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Sessions With Dr. Luv (CatiNaBag)
By NICK TAVARES
STATIC and FEEDBACK Editor
In the course of a day, bands and discs surround
my being. My desk, for example, is home to a stack
of CDs (whatever I’m listening to at the moment), a
hard-drive full of .mp3 and .flac files, an iPod and
books on musicians I’ve come to love over the
years. I keep the rest of the CDs, tapes and vinyl in
But in addition to that, I try to listen to as much new
stuff as I can, be it live or on disc. Some of it hits
me, some of it doesn’t, but trends emerge
nonetheless. For some of the lesser-known bands,
the temptation to fit neatly into a genre — punk,
mainstream rock, psychobilly, etc. — which, in the
end, is fine. 99% of all bands who form aren’t even
heard outside of their zip code, anyway, so it’s all
Then there are other bands who are aware of their fitting into some obscure sub-genre of music, but aren’t
completely comfortable staying with it. Of these, few, as is the nature of the beast, go on to greater things, but
inevitably they’re always the more interesting listen.
Which brings us to Dellilah, a four-piece hailing from Jerusalem. Elie Adelman, 20, is staying in Massachusetts
for the summer, and sent along a copy of his disc to me. To be honest, I said yes out of politeness, but I was
pleasantly surprised by what came out of my car speakers one night during a 2 a.m. drive home.
The sounds that filled my space for the next weren’t cookie-cutter cover band stuff, nor was it trying to be. It was
music that was challenging, both for the listener and those making it. Sessions With Dr. Luv is not a typical first
recording, to say the least.
“This is the first professional recording that we have done,” Adelman explained. “We drove up to Herzeliah (north
of Tel Aviv) to a home studio of this fantastic guy, Oren Lahav, (The Doctor). We did a 17-hour marathon of
recording and mixing and left with an album.”
Holding the case for Sessions With Dr. Luv, with cover art clearly displaying the flash of a camera and scotch
tape, the sound of a driving guitar to start “Big Machine” didn’t knock me as anything different at first. But the
dissonant changes and speak/sing vocals that followed did. It was an unsafe sound, clearly falling somewhere
between the Pixies’ Doolittle and Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising, though, to be fair, not as accomplished as
either. Instead, the sound was one of real effort and love of music. An interest in getting by at frat parties wasn’t
obvious; instead, the feeling to try to branch out and take the road less traveled hit these ears. A welcome sound,
Though rough, the sound was young and brooding. It’s a sound, though, that screamed of something bigger
down the road, something to be watched as it grows. Most importantly, there was the feeling of music being
created for the sake of music. In the world of art, it’s a commodity that’s never short on supply.
“I’m not sure. just the love of creating something,” Adelman said. “After being constantly influenced by so many
kinds of music and art forms, to be able to create something that we can honestly say belongs to us is the best
feeling in the world.”
And the world does more than its share to provide material to Dellilah. For example, Dellilah’s ambitious trilogy
— Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3 — takes on some more violent subject matter, both in its music and lyrics. Adelman
notes that it’s just another influence on the music, another product of the band’s surroundings.
“If you read the Israeli newspapers, you’d see that almost every day on the second to last page there’s at least
one article about rape, sexual harassment, abuse. assault, incest, violence, wife beating, child raping… that’s
the kind of stuff that gets to me,” he said. “The Israeli-Palestinian situation is so talked about, and as much as I
hate what’s going on there, there are a lot of victims of other crimes and other oppressions that are not being
So, the end result is this record. Sometimes atonal, sometimes searing, sometimes indebted to classic and
indie rock influences, it’s 32 minutes of music created for the sense of creation. While it’s not likely to replace the
Beatles’ White Album in your rotation, it is guaranteed to secure a place in your memory.
And with it, there will be the hope that there’s yet more to come.
“I can never see myself getting sick of making music,” Adelman said. “I want to do it all. I’m now trying to write
much more jazz-based material. Music is just so endless that there’s always something that we can do,
something that we haven’t thought about yet.
“I, personally, am planning on becoming a teacher. but the music will always come first to me.”
|Dellilah: From left, Elie Adelman, Adi Inbar and Noa
Finkelstein. Not pictured: Yohay Swissa. Note that the
Sessions With Dr. Luv cover is much, much cooler than this.