March 6, 2010 at 11:56 pm (Music)

I recently finished styling hair for a dance piece in our Winter Dance Concert. The hair was modeled around 1940s hair styles, and the dancers were supposed to look like housewives. The music used in the piece was the music of the band Beirut, which I feel the extreme need to talk about right now.

I’ve liked Beirut for a year or two now, but I’ve only heard a few of their songs. The most well-known song would probably be “Elephant Gun,” the first single our theirs to get an official music video on mtv/vh1/etc. But the songs used in this dance piece were really, incredibly different than Elephant Gun or any other Beirut song I had heard. The first is called “Gulag Orkestar“, the second called ” Bratislava“, and the third called “La Llorona“. All three of these songs have this strange cheeriness, yet haunting sadness to them. And Zach Condon’s voice, which I’m in love with, sounds so European that there’s no way he can possibly be from New Mexico. I can just hear the wavering emotion in his voice, feel the reverberations of the trumpets and tubas as if I were right there, and I just can’t believe that this band isn’t one of the most popular in the world.

Beirut is a mish-mash of styles including Balkan folk, Eastern European music, and world music. The instruments used to create the sounds of this band include: ukelele (which Condon uses instead of guitar because of a wrist injury), flugelhorn (YES. FLUGELHORN.), cello, accordion, mandolin, guitar, drums, violin, saxophone, euphonium, and the glockenspiel (YES. GLOCKENSPIEL.). Now do you understand why you need to check out this band?

If that isn’t enough incentive, please view this beautifully and artistically directed video for “Elephant Gun.” You can see the flugelhorn in all it’s glory, and hear Zach Condon in all of his.

And now, watch this video for the very first Beirut song I ever heard, “Postcards from Italy.”

Enjoy this great music! Happy Saturday.


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