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Combining Balkan, Jewish and Mediterranean beats - with a special emphasis on Greek music, mustaches and lounge jackets - Boom Pam is celebrating the release of its debut album at Tel Aviv's Barby club tonight. The quartet - two electric guitarists, a tuba player and a drummer - recently released its first single "Hatul Ve'hatula" in the wake of a strong career on the local scene playing everywhere from weddings, parties and nightclubs to the Mann Auditorium and a collaboration with the Bat Sheva dance ensemble.
Boom Pam has been working hard to establish itself abroad as well, playing various venues in Europe from the Frankfurt Museum Festival and the Berlin Opera House to clubs in Switzerland and Greece.
The group takes its name from a song it covered - "Boom Pam", a Greek hit here performed by Greek immigrant to Israel Aris San. San, in his collaboration with Berry Sakharov, became the first musician to add the electric guitar to Greek folk music, achieving great success on the local charts.
Its onstage act is a self-described "alcohol-soaked wedding party," according to the band's Web site. This is what the group is bringing to its release party, along with a number of other special guests, including Tomer Yosef, Dror Ahava, Romem, Eyal Talmudy and the Jewish Monkeys.
In addition to its rising star on local radio, the group has been gaining notoriety with the song "Hashish: The Drug of a Nation" and its accompanying video, remixed by Radiotrip (who will also be performing a DJ set at the debut party).
It has been viewed more than 10,000 times on the popular online video-sharing site youtube.com. Complete with English and Arabic subtitles, the song includes such lyrics as "I smoke a lot of hashish," "Your father smokes hashish for seven years - night and day" and, simply, "Hashish, hashish, hashish."
Boom Pam's Middle Eastern influences are beyond apparent, between the instrumentation, kitschy lounge-style dress and the overall feel that you could be listening to something produced in 1980s Turkey or watching something from the same era straight out of Czechoslovakia. The show promises to be a spectacular way to ring in the Jewish new year.
Doors open at 11 p.m., tonight at the Barby Club located at 52 Kibbutz Galuyot Road. Entrance is NIS 50 with a NIS 10 discount available by visiting the venue's Web site (www.barby.co.il). For more information, call (03) 518-8123.