Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Matisyahu 

With Pigeon John. Saturday, November 19, at the Odeon.

Anyone who's been subjected to Baha'i ska or Krishna punk can tell you that Christianity is not the problem with Christian rock -- it's the manipulation of secular music with religion. Reggae, on the other hand, is religious music in the first place, with a distinctly Judaic root. No surprise, then, that Matisyahu, Brooklyn's Hassidic reggae cantor, eludes the stilted craftiness of religious pop.

Matisyahu's rapid dancehall toasting and Yiddish-inflected wails flow breezily along with their spiritual contents. On last year's Shake Off the Dust . . . Arise, it all feels like native ground, which is a real achievement for a guy who discovered both reggae and Judaism well after his formative years. His lyrics are made of prayers and exaltations rather than stories or politics, which could explain why they have yet to communicate the kind of universal power of Bob Marley's Rastafarianism or Van Morrison's Christianity. Then again, Matisyahu is all of 26.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Andrew Marcus

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Ryan Sickler @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Sebastian Maniscalco @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

    • Thu., Dec. 9

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation