on my work and life for the last several years. “Back Home,” from the soundtrack to Tomer Heymann’s film The Queen Has No Crown, was posted on YouTube just today.
Somewhat older, a teaser for Ivri’s eagerly anticipated English-language album Fly/Forget, the heartbreaking single “Mike.” Release it already, Ivri!
Older still and in Hebrew, a fan-made video for one of my favorite tracks from the brilliant 2008 album Beketzev A’hid Batnu’ot Shel Haguf (The Steady Rhythm of Body Movements)—“Tzel Shahor” (“Dark Shadow”).
If you haven’t seen/played/listened to them yet, two further Ivri songs are embedded on the page dedicated to the science-fiction novella that would not exist without his work: the title track to 2001’s Ha’anashim Ha’chadashim (The New People), and the first single, “Rak Tevakesh” (“Just Ask”) from Beketzev A’hid Batnu’ot Shel Haguf.