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Girls in Trouble

Girls in Trouble
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Girls in Trouble: an art-pop song cycle about stories of Biblical women, with accompanying curriculum about women in Torah through art.


Exploring themes of desire, betrayal, invisibility, and hope, Girls in Trouble is an original art-pop song cycle from composer, poet and Torah scholar Alicia Jo Rabins. Each song interweaves musical influences ranging from Appalachian ballads to orchestral indie rock, invoking the spirit of Leonard Cohen and Joanna Newsom, bringing to life Biblical women including Lilith, Yael, Yiftach's daughter, and Eve.

Thematically, Girls in Trouble focuses on the darker moments in the women's stories--because, Rabins explains, "rather than portraying a perfect world, and making us feel bad about our lives, these stories reflect the complexity, challenges, and sometimes heartbreak we all encounter." 

The songs reflect Rabins' wide-ranging musical and poetic education:  Suzuki violin studies begun at age three in Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory; avant-garde composition lessons in high school, as well as playing rock violin in local bands;  and extensive study of Appalachian and klezmer fiddle traditions.  The album's classical string arrangements, written and performed by Rabins, are alternately buoyed by rock drums and acoustic folk guitar; above the music soar powerful lyrics (Rabins holds a MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson.)

Originally begun as Rabins' thesis for a Masters in Jewish Womens' Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, the project took on a life of its own and was signed to Jdub Records shortly after her graduation.  Their 2009 self-titled debut album was called "one of the year's best" by Largeheartedboy.com;  the New York Times praised Rabins' "gorgeous voice," and NBC.com lauded the band's "melodic, spare gorgeousness."  They have been featured on CBC Radio and the BBC. 

Rabins continues her work as a Jewish educator with hybrid performance-teaching sessions about the process of midrash, and the often-overlooked stories of Biblical women.  In 2014 she was awarded a prestigious Covenant Grant to create The Girls in Trouble Curriculum, a series of study guides about women in Torah through art for teens and adults.

About the creator:
Alicia Jo Rabins is a writer, musician and performer based in Portland, Oregon.
 In interdisciplinary work that fuses poetry, music composition and performance, Alicia uses words, violin and electronics to uncover beauty, vulnerability, and the intersection of spirituality and everyday life.  


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