While studying at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, I managed to have at least the local version of the Animal House experience. Unlike the other Israeli academic institutions where the students either go back home to their parents or, at best, their own apartments scattered throughout the city, the BGU crowd lives mainly within the area of the campus. Therefore, many pubs and restaurants have opened in the past couple years for this population. Consequently, the city's cultural level has been upped a notch along the way. One such recently opened place is "Ashan Ha'Zman" (Smoke of Time), a small place that holds literary events and music shows. Noam Rotem will perform there this Thursday, Independence Day. Rotem, who got his start as the lead singer of the band Kerach Tesha (Ice Nine), has recently released his second solo album "Ezra Ba' Derech" (Help is Coming). The critically acclaimed album was also a best seller and was chosen as one of the best albums of the year on a number of Israeli charts. Influenced by his wife's struggle with cancer, many of the album's songs deal with the connection between the body, pain, sickness and will power. Thursday's show will also include songs from Rotem's debut album "Chom Enoshi" (Human Warmth) as well as from his time with Kerach Tesha. I expect the atmosphere to be unique and electrifying. As such I ask you, what better way is there to kick off Independence Day festivities than to hook into the student vibe? Even if for just one night. Ashan Ha'Zman is located at 19 Ringlebloom St., Beer Sheva. The show begins at 9 p.m. and admission is NIS 40.