regina spektor 88.
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A slow trickle of international artists performing on the Tel Aviv scene has begun to flow once again. This week there are two artists arriving and - for those who can afford it - both of them are worth checking out.
First and foremost, Sean Lennon is giving a show at the port's Hangar 11. Arriving from Russia, Lennon's Tel Aviv appearance is his last international show before heading back to the States for the American leg of his world tour promoting his October album Friendly Fire.
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Following an eight-year gap since the release of Lennon's debut album Into the Sun in 1998, Friendly Fire has been noted for the distinctly more mature approach to the lyrics and sound this time around. The son of John and Yoko has explained in various interviews that this comes as no surprise. Previously, he had a somewhat na ve approach to the business end of things, finding the requirements of promotion to be overwhelming.
While now Lennon possesses the maturity to enjoy the entire process of putting out an album and touring, he still maintains his status as an independent artist producing outside the pop-music mainstream. "On one level, I appreciate it ore now, just being older," he recently told The Jerusalem Post's David Brinn. "On a musical level, I just feel lucky being able to play with a group of talented musicians and having people see us play."
In advance of his arrival Israeli radio stations have been anticipating his show with plenty of radio time, in particular playing two singles off the new album, "Dead Meat" and "Parachute."
Lennon is scheduled to appear this afternoon to sign autographs at 1 at Tel Aviv's Third Ear (03-621-5226) branch today, where NIS 159 tickets for tomorrow's show may be purchased. Lennon will take the stage tomorrow night following an opening act by local rising star Rona Keinan, set to begin at 10 p.m. Tickets may also be ordered from Hadaran (03-521-5200) for NIS 199.
THE SECOND ACT set to perform on the same night and with a second show added, following the quick sell-out of her first, is Regina Spektor. She's arriving here at the tail end of her world tour promoting Begin to Hope, her third album and first on a major label. The Soviet-born, American-raised artist has been described as "a street-smart songwriter masquerading as a book-smart one, with a self-awareness that can be endearingly goofy" by the indie-music website Pitchfork. This quality has developed over her short discography and is most apparent on Hope, especially on the song "Fidelity," which has been receiving plenty of airtime on MTV. Spektor has been compared to such greats as Ethel Mermen, Tori Amos and Bjork, and her songwriting craft is not not unlike that of Suzanne Vega.
Spektor's second show on Sunday, March 11, was rescheduled from the original date of Friday evening after the Jewish artist decided that she did not want to perform in Israel on the Sabbath - though this is not an issue for her outside of the Holy Land. Both shows will take place at the Barby Club (03 518-8123, 52 Kibbutz Galuyot) beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets for the second show are still available and can be purchased for NIS 160.