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Another Sample

Just like last time, we have some talented kids taking over the mic for a few songs this time around. Here's one called "Af Peh Ozen." It's sort of Hebrew's answer to "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes." Click here for a sample.
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...Or So I Thought

Where oh where did the week go?!

The plan was to take the week off of work, do some filming, some editing, some blogging, and get all caught up on the business end of things. It seems like I blinked and the week was over.

I now see why Coppola almost went insane while filming Apocalypse Now. Just kidding--it was great fun. I didn't get nearly as much of the filming accomplished as I thought I would, but hey, that's show business for you.

The week got off to a rather rocky start. It was a nice splash of cold water to tell me, "hey Rob, this isn't going to be easy." By the end of the week, the shots looked better and I had regained the confidence that I felt eroding earlier in the week. Each day's footage seemed to improve in quality.

The video I'm creating is in many ways more ambitious than the first, with more variety in filming locations, and a more narrative thread to each video.

I'm encouraged by all of the great feedback I've received on OyBaby, but also take it as a challenge to surpass your expectations again with the sequel. This week marked another milestone on that quest. Thanks for your interest and support along the way.
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There will be lots of posting this week...

I'm taking a week of vacation from my day job to film a big chunk of OyBaby 2. I've got a big week planned, and Lisi and I have lots of babysitters lined up so we can keep things moving. As cute as they are, our kids can't be in every scene.

We have about 50 kids lined up (amazingly, 31 girls and only 19 boys). We start Monday morning with a scene at a park. Tuesday night, we're doing a mock Shabbat dinner. We've got Puppets on Wednesday and "Seder" Thursday. Throughout the week, we'll be filming at some people's houses, and the elaborate OyBaby production facility our garage.

Check this site often this week. I'll post some "stills" from the set, as well as some more music samples.

Oh, you want another music sample tonight? Ok...Shabbat Shalom. This one's a full-length version: L'Cha Dodi.
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OyBaby in Reform Judaism Magazine

In the Summer, 2005 issue of Reform Judaism, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer writes:
"Searching for the perfect au currant new baby gift? Today, you need look no further than your local Sisterhood Judaica shop to pick up a copy of Judaism’s answer to the “Baby Einstein” trend. “Oy Baby!,” a video of Jewish imagery and music created for babies six months and up, is one of the fastest selling items in the gift shop of Temple Beth Israel in Fresno, California, says buyer Arlana Stewart."

Attention Disney Corporation lawyers: They said it, not me!
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How 'bout another?

Modeh Ani...one of 14 new songs on OyBaby 2!
Click here to listen to a sample!

Use the comments feature to let us know what you think!
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Wanna hear a sample?

Mi Chamocha...one of 14 new songs on OyBaby 2!
Click here to listen to a sample!

Use the comments feature to let us know what you think!
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2 Cool 4 U!

Just a quickie...The OyBaby 2 music is being mixed this week by a guy that's been the engineer on a number of Prince albums. How cool is that?
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Thoughts From The Studio

Well, the music's recorded. Now all we need to do is mix it, film the video, edit it, design the cover, redesign the website, send it to the manufacturer, and market it.

Watching the recording in Portland was a phenomenal experience. The Schneidermans were at the top of their game, as I knew they would be. Stephanie really took the production to the next level. The songs are more ambitious, the instrumentation is more elaborate, and the session musicians were just amazing. You are so going to be listening to this even when your kids are not around!

All I kept thinking was wow, wow, wow.

By the time we had gotten there, they had recorded Modeh Ani and Hallelujah. The engineer cued up what he apologetically called really, really rough mixes...and it still sounded like Abbey Road!

We were lucky enough to go down on the night the kids came in to lay down their tracks. First we had two girls doing Debbie Friedman's funky take on Mah Nishtanah (the 4 questions of Passover). Then we had some more kids in to do Af Peh Ozen, Kol B'Seder's Hebrew answer to Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.

And then it was time for a little ruach.

Doug Blauer, who is the voice behind OyBaby's Cheri Bim Bum led a group of about a dozen kids in a version of Hiney Matov that was equal parts Louis Prima, Cab Calloway, and the Ramones. You'll just have to hear it to know what I mean.

Thursday morning, the session musicians came back to lay down the instruments for Tzena Tzena. It was an all-star team that included famed pianist Michael Allen Harrison and drummer Mike Snyder.

Also that morning, the Schneids recorded the fabulous Hanukkah Blessings. This song was released last year by one of my favorite bands, Barenaked Ladies (a band comprised of 5 fully clothed men). The lead singer of BNL is Jewish, and this song was included in a holiday album they released last year. It's a pop song, but it also blends the actual Hanukkah blessings into its lyrics. I filmed the Schneidermans recording of this song, and plan to incorporate some of the footage into the video itself.

After that, I had to get back to Seattle and some work for my day job. When all was said and done, 14 new songs were recorded.

So, when do you get to hear all this gorgeousness?

Stephanie was on an East Coast concert swing this past week. She'll be back in the studio next week to work on the mixing with the sound engineer. Once the tracks are mixed, I'll get the files, and will be posting some snippets of them for you to enjoy.

I may string 'em out just a little bit. You know, to keep you coming back for more. Stay tuned...


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A good cloud night

As I watch the sequel in my mind's eye, I've got a great idea for the visuals of the final song. It involves a night sky, clouds, and images projected onto those clouds as if if the sky was one great big movie screen. Tonight, I saw the clouds I wanted.

I grabbed my camera and tripod and headed out to Lid Park, a high spot here on Mercer Island, that was built on top of a freeway (thus, the name). Got some great footage, and took some stills, like the one below.

Some day this fall, when you're watching OyBaby 2, you'll know that this was the night the grand finale was born.


Clouds over Seattle, July 7, 2005. Click for a larger image.
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Stephanie playing live shows in NY, MA, and NH this week

Stephanie Schneiderman, one of the three sisters that sing so beatifully on OyBaby, is playing some of her "grownup music" on the East Coast this week. Her solo work is excellent--so excellent that she was chosen as an opening act for the Lilith Fair concert tour. She's also opened for Indigo Girls and Hall & Oates. Check out her website at www.stephanieschneiderman.com to hear samples.

Wednesday, July 6, 8pm
ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL - New York, NY
http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com

Thursday, July 7, 7pm
THE BITTER END - New York, NY
http://www.bitterend.com

Saturday, July 9, 3pm
NEWBURYPORT RIVERFRONT FESTIVAL - Newburyport, MA
Hosted by WXRV 92.5FM "The River"
http://www.wxrv.com

Saturday, July 9, 8pm
TUPELO MUSIC HALL - Londenderry, NH (close to Boston)
http://www.tupelohall.com