Kohane of Newark

Kohane of Newark

 New York City, New York, USA

Critics lavish praise on Kohane of Newark's visionary word-smith, guitarist, singer -Ricky Orbach- whose fusion of Velvets, YLT, Dylan, Television, The Doors, J. Richman, CCR and Pavement song stylings take root in a bass-less 3 guitar band of NYC downtown John Zorn hand-picked guitar all stars.


Ricky Orbach (Words, Music, Guitar)

“A significant new voice on the contemporary music scene. ...Orbach's songs are so character-driven and his voice and musical approach so distinctive (in the way that Tom Waits sounds like no one other than Tom Waits) that it's fair to call Orbach a true original.“
.. Seth Rogovoy, Writer, award-winning critic and author of Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet

“An American Serge Gainsbourg, Kohane of Newark's NEW MIDLIFE CRISIS probes the dark, sensitive heart of the Jewish experience. Equal parts Lou Reed/Alexander Portnoy/Jonathan Richman/Delmore Schwartz the result is late-night therapy drenched in beautiful music.“
.. Steven Lee Beeber, Author The Heebie Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk

“Killer Jew-punk panopticon / horn 'a plenty /musical manna from heaven courtesy Kohane of Newark and a cast of thou--nice touches from Avram Pengas, Deerfrance, Ficca, Lloyd, and Ribot, and much much more” ..
Gary Lucas, Guitarist extraordinaire, composer, producer (Captain Beefheart, Jeff Buckley, Chris Cornell) ..

A "...cholent of angst and wisdom......a full-fledged, lovingly crafted alternative rock operetta, infused with spicy Oriental musical flavors as vibrant as traditional Bukharan robes.” ..
The Forward , Review by Uzi Silber


Jon Madof (Guitar, Voice and Banjo)

"Like you've invited Dick Dale to do the music at your bar mitzvah."
NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday with Liane Hansen

"Madof essays with Jim Hall-like sensitivity alternated with a Hendrixian abandon."
Guitar One

Eyal Maoz (Guitar and Voice)

“There's no doubt Eyal Maoz is in a exclusive club of post-Jimi Hendrix guitarists who include Nels Cline, Hilmar Jensson, Scott Fields, David Torn, and the legendary Terje Rypdal.”– Michael G. Nastos – All Music Guide. September 2009

“A cutting edge guitarist who combines the harmonic lyricism of Bill Frisell with the angst and skronk of Marc Ribot…keep your eyes and ears on this guy” – John Zorn

Yuval Lion (Drums)

"I've had the privilege of playing with Michael Shrieve (Santana) and Billy Ficca (Television) but the drummer who does my songs the most justice is Yuval Lion. I love this guy!"
Ricky Orbach, Kohane of Newark

Players who occasionally find their way into the ranks are...Patrick Derivaz, Mathias Kunzli, Billy Ficca and JD Foster.



Written By: Ricky Orbach


Where are the cheers?

I haven’t heard them
I haven’t heard them in years.


Where is my crowd?

The crowd is still here
But not cheering
Not cheering a sound

And the Cheers

Where are the Cheers?


Written By: Ricky Orbach

Maccabean Christmas
They’re hanging colored light
Inside my parents home my sisters not in sight
Out tonight with a guy my daddy called “Trouble”

I walk into her room to read her magazines
And the books that she keeps hidden
Back behind the screen
In the driveway I can see them parked in his 67’ Pontiac Lemans
Real cool.

She’s kissing this guy just like Natalie Wood in “Rebel Without A Cause”
So it must be good
I know that she loves him for more than just a one-night pleaser.

In walks my daddy coiled like a spring
Ready to pounce on just about anything
No, it won’t be me
So I tell him about my older sister.

“Slut’ he said “that arrogant bitch – dirty and disgusting little pornographic witch –
16 years old – now don’t you be like her son.”

And she was gone for 8 days and 8 nights
When we lit the candles I could see the tear in my mother’s eye
She was gone
That girl was gone yes, she was way gone
I left my family on the Festival of Lights

That Friday afternoon in the holiday snow my friends came on over
For a tackle and a throw
Footprints disappearing while the snow fell without mercy.

After about an hour – maybe even two – we all came inside after removing our shoes Mom’s potato pancakes were waiting like a prize in the kitchen

She never talked much
She hardly spoke
Always kept her dignity
Never understood a joke
She pretended to be peaceful
While inside of her the sea was raging

My buddies were laughing and talking about school
I laughed along with them, yes - I was cool
From the side of my eye I could see my mom was a puzzle in pieces

Then the telephone rang – it was my sisters’ best friend
Mom picked it up
She did the best to pretend
“Can I take a message”
Momma said with no hint of breaking.

And she was gone for 8 days and 8 nights
When we lit the candles I could see the fear in my mother’s eyes
She was gone
That girl was gone yes, she was way gone
I left my family on the Festival of Lights

There’s a river of silence I hear in my head
A wave of revulsion for all that I’ve said
While my life goes on like some cruel repeating record
I wish for an end to the fights in my home
I pray for today to just leave me alone
Hurry tomorrow and I’ll hold you in my arms

The doorbell rings
It’s Saturday morning
Everyone’s sleeping in the clothes they’re born in
I can hear my parents behind the green bedroom door

“Who could that be, so damn early,” dad says
Me I’m thinking it’s the cops ready to tell me she’s dead
“Died on a highway hitching with a guy named Trouble.”

I ran downstairs to answer the bell
There’s my big sister with the boyfriend from hell
A package in each arm, tribute from the local deli

She bought the breakfast, bagels and lox, assorted cheeses,
Pickled herring in a box
And she set the table not speaking a word
Just smiling

Then my parents came down in their best Shabbos clothes
Kissed us both before saying hello
And then off to Shul they went hand in hand, like lovers

And she was gone for 8 days and 8 nights
When we lit the candles I could see the flames dance in my mother’s eyes
We were gone, gone, gone - yes, we were way gone
I left my family on the Festival of Lights

I Don't Mind

Written By: Ricky Orbach

I don’t mind that you really care about the things I don’t care about
I don’t mind that you don’t really care about the things I care about

I don’t mind
I don’t mind
Please stop killing the kind

I don’t sweat over things I can’t change because I can’t change them
I can’t stop a disaster but I can soothe you and swallow your tears.

I don’t mind
I don’t mind
Please stop killing the kind

I don’t holler at no one and I don’t get too political
It’s not my thing I guess I’d rather be physical with only you.

I don’t mind what your thinking providing your not gonna stab me
I don’t mind what your doing as long nobody gets hurt

I don’t mind your religion and I wish you wouldn’t mind mine either
But I guess that’s asking too much when your dealing with us.

I don’t mind
I don’t mind
Please stop killing the kind


Written By: Ricky Orbach

Last night I awoke to
Pizza and Blood
Pizza and Blood
All over her face

I followed the smell of
Pizza and Blood
It led to a cave in the hills
While hunters hunt game
The shepherd protects
Pizza and Blood
Are all that remain

I followed the smell of Pizza and Blood
It led to an oven of bones

Pizza and Blood
All over the place
Pizza and Blood
All over her face
One child learns
One child burns
Pizza and Blood
All over the kids

I followed the smell of Pizza and Blood
It lead to a brother-less child
The character moon
The highway of regret
Pizza and Blood
Make everything Red

I followed the smell of Pizza and Blood
It led to the fiery word.
Pizza and Blood
All over the place
Pizza and Blood
All over her face


Written By: Ricky Orbach

words can make the dessert bloom
words can fill this empty room
words will make you rich from out of squalor

here’s to words that open doors
words that turn the virgin - whore
words can ease the pain of life your living

words can brighten gloomy days
words can shine light through the haze
words can guide the lost birds to their nesting

wise men hoarde words in their room
rich men chisel words on tombs
poor men have but words to beg for morsels

words can raze a city square
someday words will grow real hair
words can topple empires & kingdoms

none of the words
I knew
could save our love from falling

I Want Change

Written By: Ricky Orbach

I want change so bad
I don’t know what to do

wipe out all my memory
erase corrupted sectors of my faulty drive
reprogram operating systems to replace
the years of shit and strife

with my ex-wife

I want change so bad
I don’t know what to do

I feast in sheeps meadow
with a blue bag of pretzels
and a pink champagne
where fools tend to follow
is where i built my fortress in the rain

there I remain

I want change so bad
I don’t know what to do

To follow preconceived instructions
migrate to a brand new shiny slate
would give me opportunity to
rearrange the code i lived to hate

and i can’t wait

I want change so bad
I don’t know what to do

I’ve tried to get religion
and religion seems to be getting back at me
for wanting to resolve equations
better left to luck and misery


I want change so bad
I don’t know what to do

one day i’ll walk right out of here and someone else will whisper in your ear
all the things i never said
that’s when you’ll know it’s me I’ve re-appeared

kept the beard


Written By: Ricky Orbach

She was lovely, lonely, horny
And believed him a success
He was a failure at succeeding
He believed that was success

Like an hors d'oeuvre at a banquet
Between the fingers of an heir
Always tasted and admired
Though he wasn’t really there

Many spoke about his promise
There were rumors of a plan
But after turning twenty-seven
They knew he never had a plan

Ever lost inside the moment
While pulling up his socks
Not really devastated
when his wife done changed the locks

While eyes follow him
Follow him to follow his eyes.

At the tycoons sons’ Bar Mitzvah
In a rented Lauren tux
He made poignant conversation
They all knew he had no bucks

He was broke in Amagansett
But in the Hamptons broke’s not cool
His Visa card was cut in half
At a bar in Malibu

Floating off into the sunset
re-inventing himself thrice
First an athlete then a writer
Now a pioneer of vice
Secret gems inside the pocket
Little seed inside the joint
Pop like innuendo
When the flame ignites the point

While eyes follow him
Follow him to follow his eyes.

He wore the anti-hero haircut
And an innovators shoe
But they were obviously plagiarized
There was nothing left to lose

Completion or full closure
Only once were they attained
When he split his skull while jumping
From a burning aero plane

Not near the ledge for jumping
Too chicken
Too depressed
When you get by
You just get by

And to heavenly hell with all the rest.

While eyes follow him
Follow him to follow his eyes.


Written By: Ricky Orbach

I make a mess though I don’t feel obliged
To stop my playing and the rest of my life
A clean house makes me want to dirty it up
A clean house makes me want to piss in a cup but I love a clean house

I’m not that lazy though I can be a schmock
When I leave trails around of 3-day-old socks
And have you noticed I’m especially fond
When you clean house and I’m nowhere to be found
But I love a Clean House

This points to a deficiency in some human beings
Sometimes I get heavy
But I don’t know what I mean I don’t know what life means what does it mean?

That painting’s crooked on the living room wall
But I’ve been programmed not to notice at all
This clean house smells like a room full of Glade
This clean house makes me want to open the shades and I love a clean house

When entertaining a clean house is a must
I love you more in the absence of dust Somehow this place just gets clean all by itself
We wouldn’t hire illegal immigrant help cause I want my clean house.

Why upset the balance of atomic molecules
Life’s not always perfect
But do I know what that means? I don’t know what that means

I don’t know why a circle is so comfortable
Why the planets aren’t square
Why we have to die
What the people in the next room are fighting about
What the chemicals in TV dinners do to us
How the radius of a circle comes to equal Pi
Or the reason for tears when we laugh or cry
What the codes in the Torah really signify
Why the stuff we smoked didn’t get us high
What the people who make curfews do at night
Why the color of a bright light intensifies
Why the ancient peoples tales are sermonized, memorized, then infantilized

And why the cover of my crock-pot is still missing.


Written By: Ricky Orbach

Shoshana’s back home Again
Not surprising
It’s been some year
Shoshana’s had
All her dreams shattered
By John
It’s over, dear.

White wedding day
Bittersweet turned gray

Shoshana’s says
“THAT life” ended when
She tasted
John’s poison lips
Shoshana’s say’s
“My husband’s gone
Yes, the car crash
3 injured kids”

Shoshana knows the truth

Nothing to say
She won’t return
John knows

Come back home, Daddy’s waiting for you

Shoshana’s face
Still beautiful
Ancient alive with pain
Shoshana knows that
She’ll do much better than John
She’s right.
Dad prays.

Shoshana knows the truth

Love’s passing fast
cars burn
cars crash
Who drove

Come back home, Daddy’s waiting for you

New Midlife Crisis

Written By: Ricky Orbach

I think it’s high time
We turned the page here.

She said
“your heart is like a candle and it could blow out”
so I moved from the window and there I cracked my foresight.

There flies the sweet bird of flesh and spirit
She knows my secret and she tastes my story

Read it a thousand times
Seen it even more
And still there’s gold in them thar morning hours

Watch the broken glass
My marriage is leaking
Can I can call upon you
To revive my passion?

My heart is like a candle
It could blow out
My heart is like a candle flickering

It’s here now
It’s a wild one
And I just munched on my past for a snack

The meal is coming soon
A dish called “comfort tea cake”
I think it’s just north of all the love I’m leaving

And speaking of leaving
I can deal with leaving
Because I lost my foresight
And my A.D.D. is raging now.

I'm losing my epiphanies
I’m struggling with memory
I’m floating in a most peculiar way
My heart is like a candle
It could blow out
My heart is like a candle flickering

This song leapt up from the heart and swallowed me whole
I can feel that now
I need your rude behavior

The middle of the road is cold
When you’re old and your all alone.
Better not get old before you get alone.

Adolescent cantor singing off key
Singing my key
I found it
Wafting in the balcony
Where daughters of Zion wear their makeup
Reminding me of pleasures in place of reading Cindy Adams

She brought it to me
She brought upon me
She saw right thru me once she left me gasping

My heart is like a candle
It could blow out
My heart is like a candle flickering

is the best day of my new midlife crisis
My new midlife crisis.
Appeared in the morning of the 3rd day of Spring
Tomorrow’s the next day of my new midlife crisis
My new midlife crisis.

Will I be renewed by my new midlife crisis?

My new midlife crisis.


New Midlife Crisis (2009, Joodayoh)

Appearing on New Midlife Crisis...
Voice, Guitars, Cumbus, Bass, Banjo & sticky substances:

Drums & Middle Eastern Percussion:
Other Voices:

Produced by:

Production Sages:
Mixing & Engineering:
Andy Vandette MASTERDISK

Set List

Kohane of Newark can perform a 20-30 minute opening act or a 45-90 minute headlining show. (I should mention that if the opportunity to play a long "jam" set ever came about, we'd love to kick it open as our players hail from the John Zorn school of improv and love tearing it up!)

While our show features original music, we enjoy morphing an original into a cover when the mood hits or just playing a cool unexpected cover to keep everyone on their toes. And we do it our way which means it won't sound much like the cover, if you know what we mean.

Our show is intense, fast paced - from a gentle whisper to a fusillade of white noise - musical risks are taken and we pride ourselves on being consummate listeners in that we listen to each other while we play, and of course to you and to our audience.

A note from Ricky Orbach regarding black-out days and times: Kohane of Newark does not perform on Friday nights, Saturday during the day (though Saturday night is acceptable),