Monday, September 03, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yasmine Hamdan, "Beirut"

Yasmine's self-title album is scheduled to drop, in France, in a couple of days. (One can download it via iTunes France. Yasmine belonged to the great Lebanese band Soap Kills from 1997-2005 (though the band is not officially dead) and put out the album Arabology as YAS with Mirwais Ahmadzaï in 2009. This song, "Beirut," is from the new album. It's very sweet, evokes the beautiful Beirut of the good old days, ruined, or at least under threat, from economic crises and a spirit of materialism. The video posted on youtube comes with the Arabic lyrics and an English translation. Love it!


شرب العرق
 شرب العرق
 لعب الورق
 خيل السبق
 صيد الحمام
 رسمال بيروت

 لبس الغوى
 شم الهوى
 اكل الهوى
 شاغل عقول
 سكان بيروت

 زهرة من غير أوانها
محلاها ومحلا زمانها
 يا حينها وياضيعانها

 ما في عمل
 ما في امل
 برك الجمل
 ركب النحس
 تجار بيروت

كتر البطر
 هالك بيروت

Arak drinkin'

Card playin'
Racehorse cheerin'

Pigeon huntin'

The essence of Beirut

Seduction crowd

Cruisin' around
Foolin' about

Tis' all there is on the minds
Of the citizens of Beirut


A flower off its terrain

Oh her beauty, her good old days


That dire end, all a waste


All unemployed
Ruined and rusted
Jinxed and accursed
Those dealers of Beirut

Oh the Strutting
That fancy livin'
Excess of splurging
Exploded vanity
Smothering Beirut

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Algerian music archive: Dounia Music

Douniamusic is your gateway to a number of varieties of Algerian music: chaabi, rap, rai, Kabyle, Andalusian, etc. It's not for downloading, just for listening, but there is a lot there. The rai archive doesn't have much of the older stuff, whereas the chaabi does. But I've only just started exploring. Enjoy.

Days of Rage: Dance Music from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

I found this via Weirdo Records, which offers lots of interesting and wacky recordings from the Middle East that it is often difficult to find via other sources. I very much like this mix of mostly debke music from the Mashriq. The CD is available from Weirdo for 5 dollars only. You can listen to a long segment here. Highly recommended. I only wish there was some information on the artists.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hassan Wargui, Berber banjo from Morocco

I am completely blown away by the playing of this guy, which I learned about courtesy dj/rupture. Rupture has not written about him on his blog, so I know nothing about him. Based on his playing, it would be very cool to organize a tour for him of bluegrass venues, no? Love to see him doing his stuff on the Fayetteville town square during farmers market...

Oh, and the song comes with a translation of the Tamazight lyrics into Arabic!

UPDATE (May 9): See comments from dj/rupture with links and more info. Thanks, rupture, don't know why I couldn't find anything previously!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Golden Beirut: New Sounds from Lebanon

Read about this CD, from norient and Outhere records, here.

'a young generation of musicians from Beirut that is tired of war, fed up with politics, sick of religious madness, and angry about Euro-American exoticism.'

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ahmed Wahbi, "Ya Dzayer"

Ahmed Wahbi's ouahrani (wahrani) song, "Ya Dzayer," is notable for its ultra-smooth Cuban rhythms, as smooth as Tanzanian tarab. If you compare this version to the recorded version, it seems that the rhythm section is turned up here, and the Cuban element (produced by the bongos) is more prominent. I'm not sure when it was broadcast.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bou7hayrat Tabarayya: rap from Lebanon (Ram6 a.k.a. Al Hamorabi) and Palestine (boikutt)

This is one rugged track, great collabo between Lebanese producer/rapper Al Hamorabi and the Palestinian boikutt (ex-Ramallah Underground, now a member of Tashweesh.) Check out Al Hamorabi's myspace page and/or his facebook page for more info.