September 22, 2006


The Conan O'Brien minyon is not complete without Cyberg!
I got an e-mail from my friend Threebrain last week, casually informing me that he'd be appearing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in a bit role as ... the JEWISH ROBOT!

How could Threebrain have been so "Oh, by the way" cavalier with his announcement? He knows that I'm the Jewish Robot, but he mentioned this character as if it were any of the other roles he's played, like Masturbating Bear or an astronaut. He didn't use nearly enough exclamation marks, either.

In this skit, Conan was celebrating his 13th year on air. He considered it his bar-mitzvah episode. So in order to make it kosher, he summoned a minyon of Jewish characters, including the rabbinical robot, Cyberg, played by Threebrain. I suppose it was funny because, well, any time you mix something Jewish with pop culture, it's sure to be a hit, and rein in those wayward Jews.

Conan and rabbi stare in disbelief at Cyberg

September 18, 2006

Jewzapalooza Newza

JR greeted by ubiquitous UWS Heeb contributor, David Kelsey

The Oyhoo Jewish Music Festival concluded yesterday with Jewzapalooza, a free outdoor concert at Riverside Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I got there in the evening, just in time to catch JMA "Best Middle Eastern Blend" and "Best World Music" winners Pharoah's Daughter, followed by the Pink Floyd-esque sounds of Yosi Piamenta's Heavenly Jam Band, and finally a hip-hopping performance by Israeli group, Hadag Nahash. The music was great, but I had the most fun running into all my friends and fellow Jewish bloggers!

Aryeh Goldsmith juggles balls like he juggles his websites ... five at a time!

JR and Jewschool co-contributor Ruby K

When not in Rome ... Lilit and David

Ariel Beery of PresenTense Magazine does the robot, with the robot

Jew-S-A! Jew-S-A!

JR has his nipples molested by Jew-S-A host, Scotty the Blue Bunny

I kept this a secret, because I didn't want my friends to come. But as a favor to my dear friend, Alyssa Abrahamson, Director of Arts, Jewish Culture, and Adult Education for the 14th Street Y, I participated as a contestant in the first annual Mr. & Mrs. Jew-S-A Pageant, part of the Oyhoo Festival.

I came in last place.

I suspect this is because my talent consisted of merely showing some of my cartoon animations, while my talented co-contestants busted their asses with live performances, like Rick Barinbaum playing an original composition on the piano, or Shoshi stripping to the tune of Holla Back Girl. Or maybe it was the fact that my answer to the question "What is your favorite mitzvah" was "Shatnez".

Despite coming in as last runner-up, it was a fun event, and I am happy to make a fool of myself for your entertainment! As long as it brings you closer to God.

Mr. Jew-S-A Titleholder and gourmet chef, Noam Dolgin!

The new Ms. Jew-S-A, half-naked bagel boa-wearing tap dancer, Ariel Woah!


BennyBwoy, the original Jewmaican

I'm finally catching up on the ShaBlog after a week of Jewish music events here in Manhattan, organized by Oyhoo in the New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival. On Monday, September 11, I attended the Jewish Music Awards at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. I was also a member of the board of journalists who nominated and voted for the finalists in each category.

The show was hosted by actress and comedienne, Jackie Hoffman, whose musical interludes, such as "You're Not Buddhist, You're Jewish!", kept the audience entertained after somewhat awkward moments in the show.

JR meets Jackie Hoffman. I was flattered to learn she is a fan of my work!

Admittedly, while the venue was fantastic, and the live performances were superb, the event was poorly attended, which often resulted in embarrassingly weak audience reaction and applause. This reserved audience phenomenon became apparent when the talented DJ rap artist BennyBwoy and his highly energized crew of Jamaican jammers put their groove on the stage, only to be met with befuddlement from the audience, who were not hip enough to translate the Jamaican dialectic requests to join in with clapping or echoing "ho, ho!" I'm not sure why so few people attended the show ... It could have been the price, or a lack of promotion, or not enough interest being generated in these upcoming Jewish artists. But for some reason I was reminded of a scene from This Is Spinal Tap, when their band manager lamented, "I’ve told them a hundred times: put ‘Spinal Tap’ first and ‘Puppet Show’ last!"

Ahron of Blanket StatementStein back from the UK feels the groove at the after party

Best Hip Hop Winner Y-Love poses with fans, the Shansta and my Hungarian ROI120 travel companion, Brigitta

After the show, I took a moment to walk by the September 11 light memorial nearby. As I gazed skyward, my eyes following the vertical path of these beams of light, I could see highly luminescent objects fluttering about. They looked like spirits trapped in an ethereal cage. I'm not sure what I was seeing, but I suspect it was moths, attracted by the light. It reminded me of all the office papers that blew around in the sky after the towers fell five years ago.

September 11, 2001 memorial at the site of the World Trade Center

Friend and fellow blogger Esther Kustanowitz was there, too. She writes,
We have had our pillars of smoke and fire, which led us into chaos and despair; now we have our pillars of light, our luminescent hope that extends forever into the heavens, melting together at the top and seeming to form rungs. We climb, unsure of where we'll end up, but we use the ladder because it is our legacy.

September 10, 2006


French graffiti artist MIST paints a phat FatCap

Last Thursday I went to the Paint Ball, a toy show benefit for the Save the Children Federation at Kidrobot in Soho. Graffiti artists, fashion designers, and underground comic artists from around the world were invited to paint and reconstruct big Dunny and FatCap dolls, which will be auctioned for charity.

Wall of FatCaps and Dunnies

Famed fashion designer Richie Rich of the Heatherette lingerie line signs a Dunny box for us

Dunny by illustrator Andrew Rae

I particularly liked this Dunny painted by illustrator Andrew Rae, whose robot creations I find very appealing. Taking a closer look at Rae's montage on this cartoon doodled Dunny, I think I may have found Shabot's long lost secular twin!

Here are more photos from the Kidrobot Paint Ball.

Jewbilation! 2006

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