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Recently I had the opportunity to travel to the Middle East with Free The Robots and Phil Nisco to work on a side project dubbed A Week on Earth, documenting music, art and culture of the locals in Israel – showing the other side of the story that no one really hears or sees. Regardless of the anxiety instilled by all of the news channels about the Israel/Hamas conflict, I continued on with the trip because I firmly believe that we cannot let fear dictate what kind of life we lead. So I renounced my national identity, sacrificed my culture, abandoned whatever conditioning mechanisms that created a sense of separation between myself and another group, and just embraced the idea that I am an Earthling first before being American. Through my entire experience in Israel I discovered a subculture of inspired individuals who are caught in the middle of a holy war that they don’t identify with. It was almost like I teleported to a defunct dreamland that has the same obscure personal club of artists, musicians and poets that remind me a lot of my friends back home. Anyways.. enough of my existential ranting- here are some photos from the first part of the trip.

We first arrived in central Jerusalem at our home base in the Nachlaot neighborhood. The house we stayed in was built in 1880 by a Yemenite man who traveled for 7 years on a donkey to establish roots in Jeru.

Stray cats run the streets and alleyways everywhere throughout the city

Being my first time in Israel, I had to do the tourist thing and check out the Old City.

The Dome of the Rock from a distance.

On the 2nd or 3rd day, we stopped by raash hour radio station / gallery to play some tunes and explain the concept of our whole trip during drunk poetry hour.

Big brother is watching

Markets and practically everything is closed down on Shabbat, but that didn’t stop us from wandering around

Some JR portraits from his Inside Out project.

More wandering

We were invited to a “junk rave” outside of an abandoned train car – such a surreal experience – and not because of the massive joints being lit

The main mission of our stay in Jerusalem was The Frontline Festival, a 5 day event filled with independent artists, bands, DJ’s, experiments and all kinds of shit that made me feel like I was in a different dimension.

Originally, the shows were supposed to take place within the Old City, but with the war going on The Frontline took the festival back to the streets

The Mizkaka, one of the main venues was an abandoned underground well turned music venue- fully outfitted for any type of performance.

Here’s a very very small look at some of the acts, I didn’t get to take many photos of the shots because I found myself so immensely stupefyed by the experience.

Probably one of the craziest things I’ve ever witnessed – Markey Funk created a live soundtrack and effects to play along with a silenced version of the 1970 Soviet Masterpiece, Blue Bird, using 4 turntables and all vinyl. Mind = blown.


Next stop, Haifa!