Cos Music (cosmusic) wrote,
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Teapacks On Tour

Years ago my cousin gave me two CDs by the Israeli band Teapacks (usually spelled "Tipex" before they settled on "Teapacks" as their official transliteration) and they became one of my favorite bands even though I'd never seen them live. A sort of Middle Eastern Funk style with Israeli folk & rock elements, and clever lyrics sometimes reflective and often funny.

The music video to the right is hatachana hayeshana (The Old Station), their ode to the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, a place knew more from my summers in Israel in the 80s than from when I actually lived there. Tel Aviv's new bus station (the largest bus station in the world) opened in 1993, and when I spent a month in Israel in 1994 the transition was not yet complete. Everyone was complaining about the poor design of the new station, the confusion caused by having some bus routes at one and some at the other... and missing the character of the old station. It had a lot of "character" :)

That video is also notable for having one of the only sane, valuable comments ever seen on YouTube:
    The chrous means:
      I used to stop at the old station,
      and it felt like a different country.
      A country whose reality is on hold (or: is waiting)
      as the rain falls and the sun burns.

    The song is about the old central bus station in Tel-Aviv as a symbol of blue-collar, Mizrahi culture, including references to music and food, poverty, religiosity etc. All of this, in contrast with the rest of the country, supposedly Europeanized and modernized.
While I wasn't paying attention, Teapacks continued their rise to stardom in Israel, moving on to incorporate hip-hop, afrobeat, punk, and more into their songs, now in multiple languages. This year, they represented Israel in Eurovision 2007 with the song on the left, Push The Button. It apparently caused a bit of controversy when one of the Eurovision organizers wanted to ban the song because he thought it was a direct reference to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Band leader Kobi Oz says the song is about "living in the shadow of danger and laughing in the face of terror."

Here's an impromptu interview with Oz where he explains other reasons why Push The Button is too weird and chaotic for Eurovision. Some other songs:

Now Teapacks is touring in the US!


Unfortunately I missed telling you about the Bay Area shows, and Los Angeles is tonight.

I'd probably go to several of these, except I'm going to Minneapolis October 24-30, so I'm going to go to New York for the Oyhoo festival.
Tags: audio, centralsquare, eurovision, highline, israel, israeli, middleeast, nyc, teapacks, tipex, video
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