The Israeli Musicians of Charming Hostess

People have been asking me about the musicians that I worked with in Israel. Below are the members of HolyLand Charming Hostess, the Holy Hos. Following these are the members of Dropkin.


Noa is an accomplished percussionist who writes serious deep songs. She is also the co-founder of Ne’arot Ha-Livui—The Escort Girls. “It started as a joke…and it’s going to end up as a joke.†Sample lyrics: “What’s happening here, it’s Sodom and Gomorrah. I can’t see for shit—Is that a boy or a girl? Buy me an arak and fuck me hard—take advantage of me while I’m still drunk.â€

yaelYAEL KRAUS, Voice
“And I never get high before a show.†Yael is a co-founder of Ne’arot Ha-Livui—The Escort Girls, a hip-hop parody group. She is currently working on a solo album and also sings with the Panic Ensemble, a Roy Yarkoni project. “Roy’s melodies bring out the best in me—they let me stretch out and use my voice in many ways.â€

NirNIR WAXMAN, Beatbox
“I was always beatboxing before I even knew what it was. When I was 9, I would imitate drums or drum on the table. Eventually I realized you can do that and be part of a group, and I was recruited into the Vocalions. But I’m still at the beginning of this road.†Influences include Beatbox.com, and greats such as Rahzel and Kenny Muhammed. Nir is particularly interested in the integration of electronics and the organic body. He writes, paints, and does martial arts
“There’s a thirst here for outside contact—something different than the heat, violence and media you see every day. People are trying to build a bridge over this stream, sometimes without even noticing it. We are comfortable with bridged forms here because it’s a fusion-based culture—you might have 5 source languages in a single room. “

“I play violin and I’m cool! Well, I’m trying to be cool. Don’t forget to tell people I’m single and very, very hot.†Chen knows how to recite “To be, or not to be†in Klingon, and also how to say “Duh…†in many languages. His mom made his grandpa buy him a fiddle when he was 7 and he’s been playing ever since. Projects include Aviv GeffenIvri Lider, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra and the Hebrew version of Guys and Dolls.

“I play the bigger violin, also known as the viola. I study performance and composition at the Academy in Jerusalem, and play with my oboe/viola/electronics band, Hop’c’Dazey. I also present contemporary classical and electronic music and perform in gay clubs because I’m a fag hag.†Maya has a very unusual and mysterious sense of humor which is sometimes in disguise as a thundercloud.

“I jump from lullabies with the baby at home to working with Clipa (a kickass fresh physical musical avant-garde theater company), then I grab a sandwich and head to the next rehearsal. Influences include Fred Frith, the Lounge Lizards, and underground psychedelic artists from the 70s. I am a strong fighter against noise pollution—I’m always equipped with earplugs.â€

“I listen to a lot of different music—it can be sweet melodic stuff, or Mike Patton screaming, or John Zorn blowing up my stereo and disturbing my neighbors. Major influences include Zappa, the Cardiacs and Mr. Bungle. I play with GilliamSympozion and Windy and Destiny.†Erez is also well known throughout the land for having a gentle smile and making an even better version of his mother’s excellent chocolate cake.

BorisBORIS MARTZINOVSKY, Accordion, Impresario
“I’m a josh, I have an Art Bears tattoo, and I wanted to make money from a Radical Jewish diva.†Yeah, good luck with that, my flat affect brother. Boris is brilliant, funny, cynical and organized. None of this would have happened without Boris and everyone knew it, he got a standing ovation at the show. He has incredibly high standards and is currently working on adinut. He knows where the best sabih is, where the good dive bars are, how to throw a beach party, and how to serve up caviar and sardines. Did I mention his parents are also lovely? Now, can we find a nice Jewish American girl for this man?

YoavYOAV KLEIN, Bassoon
“I graduated UCLA and then Harvard in astrophysics…No really, I’m studying law here in Tel Aviv. I got into law when I realized there was not that much work for bassoonists, or even contra bassoonists. Recently I went to the Rodger Waters show and was amazed how a 64-year-old guy could play so much better than me.â€

Some bands he’s in: The Girls, EatlizAmit Erez
His musical goal: “Trying to learn and progress without fucking it up.â€
His favorite wackos: “Givol Choir—it was like being in an insane asylum with talent!â€
His slogan: “More air conditioning and less guitars.â€
His wife: “Number one prostitute in Kazakhastan!â€

YatzivYATZIV CASPI, Drums and Percussion
Yatziv has wide ranging musical tastes, but he is mostly interested in Indian and other ethnic music, as well as avant-garde jazz and progressive rock. Bands he rocks with include AhvakThin Lips, and Orphaned Land. He also taught Jewlia some important Hebrew phrases that came in very handy, and created the rehearsal protocol of Shoko and lakhmaniyot.



Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

dropkinDropkin is an avant-rock band with music by Roy Yarkoni. The lyrics are Hebrew translations of poems by the Yiddish modernist Celia Dropkin (1887-1956). Her work is intensely personal, rich with violent sexuality, intense longing, and strange explorations of family dynamics. The music, like her poetry, is ambitious, sensual, and a bit scary.

A bass player from a young age, Ishay has participated since birth in rock and metal bands. With Roy, he cofounded the avant-progressive group Ahvak, as well as Thin Lips, Panic,
Love Soup, and Dropkin. He relates very much to alternating and varying musical styles, mostly complex, eclectic and esoteric. He is a recording engineer and producer, easy to work with, graced with infinite patience and faith. Recent work includes producing Maya Elron’s first solo album, an alternative trip-hop piece.


“I play with free sax player Albert Berger, Bobbe Maises klezmer Band, Panic Ensemble and more. Big influences on me are Eric Dolphy, Led Zeppelin, Tim Berne, Beatles, Derek Bailey, Bill Frisell, Ornette Coleman, Yonatan Avishai, Elliott Sharp, Marc Ribot, Neil Young…. and the list goes on. I teach guitar for a living. Since August I am the director of Ha-Gada Ha-Smalit – a non profit culture club.†We love Ha-Gada and we love Khadash.

Roy is the composer and keyboard player for bands Dropkin, Panic Ensemble, Ahvak, and Thin Lips. He is a well-established theater and dance composer, writing scores heard at the Israel Festival, Akko Festival, Beit Lessin and the T’muna Theater. He also writes for film and television, often with Avi Belleli from Nikmat Ha-Traktor. When he married Michal, he was given a book of poetry, which he has returned to repeatedly for inspiration–he found the Dropkin poems there. Roy is known to rock the badminton court, he’s sick of josh music, he thinks the term “baa-li” is juvenile, and he likes Shoko.




Charming Hostess | San Francisco, CA