Love Songs, Pop Songs, and Musical Holocaust Memoirs

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There are generally two kinds of Jewish kids who are obsessed with music — the Broadway musical type, and the indie-rock K Records type — and the singer-songwriter Avi Fox-Rosen personifies both of them. He has the wiry glasses, bald head and beard of the latter, but the peppy musical sensibility, dance moves, and fashion sensibility of the former. His New York show tonight promises love songs, pop songs, and Holocaust memoirs set to music, and there aren’t many people who I think could play it off with gentle humor and good-natured charm, but Avi Fox-Rosen seems like the perfect candidate.

avi fox-rosen welcome to the showFox-Rosen plays acoustic guitar, but on his manic progression of albums — last year, he put out both a solo album and a bluegrass theme project entitled The Amazing Frozen String Quartet — and on his newest release, the hot-off-the-presses Welcome to the Show, he doesn’t show any signs of letting up. (The self-titled “Amazing” album featured a wildly fast and toe-pumping bluegrass version of “Summer in the City,” while the new album’s single, the charming and theatrical “Hot Girl on a Bike,” can be seen in this snazzy video. The subject material will be familiar to our audience, as he name- and face-checks the Jews who love community-sustained farms and the Park Slope Food Co-Op.

In fact, Avi might be poised to attempt a larger-than-life, full-scale takeover of the collective mp3 players of every USY chapter in America. Not to mention the search boxes on JDate. And if we can squeeze in this word just before it happens, let me just tell you: Watch out, America. He’s going to take your heart, and he’s going to get every one of his songs stuck in his head at the same time. If you think you can stop the Avi onslaught, you’re welcome to try: he’ll be appearing live tonight at the Bowery Poetry Club with Michael Winograd. But I’m not going to be the one to wish you good luck. I’m happy with Avi’s songs right where they are.

Posted on August 12, 2009

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