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Shelley Hirsch: O Little Town of East New York

Track List

>On the far reaches
>544 Hemlock Street
>Marcia Baskin
>Hymie and Harry
>I put on shows
>Killing the ants
>Singing with Johnny
>Street fair
>Mrs. McIntyre/Chrysler Building
>Mrs. McIntyre/Bananas
>Aida Vidzer (I liked her)
>Aida Song, The
>Aida's house
>Electric menorah
>Jewish people, The
>Maria Finchenko/Highland Park
>Maria's father
>Maria's house/The troika
>Confession booth
>Slap the shit
>Grandma Gertie
>new house, The
>625 Hemlock Street
>Songs in my head
>Vinnie Russo
>Sliced open
>Franklin K. Lane/I worked my ass off
>Hush, my darling
>Marsha Calabro

Album Notes

O Little Town of East New York combines narrative spoken-word text with evocative background music, both echoing the Jewish experience in a working-class section of Brooklyn. The combination of storytelling and electronic music is reminiscent of the work of Laurie Anderson, but Shelley Hirsch's storytelling lacks Anderson's dry humor or sense of irony. This semi-autobiographical work is deeply personal. While at times it seems to mimic those tired recollections that an unpopular relative might offer up again and again at the family dinner table, Hirsch does a good job of presenting not only her own family history, but the history of her neighborhood -- its poverty, changing racial climate, diversity, sounds, and smells as well as the hopes of the people around her. Hirsch stretches herself now and again on this album, with unusual samples and altered voices; the result mostly works well. ~ Stacia Proefrock


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