Jewish Music's newest cultural incest

In the news: Shemspeed writer Mordechai Shinefield writes about Shemspeed going live. The Emerging Jewish Arts & Culture Blah Blah website, if you don’t know, has new articles & reviews of Jewish music every day or few, and is probably the largest collection of Jewish bands (and mp3s!) on the Interweb. In the article, Mordy says that I head the reviews section, but really, I just write a bunch of them. The JDub review that he takes us to task for in the article, I didn’t write, he never asked me about it in his interview, and I actually never even saw it until it was posted.
Anyway: Shemspeed. It’s a really cool project, a really amazing place to find out about new bands. I covered that, right? Right now, Shemspeed is largely a Do-It-Yourself project, not funded by anyone, and, therefore, not able to pay writers like other, ahem, Jewish media outlets…

Roth got involved with writing for Shemspeed when he was contacted as an artist. Safar wanted to feature Roth’s band, Chibi Vision — what Roth calls a science-fiction hip-hop boy band — and Roth decided to write for the Web site, as well.

Yes, it’s a little ironic that he shouts me out for double-dipping as a reviewer and as a featured performer, while Mordy is both a former writer for Shemspeed and the writer who, for the purposes of this article, is investigating Shemspeed…
But, as Mordy himself says of Shemspeed, it’s “both a tribute to the do-it-yourself aesthetics of the Web site and an indication of the incestuousness found on the contemporary Jewish music scene.”
Of course, as soon as his article was accepted to the Forward, he asked Shemspeed to take down his contribution.
Just sayin’.

4 thoughts on “Jewish Music's newest cultural incest

  1. It’s been a long time since the KlezmerShack listed only klezmer bands. Certainly the KlezmerShack blog has covered a broad range of music–often Jewish–from day one. Maybe the site needs a name change.
    But this isn’t a zero sum game. The more writing and the more diversity of opinion and ways of looking at things, the better–check out both sites. I’ve added Shemspeed to the KlezmerShack blogroll. In this rare case, we’re all good ;-).

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