Musicians in Lebanon challenge traditional gender roles and work around topics like suicide bombers, military officers, devastated industrial landscapes, girl punk bands, and alienation at work. Enjoy this great collection, compiled by our friend Serge Yared from The Incompetents - a band that inspired critics to great discussions on our «Golden Beirut» compilation from 2011). See five video clips from other countries in our ongoing videclip series here.
Artist: Mashrou’ Leila
Track: Lil Watan (2013)
No need to introduce Mashrou’ Leila anymore… The most popular and internationally visible Lebanese band. They have released their third studio album last year Raasuk and have successfully been touring around the world.
Track: O.P.P (2013)
Directed by Pedros Temizian, a great clip tackling alienation at work and suicide-bombers with hip hop local legend Chyno (from Fareeq El Atrash).
Artist: Who Killed Bruce Lee
Track: Put it in a Bag (2013)
Video not available.
Here is a clip from the very popular Who Killed Bruce Lee. They started as a karao-rock/cover band before turning into a major local act. They’re probably the best current live act in Beirut. Unbeatable energy and synergy.
Artist: The Incompetents
Track: It Could Happen To You (2013)
Here is the second installment of the road movie directed by Gigi Roccati for the Incompetents. You can see appreciate the Tarantino/Rodriguez touch. The inept plot is about the the Incompetents being chased and beaten up by an all-girl punk band trying to steal their identity…
Artist: Charlie Rayne
Track: The Sun Rose (2013)
Charlie Rayne is a personal favorite. The best guitar player and one of the greatest songwriters too! In the great traditions of folk singers (from Dave Von Ronk to Dylan to Tallest Man On Earth) . He lives for now in Berlin and is currently recording his second album.
Our band The Incompetents has released last year 5 clips to promote its latest album Of Minor Difference… And Narcissism. The first one («Stripped» directed by Selim Mourad) tackles the issue of refugees or the issue of the «Other». It tells the complex love story of an inhabitant of an imaginary city with a refugee/Other.
«Stripped» as a song was written having in mind a speech by Tzipi Livni during the Gaza military campaign of 2008-2009. She argued the campaign’s aim was to defend the ‘Free World’s’ values. “Stripped”-the-clip is a re-interpretation of the song by Selim Mourad in the context of the Syrian refugees crisis in Lebanon. I took pride in the fact the song’s theme could be broadened as a cry for the dominated «Other» regardless of nationality, gender or religion.
The second one is directed by Henri-jean Debon (who recently passed away from cancer). Henri-Jean made his name in France as by directing all the clips of French rock band Noir Desir. He also worked for Sinead O’ Connor, Asian Dub Foundation, Dominique A, Danielson Famile and made a documentary on Gun Club’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce. His career took a new turn when he founded LCD Videosystem a one-man production house in which he wrote, directed and edited clips for 1000 EUROS only. Debon was a wonderful and demanding guerrilla artist… He directed for the Incompetents a paranoid clip on a relation turning sour between a high ranked military man and his wife.
In contrast with these rather long clips the fifth one is a photo-project by Raymond Gemayel on Beirut’s devastated industrial landscape:
And there is the first video of our «road movie» directed by Gigi Rocatti:
Releases by Norient
Thomas Burkhalter from Norient published the following two books about Beirut and the Arab World: «The Arab Avant-Garde – Music, Politics, Modernity» and «Local Music Scenes and Globalization – Transnational Platforms in Beirut». And Norient compiled and mixed the CD «Golden Beirut» and the experimental audio collage and radio feature «Sonic Traces: From the Arab World»: