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Beirut


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Evocative/eclectic alternative pop, with world influences

Status:

Most recent release, No No No (2015)

See also:

Beirut's site

Wikipedia's entry for Beirut

Comparisons:

Owen Pallet (AKA Final Fantasy), The Galerkin Method

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional covers, occasional co-writing

General comments:

Beirut is one of those indie rock bands that's actually a single person, songwriter Zach Condon. This is the kind of rich, multi-instrumental "indie rock" I go for... Think Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens or Andrew Bird. But definitely has his own thing going. More gypsy-like. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

Beirut seemed to appear out of nowhere, especially the band (meaning, really, Zach Condon, though now there are other members of the band)'s mix of alternative pop/rock with European folk music. This lead to a unique sound—both mournful and energetic—that is pretty irresistible. For me, at least. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:


Gulag Orkestar

Release info:

2006—Ba Da Bing!

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Zach Condon—trumpet, ukelele, piano, organs, vocals, percussion, accordion, mandolin

Guest artists:

Jeremy Barnes—percussion (2, 4 8, 9); accordion (3, 8)
Heather Trost—violins (2, 3, 6, 9)
Perrin Cloutier—cell (5, 9)
Hari Ziznewski—clarinet (3, 8, 9)

Comments:

This first album immediately established Beirut's unique sound, focusing on the ukelele, the melodic but mournful world sound of the accordion, and Zach Condon's rich vocals. (Neile)

Lon Gisland

Release info:

2007—Ba Da Bing!

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Zach Condon—vocals, ukelele, piano trumpet

Guest artists:

Kelly Pratt—trumpet, euphonium, flugel horn
Nick Petree—percussion
Paul Collins—ukelele, percussion, organs
Kristin Ferebee—violin
Perrin Cloutier—accordion, cello
Jon Natchez—ukelele, baritone sax, clarinet, glockenspiel
Jason Peranski—mandolin, ukelele

Comments:

This five-track EP is a strong follow-up to Beirut's first album, and feels upbeat, energetic, and playful. (Neile)

The Flying Club Cup

Release info:

Availability:

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Zach Condon—vocals, organ, percussion, euphonium, trumpet, petromilli, piano, conch shells, farfisa, mandolin, wurlitzer, glockenspiel, flugel horn, percussion, backing vocals, French horn, ukulele, accordion

Guest artists:

Owen Pallet (Final Fantasy)—violin (2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11); harpsichord (2, 3); piano (2); vocals (6); celeste (8); steel drums (12); Lowrey organ (13); backing vocals (13); string arrangements
Jason Poranski—mandolin arrangement (12); mandolin (4); backing vocals (8); guitar, mandolin (12)
Perrin Cloutier—upright bass (2, 4, 8, 9, 10, 13); cello (3, 4, 8, 12); accordion (4, 8, 13); viola (8); backing vocals (8, 13)
Kristin Ferebee—violin (2, 3, 8, 9, 11); backing vocals (13)
Luba B. Glade—broken glass (2)
Heather Trost—viola (3, 6); violin (6)
Kendrick Strauch—piano (4, 5, 9, 10, 13)
Nick Petree—percussion (4, 6, 9, 12, 13); guitar (6); backing vocals (8, 13)
Paul Collins—bouzouki (4, 12)
Jon Natchez—clarinet (8, 13); bass clarinet (8); flute (8, 13); baritone saxophone (10); mandolin (12); melodica (13)
Griffin Rodriguez—backing vocals (8)
Kell and Tracy Pratt—euphoniums (10)

Comments:

Like the Lon Gisland EP, this feels upbeat and energetic. I like the collaboration between Zach Condon and Owen Pallet, which seems like a match made in heaven. This is a delightful collection, and one of my favourite albums of 2007. (Neile)

The Rip Tide

Release info:

2011—Pompeii Records

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Zach Condon—pump organ, trumpet, ukulele, vocals, percussion, organ, pedal bass, piano, Hammond organ, organs

Guest artists:

Sharon Van Etten—vocals (2, 5)
Jon Natchez—bartone saxophone (1)
Kelly Pratt—trumpet (1, 3–7, 9); French horn (1, 3, 5, 6, 9); euphonium (1, 5, 9); vocals (3, 5, 6); clarinet (5); glockenspiel (7)
Perrin Cloutier—accordion (1, 2, 5, 7); farfisa (2); Wurlitzer (2); piano (3, 5, 7, 9); pump organ (3, 5); cello (4–6, 9); mandolin (5); harpsichord (7)
Nick Petree—percussion (1–7, 9); kit (1)
Paul Collins—bass (1–7, 9)
Ben Lanz—trombone (1, 3–6, 9); tuba (5)
Heather Trost—violin (5, 7)
Griffin Rodriguez—glockenspiel (9)

Produced by:

Griffin Rodriguez and Zach Condon

Comments:

individually, each song is thrilling, but side by side on an album the similarity in tone and tempo get in my way. I found myself longing for an electric guitar or a rhythmic digression to shake up the mix. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

For me this is his best album yet. The songwriting here has the most power and individuality for me of any of his recordings. Lovely! Definitely one of my top albums of the year. (Neile)


Further info:

Beirut has two DVDs to date: Cheap Magic Inside (2007) and Beirut: Live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (2009)

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Entry last updated 2015-09-13 12:34:04.
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