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    Planning a Chanukah Party Part 1: Music

    Do you know what we love best about the holidays? All the parties! If you are throwing a Chanukah or holiday bash, we're here to help you with your planning! There are a million components to making your festival of lights a true festival -- food, drinks, decorations, and games, but first we'll start with the music. We're offering up some suggestions for making sure your party goers are moving and grooving like a life-size dreidel.

    A (sort of) old standby is a disc by The LeeVees -- Hanukkah Rocks. The band is the work of Guster's Adam Gardner and some other indie-rock hipsters. You can't go wrong with "Latke Clan," "Goyim Friends," and "Applesauce vs. Sour Cream," an homage to the ages-old debate about what to pair with your latkes. Here's a taste, with "How Do You Spell Channukkahh."


    If you're into some more kid-friendly songs, check out Mama Doni , who has a holiday EP available on her website with free downloads this month, including the songs "Latke Man" and "La Vida Dreidel." Mama Doni's tunes are definitely upbeat and good for making sure your party stays up and alive, no matter the age of your partiers. Mama Doni's "The Funky Gold Menorah," below, is a trippy-fun tune!


    If you're looking for some variety in your Chanukah tunes, the new album by Erran Baron Cohen, famed brother of Borat (also known as Sascha Baron Cohen), might be just right. Erran's previous musical stylings appear in the work of the band Zohar, but this new CD -- Songs in the Key of Hanukkah -- is full of Chanukah toe-tappers. The stellar thing about Erran's new work is that he teams up with the likes of Y-Love and Idan Raichel. "Dreidel" (found below) is an intense, rock-out version of the classic song, and the tunes cover as many genres as there are options on how to spell Chanukah (or is it Hanukkah or Hanukah ...). "Look to the Light" reminds me of something out of the 1960s, "Rock of Ages" has a very light rock feel to it, and many of the tracks are superloaded with Hebrew and Yiddish lyrics. Basically, no matter the preferences of your guests, Erran Baron Cohen has made an album that anyone and everyone can jive to on Chanukah.


    Of course, for those classic music lovers, there's the traditional favorite -- Adam Sandler singing the "Chanukah Song." After all, Sandler paved the way for the aforementioned musicians to belt love for the latke noshing holiday, right?


    Whatever tunes you pick up for your Chanukah festivities, make sure you stay tuned for future installments on preparing for your party. And be sure to check out Erran Baron Cohen and Y-Love on Conan O'Brien tonight!

    Light the menorah and pass the candle!


    Remember our awesome PopJudaica.com Chanukah video from last year? Well our friend William Levin of Shabot 6000 and The Jewish Robot has done it again! This year he and his partner-in-crime Michelle Citrin have come up with Pass The Candle. This participatory video project allows you to submit footage of yourself lighting a menorah. William and Michelle will then string the segment together to form a worldwide chain of menorah lightings! Cool, huh? Go ahead, pass the candle.

    Introducing G-dcast

    You've heard of a podcast, how about a G-dcast? Each week, G-dcast presents a cartoon depicting the story that Jews are reading in the Torah each week (aka the Parsha of the week) Check out a different 4 minute cartoon each week - some tell stories, some sing country songs...and then there's the hip hoppers, too. New G-dcast episodes drop on Mondays. Created by the designer of the Jews for Jeter and Yo Semite t-shirts, this is the most innovative Jewish site we've come by in a long time! Mazel Tov!