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The Friends of Natasha or Natasha's Friends is a former Israeli rock band, highly regarded by critics, which was one of the most popular Israeli bands during the 1990s. The band released five albums.
The band was formed by Micha Shitrit, who was born in Nahariya, Israel to a Jewish Moroccan family, and Arkadi Duchin, who emigrated with his family from the former Soviet Union and returned to Yokneam to look for employment after serving in the Israeli army. Shitrit wrote lyrics and vocals, and Duchin dealt with the music. Once they had achieved some minimal economic stability, they began to look for new band members. This is also when they coined their band name: Hachaverim shel Natasha, "Natasha's Friends".
Hachaverim shel Natasha was the name of the band's first record, which debuted in Israel at the close of 1989. It did not reap any economic benefits for them, but did gain them artistic recognition. In 1991 they released "Shinuim be herguelei hatzricha" ("Changes in Screaming patterns"), and in 1994 "Achlazaurim". Their fourth work, 2-CD "Radio bla bla", was their most important. Their fifth disc, a live concert recording, was their last. Following the split, both members pursued their solo careers with success.
Friends of Natasha also addressed its political concerns indirectly. "We're not singing the news," said Shitrit. "If you want to say something, you go to the backs of people's heads, to the subconscious -- not between the eyes." The lyrics of the songs he co-wrote with Duchin are surrealistic and subversive in a quiet way. "The Idiot" is an allegory that pokes fun at military men, kings, and power grabbers, while "Keep Moving" urges listeners to maintain their individuality while remaining sensitive to the welfare of others. "First, we have to open people's feelings," Shitrit said. "We have to be the pumice that wears down the callus. After that, we can talk about everything directly."
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