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Here’s the Best Hebrew/African/Pop/Tropical/Funk You’ll Hear All Day


Winter blues got you down?  Although you’re sheltered from the bitter cold and biting winds, you may be feeling a little unhappy, maybe even a little restless because you’re trapped inside, with a roommate or two annoying wonderful children who demand constant love and attention along with never-ending requests for snacks and sugary drinks.  We all feel the cabin fever setting in, and it’s only natural to find ways to avoid succumbing to the temporary insanity.  But whatever you do, no matter how exotic it sounds, don’t accept a free assignment as a caretaker of a deserted and isolated hotel built upon the remains of an Native American burial ground.  More importantly, don’t take your family!  Palindromes are always a dead giveaway.

Like you, I was trapped in my house for three days last weekend, and what started out as a fun and exciting family bonding experience, spiraled into complete madness.  It didn’t take long before I had to isolate myself from the screams and constant territorial infighting.  Despondent and reclusive now – because a man can only play who’s making that smell, engage in dysfunctional board game marathons, or watch episodes of Cupcake Wars for so long – I sat motionless, in a dark room with my hands perched upon home row: out of ideas, out of beer and out of time.

Snap out of it for God’s-sake.  “Auribus Teneo Lupum!”

Hope is not lost.  While rummaging through desk drawers looking for some scissors, I found an iTunes gift card – everything changed from that moment.  So cheer up, I’m going to share the remedy that helped me shake off the blues and energized me to become a productive member of society again.  Research shows that music is effective in treating seasonal affective disorder and getting your ass off that chair, out of those sweats and into some pants.  What better way to warm yourself up than hearing some funky bass licks, melodic radiant guitar riffs, lyrics that flow between English and Hebrew, and multilayered percussions.  This is the type of music that immediately gets your body moving, and the band that’s the antidote to your winter induced apathy and stagnation is Fool’s Gold.

Fool’s Gold; not to be confused with Dan Fogelberg’s original backup band from the 70’s, is a multicultural collective based out of Los Angeles.  No Matt Jones didn’t discover them last week after Rob Lowe handed him a CD from the trunk of his car with the words ROB’S JAM written in black Sharpie.  Fool’s Gold formed in 2007 and their sound is warm and lush.  It’ll be just what you need to put one foot in the shower.  With an international vibe, Fool’s Gold draws inspiration from African pop, specifically King Sunny Ade’s Nigerian rhythmic Juju music and the Afro-beat sounds of Fela Kuti.  While you may be unfamiliar with Ade and Kuti, you’re probably more familiar with their influence on Western musicians like Ry Cooder and Afro-fusion/roots bands such as:  Vampire Weekend, Matisyahu, Franz Ferdinand, and Damon Albarn.

Although I had long enjoyed their 2009 debut self-titled album Fool’s Gold with such standout tracks as “Surprise Hotel” and “Nadine”, it wasn’t until I recently visited iTunes that I realized that Fool’s Gold had released their third album entitled Flying Lessons in May 2015.  I immediately purchased it, and friends, it does not disappoint.  I found myself moving, bouncing and drumming along even while toiling in the most mundane of tasks.

If there’s one complaint I have about Flying Lessons, it would be that I didn’t want it to end.  I feel the same way about this album as I do about a vacations:  you want them to continue even after they’re over.  But unlike vacations, with music you can just hit the replay button and the sounds take you back, stirring memories and sounds of better days.  While action-packed, the shortest song coming in at 3:42 minutes is the catchy “Lady of the Lake”.   There are longer songs, however, such as the six minute aptly titled “Break the Cycle” with a funky baseline reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea.  You know what they say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so go play Fool’s Gold – I guarantee you’ll be feelin’ fine.  If you’re not pulled into the groove after listening to them, then you’re buried underneath the avalanche of your own crapulence, or worse yet, I fear you’re already dead.


Article written by Matthew Mahone

Follow me on Twitter @M_E_Mahone