8 July 2016

Rick Moranis - My Mother's Brisket And Other Love Songs.


Yup, that is the Rick Moranis, the actor who starred in some of the most popular movies of the 80's and 90's, most notably Little Shop Of Horrors, Spaceballs, The Flintstones, Parenthood, Honey I Shrunk The Kids (and it's sequels) and two movies about a team of paranormal investigators and eliminators who BUST GHOSTS. I forgot what those movies were called. He was mainly typecast as a nerd or an academic character (such as a scientist) and did a good job of it - but, for the love of God, avoid Splitting Heirs like a dose of clap. He ended up dropping out of acting round about 1996 after his wife died in 1991, leaving him with three kids. One of his last roles round about that time was Barney Rubble in The Flintstones. This lead to a common misconception that he's retired from showbiz. He hasn't, but he tends to stick mainly to albums like this and voice-work instead. This album was released in 2013 and is supposed to be a comedy album. Written alongside predominately Jewish writers, it supposedly is an attempt to carry on the 'Jewish Humour' of Allan Sherman. I wouldn't know as I've not heard him. This may seem a risky venture, but according to Wiki, Rick Moranis has a background as a comedy writer, so here is hoping this album is funny. Anyhow, on we go.

1) I'm Old  Enough To Be Your Zaide - A tale about a girl who is in love with an older man ('zaide' is Yiddish for'elder', according to Google). Rick Moranis is crooning this like Sinatra or something, and the music has a surf/flamenco vibe to it. It's amusing enough.

2) My Wednesday Balabusta - A slow song about a woman who cleans the house for a guy who has a crush on her. Turns out Balabusta is Yiddish for 'House Keeper'. The music is good and Rick can certainly sing. Not sure of the humour in this one though, maybe it's a joke that goes over my head.

3) Live Blogging The Himel Family Bris - Musically, this is the same tempo as Hava Nagila. It's quite good. Aside from describing the bris itself, it also describes what food the family are serving as well. I guess it's not impossible to imagine someone actually live blogging an event given how socially tuned-in we are these days.

4) My Mother's Brisket - A song about, his mum's brisket. A bit weird but I guess it's unconventional. Seriously, the care and attention that's gone into singing about mum's brisket is phenominal! Not sure what else to say...

5) Belated Haftorah - A reading from The Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, according to Google. Seriously, if there happens to be any Hebrew Scholar reading this, I'm sorry if I've got anything wrong. It's mostly spoken-word (in a sort-of "Woody Allen"-type accent). Basically about how he took Haftorah lessons at 46 as his parents were Communists who wouldn't leave the house or something. It's all a bit confusing to a gentile such as me...

6) Pu-Pu-Pu - Another funky Jewish music song, I'm a bit lost with the subject matter though. Musically, it's great though.

7) Parve - Apparently this Yiddish for foodstuffs that have no meat or dairy in them, meaning 'neutral'. A bit of a slow waltzy number. It's not as confusing as the last couple of songs. Nice song. I like it.

8) Wiggle Room - Sounding like a surfer/flamenco-type song, Some good singing too. Not much to talk about here...

9) I Can't Help It, I Just Like Christmas - Oh Good God...as we all know, the Jewish faith doesn't celebrate Christmas but the character in this song does. Slight country and western feeling here. Quite funny.

10) The Seven Days Of Shiva - The music and structure to this is along the lines of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas". Shiva being a seven day period of mourning for an immediate family member who has passed away. The family usually congregate in the house of the deceased and receive gifts. Basically, the visitors in this song come bearing gifts of food and things get out of hand as it takes them a while to finish it...the song ends with the news that another person died of heart failure so they send a food package they themselves received.

11) Kiss My Mezuzah - Slow swing music, which is fair enough. Basically, the guy is inviting a woman into his home and he's asking her to kiss a parchment - usually in a decorative case - which has Hebrew verses from the Torah on there. Or there is subtle sexual innuendo in there...either way, it's a decent song.

12) Asian Confusion - Starting off with what sounds like the intro to a Japanese game-show, A story of ordering Chinese food on a Sunday night. But they bring the wrong order! It's...interesting, to say the least.

13) Oy, The Mistakes I Made - Yeah, 'Splitting Heirs!' Seriously, another song that's a slow, waltzy number. It's not too bad. A nice way to end the album.

Well, fuck me, that was an experience and a half. Musically, it was a competent and strong album. Rick Moranis has a good voice on him and it's good to hear he's still keeping active, but I feel like I've had a crash-course in Hebrew right now. This album has been billed as a 'comedy' album but I'm not sure where the jokes were. All I can think is that maybe it's for a humour that I've no experience of. The only Jewish humour I know of is Mel Brooks and we all know what that's like. Erm...fuck it, it's a 'Kittens' rating. I really have no other words to describe this.



Top Track: The Seven Days Of Shiva.

You can get this album on iTunes.

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(Breaking usual protocol as I cannot find a proper video. It's from the OFFICIAL youtube channel though)

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