Sunday, December 25, 2005

Lander College Battle of the Bands 2005

A quick recap for now, with a full one to come later this week. I can't find the cable I need to upload pictures from my camera, and they're making the CD's now, and will not be able to tell me what songs each band sang until afterwards. I'm also going to be giving the school the recap (out of the kindness of my heart, aww...) to use as they please, so I'd like it to be accurate.

The Lander College for Men last night hosted the 1st Annual Lander College Battle of the Bands! There were 12 bands, hailing from all over New York, and they were surprisingly quite good. I originally was not even sure I would attend, assuming that it would be a bunch of average bands at the best who don't know how to play to a crowd - and I was wrong. I arrived a bit late, during the second band's set, and the 4th floor was rocking.

The Prizes:
1st Place: $1000 in Cash.

2nd Place: $300 gift certificate to a Judaica store.
The Rules:
Each band was allowed two songs, of which at least one had to be an original. The bands were judged in 4 categories on a scale of 1 to 10: Talent; music appeal; stage presence; and audience approval. Songs could be fast or slow, happy or sad - they only had to relate to Judaism in some fashion.
The Judges:
The judges a nice sampling of Jewish musicians, and were not giving away free scores to any of the bands. They were:

Benji Raphaeli - Producer & Manager of Chai5.

Yossi Sonnenblick - Singer on Dveykus. He now serves as a Professor of Jewish History at the Lander College for Men, and he's excellent.

Ophie Nat - Very popular soloist, who also teaches at the Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ) elementary school just down the street. His debut solo album, Ophie, was a big hit.

Marc Levine - Guitar and backup singer of the Nochi Krohn Band. He and Nochi sang under the Chupah at a good friend of mine's wedding, with Marc playing acoustic as well. The Im Eshkachech they sang was an original. I have never - in my life - heard such excellent music and singing under a Chupah.
To be continued...

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