Wedding Bell Blues

Last night, Stereo Sinai–that is, my friends Alan Jay Sufrin and Miriam Brosseau–got married. It was a ceremony worthy of spectacle, and one that really reinterpreted the traditional framework of a wedding as a kind of skeleton outline and embellished it in every sort of way to crank it and fine-tune it to be as unique as possible. When the wedding parties marched in, traditionally, the rabbi or somebody’s pre-pubescent nephew or a friend with a good voice sings the Jewish song “Mi Adir.” It wouldn’t be very proper to upstage the bride and groom at their own wedding, considering they both have some of the best voices in the state of Illinois, so Alan programmed his own version of the song, with Miriam’s vocals, and the wedding party led in the groom to a recording of Miriam singing.

Miriam’s voice, which is, by the way, low and sultry like an Etta James growl, died down, and then the rabbi—who was standing in front of the microphone, and conducting the ceremony, and, I guess, needed to do something—he started singing “Mi Adir.” His voice, you must understand, is low, really low, low like Brad Roberts, the lead singer of the Crash Test Dummies. It took us all by surprise, especially after Miriam’s vocal soloing, but I think it would have caught us by surprise in any case. And then he dropped out, and Miriam’s voice came back in, and, just when you thought everything was over and the chuppa was overflowing with people, the music started up again with the groom’s voice, and Miriam walked in.

“This is totally the Spinal Tap remix,” the rabbi standing next to me whispered, and I was like, Yes, it has to be — ambient, droning keyboards set a rhythm that was grand but simple, a little bit churchlike and a little bit trancelike, and one that simultaneously embraced and undercut the traditional need for way-overpowering synthesizers, which almost always, nay, always always happens at Jewish weddings.