وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

Voodstock Jehanaration

I was cleaning out my closet, and I found a cassette tape with ©1975 on it.

Dusted it off and had a flashback to being a teen in the passenger side of cousin Pouya's 1989 RX-7. He'd play that tape all the time, waxing poetic about life as a youth in Iran in the swingin' seventies. I didn't find the music (nor fashion) of the 70s interesting, but I loved knowing there was once a 'Warner Bros Iran' branch.

That hasn't work out. But I hold out hope, looking at how Iran's much more advanced neighbor, Turkey, does things that rock. Always got excited when I saw a classmate wearing a Metallica or Pearl Jam 'world tour' t-shirt, and on the back of the tee listing the cities it included a stop in Istanbul.

Soulful people that Persians are, chanting and marching have always gone hand-in-hand. Revolution hymns and redemption songs have spurred emancipation movements throughout human history, especially with indigenous folk. We sing as we pray.

But don't expect Metallica to play Tehran anytime soon. Live music, unless of the ultra-traditional sonatee kind and/or ultra-religious kind, is illegal in Iran and has been since the start of the Balsamic Devolution -- along with most other cool things for youth to do out in public.

Imagine going 30 years without live music. So like a Underground Rocky-road, the black market leads Iranian artists down below or to seek refuge abroad to express themselves freely. In the past few years I've met and sometimes worked with some of these artists. It's cool It's amazing to think what Iran could be if creativity, innovation and expression wasn't so restricted. These kids have a lot to learn, but a lot to say.

Thats just from the Alternative Rock end of things. Then there's the burgeoning underground "Persian rap" movement - which sounds more like reggaetón - sweeping Iranian youth...
Yas - 'Beh Omideh Iran' ////// HicheKass - 'Sarbaaz' ////// Foad - 'Dooroogh' ///// Bahram - 'Man'

As you can tell there are intense socio-political undertones in all the music. With this turning into the People's Cyberevolution, I'm finding a plethora of awesome slideshows and well-editing mashups set to inspiring music. Instead of listing all the clips of #IranElection here on this post, I'll be curating the official VoV-approved YouTube playlist here.



Meanwhile, the dedications from high-profile musicians are trickling in. Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and lauded producer Don Was hook up with Andy for 'Stand By Me', while Voodstock legend Joan Baez drops a few 'We Shall Overcome' in Farsi. The reFugee himself Wyclef Jean drops an'Emergency Concert for Iran', and he knows a thing or two about political upheavel being Haitian. Speaking of two, Bono and U2 dedicate "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in a all-green tribute. Those lads surely find a similarity to Ireland sectarian strife. Back in 2001, Ireland beat Iran to qualify for the World Cup and on a U2 DVD the members are cheering their team on.

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