分类: - Clips and Phrases A Personal-ish Sometimes Blog by Miriam Jayne
 
 
It’s funny how many of my high school vocal lessons translate into guidelines for social media. Here are a few tips I've learned as a singer that have also helped me think about social media in useful ways:
  1. It’s all about the song. I can run scales and hit divalicious high notes till my nose bleeds, but if it doesn’t add to the meaning of the song, it’s all in vain. So too in social media. We are capable of all kinds of fancy, flashy things. But if they’re not adding to the meaning, the value, of what we’re trying to put out in the world, why waste the effort?
  2. Practice. Some are more naturally gifted vocal artists, some have social artistry down pat, but we could all do with a little refresher course. 
  3. Give your voice a break now and then. Same with social media. Turn off, recuperate. It'll do your voice (or eyes, or mental health) good.
  4. Sing your own songs. It’s your voice, literally and metaphorically. Be who you are, be real, and be heard. People will appreciate it.
  5. Sing other people’s songs your way. A couple years back there was a contestant on American Idol who sang “I Will Always Love You” pitch-perfect. The judges’ criticism? She sang it too much like Whitney Houston's version; she didn’t make it her own. There’s always room in the world for a really clever, fun, unique, poignant, unusual, or just damn good cover. How does this translate into social media? Curate good content. Comment on it. Make it yours.
  6. Learn from great voices. When I was first getting in to singing, I focused a lot on being a great belter - it was all about hitting notes high and strong. And that has its place. But then I would listen to Billie Holiday and her deep-blue swing, or Willie Nelson’s southern sentimentality, or Ani DiFranco’s chatty interludes, or James Brown’s vocal fireworks, or any number of unique voices. I took a little bit here, a little bit there, learned from each one, and developed my sound. So too in the social-digital world do I keep my eye on the voices of those I admire, and imitate them, and learn from them, and they help me find my own voice.
  7. Sing with others. It’s hard to give up center stage. But I tell you, nothing teachers you more about being a good singer than having to sing with someone else, and there are few things more rewarding than a really beautiful chorus of human sound. One would think this piece would be easy online; social media is inherently social, right? But you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget this, and how often we can fall into star mode, losing sight of the chorus.
Any singers/social media gurus out there have something to add or amend? Or, has anyone else transferred lessons from another activity, hobby, or talent into the online world?  
 
I have been digging into different educational technology tools in preparation for a webinar I'll be giving shortly, which is really fun. I am super excited about one in particular - Cinch.fm. It's basically a super-easy, low-barrier to entry, share-friendly podcasting service that allows you to record your messages from your computer, iPhone (Android on the way, perhaps?), or a standard phone via an 800 number. You can attach a photo to your message, share it over social networks or via a unique URL, or embed it with custom HTML, as I have here:
It was so ridiculously easy to create this. The implications, I think, are awesome. Here's one idea I thought would be cool: imagine this in a classroom. Kids are working on an art project and the teacher comes over, takes a picture of their piece, and does a short phone interview with them about their work. Record that and send it home. Or attach the link to the interview to a QR code displayed at the school art fair for a guided tour.

I love it, and I'm excited to play with it.

And you should come to our show. :) (Buy tickets here!)
 
TODAY IS THE OFFICIAL WORLDWIDE RELEASE OF OUR HIGHLY ANTICIPATED DEBUT DOUBLE ALBUM!! 
We're pretty excited about it. :)

But you, dear Thumpers have until the END of CHANUKAH to order your copies of "Biblegum Pop" and "The Revelation Will Not Be Televised" at the PRE-ORDER PRICE (2 for $25), so...

Click Here to Pre-Order Now (They make a great last-minute gift!)

In the NYC area? Then we hope to see you at our super coolALBUM RELEASE PARTY at The Hester TOMORROW NIGHT (Dec. 22nd)!  Music, drinks, food, fun, and special guest artist Doris Cellar of Freelance Whales - what could be better? More info here! 

Is "The Revelation Will Not Be Televised Tour" coming to your town? Shoot us a message and bring the coolest biblegum pop on the planet to your community.

Wishing a marvelous, joyous, musical festival of lights to you and all our dear Thumpers! 

Grab Your Free Download of "Who Can" ("Mi Yimalel") Here!

(With thanks to the good folks at MyJewishLearning.com)

The header art (entitled "Stereo Syborg") is brought to you by the great Todd Jelken of Chicago - way to go, Todd! Want to display your creativity to Thumpers the world over? Send us your re-imaginings of a picture, our Tablets logo, or anything else you can dream up and you could be featured in next month's email!

*****

Other exciting Stereo Sinai events coming up:

NYCers - Saturday night, Dec. 24th, we'll be performing at Leviticus Studio in Williamsburg! Check out the eventand join us for a Saturday jam with cool folks amidst some amazing artwork.

We're thrilled to announce that we'll be performing and presenting at Limmud New York 2012! It's an amazing gathering in which everyone is a teacher, everyone is a student, and everyone has an awesome experience. Planning on going? Email usand we'll tell you how to get $50 off your registration!

Chicagoans - Join us at Schuba's on Jan. 22nd for a local release party with special guest, human beatboxYuri LaneGet more info and buy tix through Kfar Jewish Arts Center.

Phew! And there is much more to come... Until next time, have a joyful holiday full of light and warmth and wonderful things.

Peace,

Miriam and Alan 

Stereo Sinai

p.s. Got questions?  Looking to book Stereo Sinai in your community?  Just want to shmooze?  Talk to us!

EmailTwitterFacebook, or phone (262-6SINAI6). 
 
a message from Stereo Sinai

Heya Thumpers!

It's (almost) here!!  The highly-anticipated debut album(s) from Stereo Sinai!  And Thumpers, we are so excited because: 

  1. We are releasing not one, but TWO full discs of music - "Biblegum Pop" and "The Revelation Will Not Be Televised" - 25 SONGS in all!
  2. Our awesome album art was expertly crafted by the very talented Elke Reva Sudin
  3. Both discs feature special appearances by unbelievable guest artists
  4. ...and all kinds of other surprises!
The albums will be available to the masses by Chanukah, but YOU, our dear Thumpers, are invited to book your copies NOW at a DISCOUNT, before anybody else!   

Click Here to Pre-Order Now
We're so excited about these tunes; we know you (and everyone on your holiday gift list) will love them.

(And Thumpers in New York and Chicago - keep your eyes open for tour dates, more info shortly...)

Also - and we can't believe it either - this week is the anniversary of the release of G-dcast - Lech Lecha!  

G-dcast continues to be a remarkable project, and we are so proud to have been a part of it.  So in honor of forging new paths, and remembering journeys past, here is our G-dcast piece once more:  

Check Out G-dcast - Lech Lecha

Special thanks and congratulations to Hannah - 2nd grader, artist, Thumper extraordinaire - winner of the Stereo Sinai Coloring Contest!  She will receive a free copy of "Biblegum Pop"; way to go, Hannah!  (Fan us on Facebook to view our favorite coloring contest entries, and keep up with other contests, give-aways and fan specials.)

That's it for now, but there is much more to come...stay tuned!

Peace,

Miriam and Alan 
Stereo Sinai

p.s. Got questions?  Looking to book Stereo Sinai in your community?  Just want to shmooze?  Talk to us!

EmailTwitterFacebook, or phone (262-6SINAI6).
 
An evil magician has drained all the color from Stereo Sinai's gig poster, and only you can bring it back!

Dramatic, eh?

Grab Stereo Sinai's gig poster here.

Color it in however you like (on your computer or IRL; crayons, collage, fingerpaints, whatever! the more creative the better) and send it to info@stereosinai.com by Oct. 28th. In addition to having your artistry featured in every city and town across America, you will win a FREE copy of the new album, "The Revelation Will Not Be Televised"!

Pretty cool, huh?

Thumpers of all ages are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Check out the Facebook event here.
 
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Shana tova, and thanks for being such a devoted Thumper!  As an expression of our appreciation for your continued Stereo Sinai fandom, please accept a token of our affection in the form of a free mp3 of our new song "If You Go, I'll Go": 

Get the Song

We think the message of the song is fitting as we move into the new year of 5772.  We've got some big, fun things planned ahead (new album on the way - stay tuned!), and we're so thankful and excited that you're joining us on this journey.

Wishing you wonderful year full of music and light,
Miriam and Alan 
Stereo Sinai

By the way, got questions?  Looking to bring Stereo Sinai to your town?  Just want to shmooze?  Talk to us!  Shoot an email, find us on Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 262-6SINAI6 - we'd love to be in touch!

 
Last weekend Alan and I shlepped ourselves and everything we own (well, it kinda seemed like it) to Goshen, NY, the site of the up-and-coming Yiddish Farm.  Stereo Sinai had been invited to play on Sunday afternoon of their Golus Festival (there's a nice write-up about the festival with some pics here), and we decided to give it a shot for the whole weekend.  
"Golus" (or galut in Hebrew) means exile or, in some cases, Diaspora.  It's the term used for the state of being into which the Jews were thrown after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE.  It's usually kind of a nasty word, implying lowliness and loss.  Forward-thinking Israelis don't typically use the word "galut" to describe Diaspora Jewry, favoring instead the word "t'futzot," or those of us who are spread out all over the place.  (That's the technical definition, I swear.) 
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And yes, we were in golus.  Especially to a city-minded, non-camper such as myself.  I was in golus from many, many things.  Internet, for instance.  Mattresses.  Air conditioning.  English.

But we were also in golus in other ways.  From denominations, for instance.  The battles among Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and other streams of Judaism are ongoing, bitter, and destructive (a friend wrote an interesting post about the end of this era that I recommend checking out).  Here there was no such thing.  Everyone from the most secular, strictly cultural Jew to a small crew of Satmar Hasidim gathered in our mutual love of all things Yiddish.  Men and women, young and old...it was surprising and beautiful.  

We were in golus from a sense of hierarchy as well.  I have to admit, I was skeptical as to how the festival would run.  But everyone pitched in and made it happen.  Leadership rotated, fluctuated, and rarely settled in one person.

There were some really incredible moments throughout the weekend.  Dancing with the Torah from one end of a field to the other.  Marveling at the great masses of hay that descended from the sky, refuse from the farm next door which we all interpreted as manna from heaven.  The moment we found out we were going to be in golus even from Golus because our camp site wasn't up to code for the number of people there (on Sunday morning we moved to another site for the music).  Dancing with new friends.  All these things and more.

Don't get me wrong, I will not miss the mosquitoes and eating mostly the same thing every day and the oppressive day-heat and the bewildering night-cold.  But I have walked away with a renewed appreciation for, and a new vision of, exile.  

 

...brought to you by the good people at Stereo Sinai...

Chocolate. Roller coasters. Pictures of cats on the internet.

What makes you say "Oi!"?*

Stereo Sinai is recording a new song, and we need your vOIce!

Send us a sound file of your best "Oi!" and be a biblegum pop star!
The top ten most energetic, enthusiastic, and hard-core oi's will be featured in the song. Those ten Thumpers will also receive a free mp3 of the song when it is released, and a listing in the album liner notes. 

Think of it, Thumpers: biblegum pop immortality.

Send your sound file (or any questions) to: info@stereosinai.com.
OR call the Stereo Sinai "Oi!" Hotline and leave your name and oi in the message: (347) 770-6527


Entries due by noon on June 17th. 

Need some inspiration? Check out these oi's:

No Doubt "Oi to the World": http://youtu.be/hoL1Uxwk6vc
Robbie Williams Aussie/Oi: http://youtu.be/oFErZurWGv8
Dropkick Murphys "Oi Oi Oi": http://youtu.be/04Zbhk1c7nM

*Oi is the opposite of the Yiddish Oy. Where oy means "oh no," oi is more like "oh yeah"!
 
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Last night I went out with a college friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in way too long (entirely my fault, but that's another story).  She's currently working in a Teach-for-America-style program, stationed in a class of emotionally troubled kids in Harlem.  It's challenging, she admits, but rewarding, and it has taught her a lot about empathy...and about authenticity.  These kids live in the moment, and if in that moment you're not being real, they'll see right through it and tear you to shreds.

It got me thinking.  Really, what does it mean to be authentic?

Social media is the same way.  The first rule of online interactions is that you've got to be real.  The minute you become nothing more than a brand, or a mouthpiece, or spam, you turn people off.  

How, then, do you negotiate the space between revealing nothing and revealing too much?

With Stereo Sinai, I often wear these funky colored wigs in concert.  On the one hand, it's my little twist on the already somewhat bizarre tradition of Orthodox women wearing sheitels to cover one's hair.  On the other hand, it's kind of a commentary on real vs. fake.  Stereo Sinai performs pop - the most synthetic music around.  We sing in biblical Hebrew, a language rich with meaning.  Putting them together, I think, pushes the boundaries and forces questions and to what's really real, what's authentic.

Being real, being true to ourselves and others, is something we all are (or should be) struggling with.  It's an ongoing process, and not one with a definable product.  

What kinds of questions do you ask about authenticity?  How do you keep it real? 

 
In case you hadn't heard, my husband Alan and I are moving to New York.  Like, next week.  Breathe, Miriam, breathe...

For all you Chicago folks, this means an extremely low-maintenance going-away shindig at Friar Tuck's this Thursday night starting at about 8pm.  Shmooze and drinks and good times to be had by all.  Talk to me if you need details.

For everyone who didn't know, here's a little snippet to help clear things up:
And here, for good measure, is Stereo Sinai's latest tune featuring the truly incomparable, brilliant, and all-around mensch-ette Alicia Jo Rabins of Girls in Trouble on sumptuous violin.  I think you'll enjoy it.