While the Jewish holiday traditions of Hanukkah have a rich and storied history, there isn't a whole lot going when it comes to contemporary holiday music. Every year, we're flooded by endless repetitions of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" along with a neverending barrage of newer Christmas songs, but there's not a lot of new music dedicated to Hanukkah.
Enter Dave Grohl (who is not actually Jewish) of Foo Fighters fame, and multi-platinum producer and musician Greg Kurstin (who is Jewish). They're collaborating on creating a new cover for all eight days of Hanukkah, putting their own unique musical spins on some of contemporary music's biggest hits by artists who also share Jewish heritage.
With all the mishegas of 2020, @GregKurstin & I were kibbitzing about how we could make Hannukah extra-special this year. Festival of Lights?! How about a festival of tasty LICKS! So hold on to your tuchuses... we’ve got something special coming for your shayna punims.— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) December 10, 2020
We'll be adding each of them here, so be sure to come back every day and check out the latest song release!
DAY 1: "Sabotage" - Beastie Boys
Kicking things off, Dave and Greg do a spot-on homage to the Beastie Boys with a cover of "Sabotage."
DAY 2: "Hotline Bling" - Drake
Next up is "Hotline Bling" by Drake, who's proudly Jewish on his mother's side.
DAY 3: "Mississippi Queen" - Mountain
While his on-stage moniker of Leslie West may not suggest it, Mountain's lead singer was actually born Leslie Weinstein.
DAY 4: "F**k the Pain Away" - Peaches
Canadian artist Peaches was born Merril Nisker and actually grew up right down the road from Canadian music legend Geddy Lee! This awesome cover even features an appearance by Peaches herself!!!
Day 5: "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" - Bob Dylan
Can you imagine what Bob Dylan's bar mitzvah would've been like? Man, I wish I could see that.
Day 6: "Connection" - Elastica
Today saw a throwback to some classic 90's Britpop/punk.
Day 7: "Frustrated" - The Knack
The Knack is best known for "My Sharona," but Dave and Greg decided to go for one of their other hits instead.
Day 8: "Rock and Roll" - The Velvet Underground
Closing out this Hanukkah is a classic song by a classic band!
They also closed out the holiday with the following statement from Dave:
As 2020 comes to a close and another Hanukkah ends (my first!) I am reminded of the two things that have gotten me through this year: music and hope. This project, which initially began as a silly idea, grew to represent something much more important to me. It showed me that the simple gesture of spreading joy and happiness goes a long way, and as we look forward, we should all make an effort to do so, no matter how many candles are left to light on the menorah. Toda Raba to Greg for being a musical genius and spending 2 1/2 days barnstorming through these songs together. You never fail to amaze me. Big round of applause for Markus Rutledge, the poor soul that had only 24 hours (8 days in a row) to churn out each of these videos for us! You deserve a medal for sleep deprivation! Huge hearts for the force of nature known as Peaches! You brought the real. And, of course to all of you for joining in on the fun. I hope that you enjoyed watching. So, sing along one last time to “Rock and Roll” by The Velvet Underground, a song about music and hope, and let’s keep spreading the joy and happiness. It goes a long way..... Dave