Friday, June 13, 2008
When I was in Stockholm, a good friend named Micaela turned me on to what I decided was one of the best bands I had ever heard. The name of this band is Beirut. There are perhaps a dozen members, each playing a different instrument, from the common piano to the more obscure bouzouki. One song in particular where it sounds like he is singing about Mumbai, it has a lilting accordion, trumpet and subsequent layers of a tambourine, and then several different kinds of drums. He speaks of being without his old world kind and I must say that I have never had a song move me so. There have been many days when I would put on this song and listen to it over and over, drifting out of my conscious present to far away places, feeling a rending down into my very soul. There is a feel of being in a small Eastern European village or town, hell, even a large city such as Belgrade or Prague. Of watching Gypsy girls with dark braids to their waists, selling roses on a street corner. Of the smell of chestnuts roasting over a barrel, of the feel of rough wool under your fingers. This music is the embodiment of the old world, of talented musicians who actually play instruments, not the "musicians" of today who use a mixer to create their superficial brand of music. I hope that all who read this will check out their music; if there is any love in your soul, you will feel the same way I do when I listen to this group, a gem in this dirty world we live in.