The announcement will happen tomorrow night after Shabbat is over.
But for now, let's talk about why I do what I do.
Contemporary Jewish music has come a long way since Debbie Friedman (z'l) first pulled out a guitar at summer camp and began creating folk settings of Jewish liturgy. That was almost fifty years ago. Think about that for a moment. What we now know as contemporary Jewish music, Jewish music with pop and folk sensibilities, began happening almost a HALF CENTURY ago.
Since then, the landscape has exploded with literally hundreds of contemporary Jewish artists recording and distributing their music at camps, community centers and synagogues across North America. Debbie's songs are sung in synagogues of every stripe around the world, and a new generation of Jewish songwriters is taking the world by storm with new music and lyrics and a technologically-adept sensibility about music production and distribution.
So with all the new ways to get music created, recorded, produced and distributed, you would think that I might want to change things up a little whenever I'm ready to make another album.
A little bit, yes.
But mostly, no.
From where I stand, the wheel isn't really broken and I feel no need to reinvent it.
I admit part of that is just plain stubbornness. Some of it is living with the fatigue of two autoimmune issues and needing to parcel out my energy carefully. Some of it is that I'm a digital tourist, rather than a digital native. (Please, DO NOT ask me about Garage Band. Easy for everyone else, apparently; but I lost so many hours of my life trying unsuccessfully to learn how to use it that I gave up, and deleted the program from my computer in a fit of pique. Eight months later, I still feel no regrets.)
And most of it is because, for better or worse, I remain a solo act.
I write what I think and feel about what I see around me, as someone who lives in the world as a Jew, a woman, a dyke, a low-income American and a human being who works very hard every day not to be an ass.
All of that pours into my music in some way.
My music speaks about life at the margins, and life in the center of things.
And I am just one person, trying to be a good human in the world.
There are days, especially now, when the world feels complicated and huge and overwhelming, and all I want to do is hide under the covers. There are days when making myself get out of bed to just function is harder than anyone can imagine, but when I finally do I almost always feel better for having done so.
And at the end of the day, I am just one person trying to get the message across, To be heard, and if I'm lucky, to be understood.
That's why I'm counting down and that's why I'm moving forward. Please join me tomorrow night on FACEBOOK LIVE at 9:30 Pacific Time, when I'll finish my countdown and let you all know exactly WHAT is going on. And if you're staying up late to check in from the East Coast, I may even take a request or two before it's over. Because anyone checking in after midnight deserves a little extra love.
Thanks for hanging in here with me!
Happy Friday and Shabbat Shalom.