From T.A. to L.A.


People talk about New York being the most Jewish city in America, but Los Angeles is a tough challenger. It has more kosher restaurants per (Jewish) capita than any city outside of Israel. And let’s not forget the rumor that Jews run Hollywood.

We’d like to add another bit of evidence to the stack: the Los Angeles-based band Fool’s Gold.

The band formed around lead singer-songwriter Luke Top, an expat Israeli who made the City of Angels his home. His dreamlike lyrics and laid-back jam-band vibe were a natural fit for both his old home and his new. Fool’s Gold, the band’s first album, released in 1998, was sung mostly in Hebrew. Leave No Trace, which comes out this week, is a worthy successor, with danceable songs filled with energy and pulsing rhythms, in a new primary language–English.

That’s not to say that Top and his comrades have abandoned Israel entirely. Hebrew sneaks into every song in one way or another. And a track titled “Tel Aviv” creates a new dance-rock anthem that’s totally appropriate for that city–and represents well the dazzling and confused nature of Fool’s Gold’s music.

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