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Where Did You Find That Song?

The Art Mob has a particular fondness for overlooked or forgotten (sometimes justly), music of past eras. These rescued gems aren’t usually just lying around; we have to hunt for them. Here’s how Dean found one of our favorite entries for the December 2017 concert, “Hook, Wine, and Thinker”:

Yard Sale Treasure

Dean’s yard sale treasure

“Yard sales are a huge source of material for the Art Mob. That’s where several of us have gotten old songbooks that we mine for our obscure repertoire. The usual scenario is that a family is selling off an aged or deceased ancestor’s personal stuff, and that not infrequently includes sheet music. A couple of generations ago, it was as common for a family to own a piano and have at least one person who could play it as it is now for us to subscribe to a music streaming service. (I almost wrote, “to own a CD player,” but those are being dumped in the yard sale pile now, too.)

In 2014 I found, at such a sale in Rhinebeck, NY, a little book called “Jewish Folk Songs for the Young Pianist.” As the title suggests, it’s pitched to keyboard beginners, and the arrangements are very spare, just a melody and one or two notes in the left hand. All the songs have words, in Yiddish with a brief translation. And there are some great songs: the book has so far yielded up “Amol Is Geven a Mayse” (“Once Upon a Time”), which we sang in our “For Better or Voice” concerts, and now “Di Alte Kashe” (“The Old Question”) on our upcoming “Hook, Wine, and Thinker” program.

The melodies are hauntingly beautiful, and the minimal piano parts give the vocal arranger (me) maximum freedom. Besides, the songs are a healthy antidote to the overload of explicitly Christian pieces that end up in our repertoire simply because they are so common in the literature.”

Come hear us sing “Di Alte Kashe” in December and find out what the old question is that the world keeps asking us, but we can’t answer.

Hook, Wine, and Thinker! Fall Concerts

Bad puns, low humor, sweet spiritualism, all in one evening!


Songs for the End of Daylight Saving Time

The days are short now. It’s getting cold and depressing, but the Art Mob has its seasonal affective disorder under control, with a leafy pile of songs about the season: how it’s dark; how everything’s dying; how the weather portends the scriptural end of days … and makes us happy! Really.

Take the well-named Autumn, penned by Samuel Johnson, no less, in the 18th century. What’s his soothing thought for the season? Listen:

O, what remains, what lingers yet /To cheer me in the darkening hour?

The grape remains, the friend of wit /In love and mirth of mighty power.

Yes, wine will keep his pulse cantering and his girlfriend looking good.   Here’s what else we sing:

I’ve got the wonder where he went and when he’s comin’ back blues…

What care I how time advances, I am drinking ale today!…

The world asks an old question, to which there is no answer…

We’ve got more songs, more music, more proven remedies for the blues.

Come and hear us sing them all: December 15, 16, 17

Hook, Wine, and Thinker! Fall Concerts

Bad puns, low humor, sweet spiritualism, all in one evening!

  We’ll cheer you up.

 


Fishing for Singers, Hook, Wine, and Thinker.

It’s September, and in line with our December concerts’ fishing/drinking theme, The Art Mob is trawling for new singers (especially tenors).

You who receive this message: You already know how much fun you’ll have, so come on and join us. And if you know someone else who’d be interested, forward this message, or slip us his or her name and email address, and we’ll be right over with our nets.

The rest of you: visit www.artmob.org and sample our audio clips, read all about us, write to Brent (he really wants to hear from you; see below) and get on board.

Here’s how we describe our unpatented Art Mob process and program: Our song selections, which are made by consensus, are notoriously quirky and eclectic.If you like  gospel, Victoriana, children’s ditties, jazz, and country songs along with who knows what other styles, you’ll feel right at home in The Art Mob. We rehearse every Monday evening. If you want to join in the fun, get in touch with our musical director, Brent Frederick. His email address: brent@brentfrederickmusic.com.


We love our fans!

Thanks to all who attended our Rockin’ the Boat concerts in December.

We had a record crowd for the Friday performance!

On Saturday we got a standing ovation!

We are still feeling the love, and we’re sending it right back to you.

Our next concert series is May 20-22. Watch for more news as those dates approach.


It’s On Record!

The Art Mob has a new CD, called Hope is the Sing with Feathers. That was the theme of our May 15 concert series, and the CD contains all the songs from it.

You can buy HopeFeathersCDone at our next concert series, Rockin’ the Boat, which we will perform at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A W. 13th Street in Greenwich Village on the first weekend in December:

  • Friday, Dec. 4, 8 PM
  • Saturday, Dec. 5, 8 PM
  • Sunday, Dec. 6, 3 PM

Rockin’ the Boat, December 4, 5, and 6

RockBoat1The Art Mob will be Rockin’ the Boat in three a cappella concerts at the Tenri Cultural Institute the first weekend in December. Drift along on a sea of musical pleasure, with songs that will bring waves of nostalgia, gales of laughter, and more.

Tenri is at 43A W. 13th Street, New York, NY.

Performance times:

Friday, December 4, 8 PM
Saturday, December 5, 8 PM
Sunday, December 6, 3 PM


The Art Mob Will Be Rockin’ the Boat in December

RockBoat3

 

The theme for The Art Mob’s December 2015 concert series is “Rockin’ the Boat,” and we’ve chosen a raft of wonderful songs about … well, use your imagination.

As usual, we’ve chosen songs from a range of genres and eras for a program that we hope will make you laugh, sigh, maybe shed a tear or two, and yell for an encore.

Rehearsals are underway. Stay tuned for information about when and where the concerts will be.