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Heedoosh's studio debut, Meumkah Delibah, was a shock to the Jewish musical establishment of New York when it came out two years ago. Sure, rock music with both artistic integrity and religious themes had existed before but nothing so aggressive and dreamy. Echoes of Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Oasis melded with verses about striving for holiness in a flawed world to create a feel that was at once edgy and accessible.
That album's strongest cuts remain some of the greatest Jewish rock songs ever written, and the members of Heedoosh did everything they could to balance their day jobs with the demands of an intensifying tour schedule. Soon they even had a sizeable gentile following in the New York club scene, and found themselves opening for Badfish, a leading Sublime cover band, while booking their own gigs across the East Coast and Midwest.
Even though its members had each appeared extensively on Israeli stages before, this past Succot marked Heedoosh's Israel premiere, with four concerts drawing audiences in the thousands. The band's two mainstays, vocalist Yaniv Tsaidi and percussionist Ari Leichtberg, have now moved here and are working on a new batch of songs for a second studio effort, which Tsaidi claims will sound more like Radiohead than the debut did.
Meanwhile, jelling with new session men for the sophomore project has been a major undertaking. The newly Israeli Heedoosh takes the stage at the Tel Aviv Barby this Thursday. Landing the headline slot at one of the premier rock venues of the land on one of the biggest party nights on the calendar is no small feat, making the Barby Purim show all the more anticipated.
One of Heedoosh's peers in the spiritual guitar rock scene is Hamakor, a band that has likewise survived many incarnations and is also working on a sophomore album. Recently adding Los Angeles veteran RebbeSoul to its lineup, the band has toured Eastern Europe as well as the US, where Hamakor opened for Heedoosh more than once. Purveyors of grunge rock mixed with trance atmospherics, Hamakor is set to play its own Thursday night Purim party, this one outdoors at Moshav Mevo Modi'in with moshavnik Aryeh Naftali's new ensemble The Elevators picking up the pieces afterwards for several hours of Grateful Dead tribute jams.
Heedoosh's Barby appearance is scheduled for Thursday at 9 p.m., with tickets priced at NIS 50. Located at Rehov Kibbutz Galuyot 52 in Tel Aviv, the club can be reached at (03) 518-8123. A few minutes west of Modi'in on Route 443, Thursday's Moshav Mevo Modi'in festivities involve Hamakor's set at 10:30 p.m., followed by The Elevators' Grateful Dead tribute at midnight.
For more information, see www.heedoosh.com and www.myspace.com /hamakorband
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