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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nervn, nervn: a song about not being able to tolerate the modern world

Randy Kloko and I recorded the third (last) collection of music from the Itzik Zhelonek collection last month and now the cd is out.

He lives far away and we can't do gigs together very often so in order to get this wonderful music heard I've been indulging in long hours of making animated Yiddish music videos with English subtitles. Here is one that just kept me up all night in the making:

With pianist Roger Lynn Spears accompanying, Randy tells the story of a sorry fellow who feels assaulted by the noise and clamor of the modern city. It was 1929 so there was a konke in the street ringing its bell DZHIN DZHIN DZHIN as well as people throwing themselves out windows and running around like dog-catchers. His wife takes him electrizirn which sure sounds like electroshock therapy to me, but Wikipedia said that treatment didn't exist until late in the 1930s, so I'm not sure what exactly was being done to him.

To read the translation, see the post on his song, Nerven Nervn, at my Polish Jewish Cabaret blog.

I make my little cartoon characters in a free program called and then throw them into Adobe Premiere Pro. It's sort of like making soup. I don't have a plan when I get started, I just go line by line figuring out how to illustrate the text.

You can buy (or just listen to) our cd Nervez! Yiddish Songs from Warsaw Volume 3 at Bandcamp.


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