I'm going to start of this three part installation with a group that my Israeli cousin turned me onto almost two years ago (I can't believe it's been that long since I visited): Shotei Ha-Nevuah or the "Fools of Prophecy." (their myspace page)
My favorite Shotei Ha'Nevuah song is called "Kol Galgal" meaning "The Sound of Circle" or even "The voice of the wheel" (Hebrew speakers correct me here, my Hebrew skills have long since declined since my Bat Mitzvah, and I don't trust the internet). It's one of the most gorgeous songs I've ever heard. My aunt said that she's never heard Hebrew sound so beautiful.
The lyrics come straight of the Kaballah, the book of Jewish mysticism:
THE SOUND OF A CIRCLE
The sound of a circle rolls upwards from below,
obscure chariots going and revolving
The sound of melodies goes up and down
it goes and wanders in the world.
The voice of a shofar extends
through the depths of stairs,
and the circle spins around.
That's the sound,
the sound of a circle going up and down.
I also found another translation here.
Here is a video someone put together of rather nice beach shots in Tel Aviv. They have a pretty gorgeous beach actually, one of the nicest ones I've been to that's still so urban. Maybe it helps that it's on the Mediterranean sea... I also found an awesome live version here (with a 100 person choir).
"Kol Galgal" is nothing like the rest of Shotei Ha'Nevuah's music. Usually it's more upbeat, and is a sort of "world fusion" (I hate that term) hip hop. I really don't know how else to explain it.
This a tune called "Ein Ani" (No, I):
This is a funny video I found of "Ha'yeladim Koftzim" (The Children Are Jumping ) that some kids made. I just like watching these silly teenagers dance around in funny hats. And WOW do they have amazing hair...
Anyway, stay tuned for a couple more bands and HAPPY CHANNUKAH or happy Christmahanukwanzikah.
And more importantly, a happy new year.
p.s. oh, I added "follower" widget over on the right there. Sign up if you feel like it. It will make me feel loved. :)
p.p.s. No one took me up on that CD mix that I'd say I would make for you if you wanted. I was serious about that.