"Another older album that I keep pulling out is Rubinchik's Orkestryr's first offering, "Flipnotics Freilachs" (1998). I guess it's been a freilachs kind of time for me, personally. Frantic, if not freilach :-). This is a Texas klezmer album, and like my favorite Tex-Mex and blues, I'd have to say that any good music put together in Texas is likely to be somewhat special. Here, the band is not so tight--both parts of this album were recorded live--but the spirit is right on, and the vocalist has a perfect Texas swing klezmer voice--the same vocalist I loved on another Texas klezmer recording by the former Austin Klezmorim. This CD has been one of the "almost got reviewed" albums for longer than I can remember--maybe since summer of 1998, and it's time people know about this album. It doesn't get reviewed because I love listening to it and never feel like doing the work of writing about it when I'm listening. In some nice ways, this album reminds me of the second Shirim album, the one where they stretch out a bit. In any event, both feature "Zhankoye," a favorite for singing here whenever we get people together, as well, and not a bad way to put a happy face on sending people off to Stalin's labor camps. (I wish I knew more about the history of the song--good macho, could easily be sung by Kinky Friedman, with or without the Texas Jewboys, lyrics. But the time in which it was written, under Stalin, suggests illusion on the part of the songwriter, or something more ominous.) Oh, yes, back to the band. Bandleader is Mark Rubin, also of one of my favorite kick ass country/bluegrass/bad attitude bands, the Bad Livers. So, yeah, put some good musicians together, let them wail, and listen to what they do with "Mark went to Klez Kamp and all we got were these lousy Khosidls." The band's website is at www.markrubin.com/rubinchik. You can read the whole liner notes there. And thanks, Mark.
Notes by Ari Davidow, www.klezmershack.com, 01/15/00
"Bad Liver Mark Rubin describes Rubinchik's Orkestyr as "a group of like-minded musicians goofing on some cool old tunes they dug up." After listening to this collection of faithfully rollicking (mostly) Jewish folk songs, I've decided Rubin's use of "goofing" must refer to his own capacity for egregious understatement rather than the music. Recorded live on KUT's LiveSet and on the porch at Flipnotic's Coffeespace, the Orkestyr's organically emotive sound reigns in the highest highs and the lowest lows with pin-drop precision. The mix of accordion, violin, clarinet, guitar, tuba, and other acoustic instruments is richer than divinity. "Kad Ja Podjoh Na Benbasu" conveys a deep sense of emptiness and poverty that transcends modern comfort. At the other end of the spectrum, "Di Rebbe Elimelech" sounds like a playful children's song re-interpreted by a sneaky bunch of rose-cheeked inebriates. And then there's the Orkestyr's own "Mark went to Klez Kamp and (all) we got were these lousy Khosidls," a sing-along for all occasions. These time-tested wonders were made for harsh winters, but Rubin and Co. make them work just as well for oppressive summers.
3 Stars - Greg Beets, Austin Chronicle, 08/24/1998
Check out the artist's website:http://www.markrubin.com
1. Odessa Bulgar
3. Di Raye Nuch Amerike
4. Kad Ja Podjoh Na Benbasu
5. Flipnotics Freilachs
6. Vsyo Shto Bilo
7. Terkisher Yale Ve Yove
8. Freilachs Fun Di Chuppe
9. Di Rebbe Elimelech
10. Baym Shotzer Rebbe of Shabbes
11. Mark went to Klez Kamp and all we got were these lousy Khosidls