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i am not a stuffed tiger.

travel music / beirut

beirut, takeaway show [blogotheque]

Last week, getting ready to leave town and dealing with usual pre-travel anxieties, I listened to the Flying Club Cup a lot. (It's good, but not better than Gulag Orkestar. Which, let's face it, would be difficult to top if only because it seemed to spring out of nowhere.)

In particular, "the Penalty" [mp3] found its way to frequent repeat status. It feels like the perfect distillation of a Beirut song, doesn't it?

Really, though, at your earliest convenience you should click on the link at the top of this post and watch the band performing it in a little Parisian restaurant. The way that they handle my favorite part of the song --- where the rest of the band comes in --- is just about perfect.


oh wow, that video was amazing.
i had never heard of them or their music ... why?!!!
so amazing. thanks for sharing.
I need to be careful or else I could spend the whole day watching the videos on that site. The one where Arcade Fire plays a song in a cargo elevator is pretty incredible, too.

Beirut's new album comes out next week, but Gulag Orkestar is definitely worth checking out, too.
it looks like it's available on itunes already !
i just got it and it's goooood.
I've never heard these guys either but now I am listening to them on Myspace and I am in love.
the sad part is that they are skipping Seattle on their tour this fall. Probably because when they were here last time, Zach was really angry about the staff at the Crocodile guarding him so heavily because he was under 21 and not allowed to be drinking on stage.
darn it, that is sad!

I will have to watch the video when I get home. My darling Tom Brosseau did one in a barber shop and it is so cute and I love him.


i just saw them last week

at the outdoor theater in central park, where they do, among other things, shakespeare in the park. this is what i wrote in an email to florian about it:

The Beirut show last night was extremely lovely, my favorite part was the shadows cast by the band onto the wall behind them. Zach was wearing a blazer with jeans and kept taking his jacket on and off.
The crowd was very mixed in age, some oldies, right in front of us, and some really young ones, talking about band practice, and contemplating wine vs. beer, a dilemma that was settled by the higher alcohol content of wine (never mind that you get a smaller amount and
therefore it evens out in the end, at least in terms of dollar value).

We missed the first act, as we were outside eating wraps and cookies we'd bought in Tribeca. The second act was Bulgarian Beat Box, which was sort of cool, and at the same time possibly the most inauthentic thing I've seen in a while. Is that what Bulgarian music sounds like? Is that what Americans think Bulgarian music sounds like? Is that what Bulgarians think Americans think Bulgarian music sounds like? It
was an epistemological mind-fuck. There was much jumping and saxophone playing and it was enjoyable, but a bit of a strange venue.

Zach was of course awesome, playing songs from all three releases. Some of the Flying Club Cup songs were great, although some of them could have been left behind. For the first time that I've seen them, they didn't play Shiki Shiki Baba, which surprised me. The sound was really different in such an outdoor spot -- instead of enveloping you in sound, as they seem to do inside, it was more of a projected sound, and quieter?

I'm not sure it was representative of what I think of as a Beirut experience, but Kip seemed to enjoy it.

Also, I think the Delacorte Theater is secretly much closer to the West Side, even though on the map it appears to be in the middle.

It's really too bad they're skipping Seattle.