Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.
 

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz too. So maybe he’s really Klezmer Landlord.
 

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz.  (See you.)
 

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.
 

Stratton is an occasional contributor to the New York Times, the Times of Israel, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and City Journal. He won two Hopwood Awards.


 
 

SAYS WHO

I check out websites of other klezmer bands to see what I can steal. For instance, clarinetist Joel Rubin’s website had this bit: “Rubin has long been considered by many to be the leading performer of Jewish instrumental klezmer music in the world today.”

I stole from Rubin.

Please disregard the bracketed material . . .

Yiddishe Cup has long been considered by many [Alice Stratton, Irwin Weinberger, Steve Ostrow] to be the leading performers of Jewish klezmer comedy in the world.  Who else is doing klezmer comedy?  Who?  Name somebody!

Yiddishe Cup is an integral part of the music scene in Cleveland, which according to many [Lori Cahan-Simon, Steven Greenman,Walt Mahovlich] is quite vibrant. The Cleveland scene is a focal point of  klezmer and Eastern European music [according to Gheorghe Trombitas, Zenon Chaikovsky and Alex Fedoriouk].

Mickey Katz is where it all started for klezmer comedy.  [Somebody said that. Who?] Literary critic Leon Wieseltier called Katz the “mishugener.”  In Pirket Avot, it is written “Man is born to take the plough against the unyielding earth.” That is man’s job. The counterweight to that heavy lifting is the supremely nutty Katz, said Wieseltier.

Stratton’s former rabbi, Michael Hecht, said, “Make Judaism fun.”

Somebody [Lea Grossman of Boston?] said Yiddishe Cup is the most entertaining band in the country.  Yiddishe Cup is almost cool.  [George Robinson  wrote that, almost, in the New York Jewish Week.]

Yiddishe Cup is also a top notch simcha band [said Shawn Fink].  Let the wedding gigs roll forth! Funerals are more interesting than weddings, but Yiddishe Cup doesn’t play many funerals [zero, in fact]. Instead, the band plays parties and acts happy. You wouldn’t want musicians in mourning at your wedding.

How many bands have comedic and musical talent?  Yiddishe Cup does [said Irwin Weinberger and Don Friedman].

Who else is out there?  Weird Al Yankovic?  Shlock Rock?  They’re not as good as Yiddishe Cup [said Daniel Ducoff].

Yiddishe Cup strikes the classic Jewish outsider pose. Yiddishe Cup has long been considered a funny band. [Sanford Gordon thought so. So did Jack Saul.]

Yiddishe Cup is nostalgic and a bit corny, but in a good way.  Childhood was a lot less hassle than adulthood.

Other klezmer bands aren’t that funny [said Don Friedman].   They aren’t funny at all! [Find a source for that.]  There’s a pianist in Brooklyn, Pete Sokolow, who does Jewish spins on Fats Waller and Dixieland.  Sokolow wrote, “We purposefully try to remain faithful to the original performances.”  Does Sokolow do creative new adaptations?  OK, maybe.   Does Yiddishe Cup? Yes. [At least once: “Meshugeneh Mambo.”]

Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz –- the album — had two avant-garde jazz pieces and the rest was verbatim remakes of Mickey Katz tunes.  Make it new, Don Don!

Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish Two album had a lot of humor, but was too schmaltzy. Sample song title: “I Love Being a Jew Blues.”

Yiddishe Cup is considered the best neo-Borscht Belt klezmer comedy band in the world [according to Alice Stratton, Jack Stratton, Daniel Ducoff, Steve Ostrow and Don Friedman].

Yiddishe Cup is the best band in the land.

[Who said that?]

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7 comments

1 Gerald Ross { 02.19.14 at 9:09 am }

What other Klezmer band would have guts enough to add a Hawaiian Steel Guitar to their show?

2 Ari Davidow { 02.19.14 at 9:12 am }

Yiddishe Cup =is= the funniest klezmer band in the world. If the Klezmershack had a band listed in China, Yiddishe Cup would still be funnier.

3 Bill Jones { 02.19.14 at 11:00 am }

Nu, so where are the client quotes and in what context: simcha, community event, etc.

4 Bert Stratton { 02.19.14 at 11:40 am }

To Bill Jones:

Yiddishe Cup has plenty real client quotes on the band’s website. They’re kind of boring, so I didn’t want to go down that path here. Boring as in “fantastic,” “wonderful.”

One bride’s dad disliked us. That was a change of pace. I’ll post a blog piece about that. We didn’t play loud enough at the cocktail hour for the dad.

5 don friedman { 02.19.14 at 12:24 pm }

I also said, “It’s outrageous the money we’ve made having fun.” Oops, I hope the IRS doesn’t read this blog.

6 Lea Hapner Grossman { 02.19.14 at 2:30 pm }

[Lea Grossman of Boston?] said Yiddishe Cup is the most entertaining band in the country. Yiddishe Cup is almost cool.
Vat do you mean, ‘ALMOST’??? Gei vash dein punim mit soap, makh schnell, Haim !!! I say, deine hearts eez richer den deine pockets, Boit. Vhy, de mitzvas du ‘perform’ on stage, setting eet for da most rare endomorphic ambiance – people platz laughing vhile tantzing, mit eine groise gedileh, und ve’re trrrransported mit Ya’ankel, de Flying Schiss’l onto ein andere plant, poof!!! – Oy! Did I do good, Boit? There’s more vhere det came from, du canst be sure :-) Just verify mit dein favorite Dr. Google, I mean, Dr. Koogle . . . Your Favorite Koogler :-) FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!! Hurry, hurry, hurry !!! Come to Boston, or is it, Brookline?? !! (Translated into six languages, just find them, corrections accepted)

7 Lea Hapner Grossman { 02.19.14 at 2:31 pm }

Nu already??? Don’t get me staaaated (Boston dialect :-)

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