– Thom Yorke: Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
– The War On Drugs: Lost In The Dream
– Beethoven: Symphony 7, Allegretto (mvt 2)
– David August: Epikur
– Snarky Puppy: We Like it Here
– Tame Impala: Lonerism
– Fat Freddy’s Drop: Slings And Arrows
– Men Without Hats: The Safety Dance
– Sigur Rós: Takk… + The Rains of Castamere + Àra Bàtur at Abbey Road Studios
– Jack White: Lazaretto
Wassim Bou Malham
In no particular order:
– Arctic Monkeys: AM
– Arctic Monkeys: Humbug
– Isaac Hayes: Black Moses
– Mos Def: The Ecstatic
– Queens Of The Stone Age: Like Clockwork
– Queens Of The Stone Age: Songs For The Deaf
– Various artists: The DFA remixes (Chapter one)
– Various artists: The DFA remixes (Chapter two)
Lebanese rock quartet WHO KILLED BRUCE LEE (Wassim Bou Malham, guitar & vocals / Hassib Dergham, synths / Malek Rizkallah, drums / Pascal Sarkis, bass) were the guests of Ziad Nawfal’s weekly radio program Ruptures, for an interview and three exclusive live performances, to mark the release of their first, self-titled EP.
RADWAN GHAZI MOUMNEH, musicien (Jerusalem In My Heart), ingénieur du son, producteur (Clues, Land of Kush), fondateur du studio montréalais Hotel2Tango en 2005 (le studio qui a accueilli entre autres les Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt Zion, le regretté Vic Chesnutt, etc.) Radwan est accompagné de Pierre-Guy Blanchard, l’un de ses compères au sein du groupe Jerusalem In My Heart. Fadi Tabbal du groupe The Incompetents fait aussi une courte apparition dans cette émission, qui se termine par un mini-concert (électrique!) du groupe de punk-rock libanais SCRAMBLED EGGS (Charbel Haber – guitare; Tony Elieh – basse; Malek Rizkallah – batterie), en guise de promotion de leur concert au Basement le 27 Décembre. Belle façon de clôturer cette année 2009!
SCRAMBLED EGGS: Dedicated To Foes Celebrating Friends (Incognito, 2009)
Hot on the heels of the haunted soundtrack they’ve created for the Joreige/Hadjithomas film ‘Je Veux Voir’, Lebanese punk icons Scrambled Eggs end their busy year with this “modest” 2-song release, which does however hold a host of surprises.
The year 2008 saw the Eggs part ways with their guitarist, Marc Codsi, an active contributor to the band’s sound since 2001. Codsi’s tumultuous departure, in addition to the wealth of experience gathered from working with various musicians throughout the year, infiltrate the tracks featured here, and lend them a primal, DIY quality. The sophistication of the ‘Je Veux Voir’ soundtrack is eschewed in favor of a raw, abrasive sound, harking back to the punk aesthetic of the ‘Happy Together Filthy Forever’ EP, released in 2006.
The single was recorded with little budget, in lo-fi conditions that seep through the music and lyrics. The band, reduced to the core trio of Haber on guitar and vocals, Elieh on bass, and Rizkallah on drums, displays a frantic desire to land back on its feet after a period of artistic self-doubt, and succeeds in doing so admirably. Of the six or seven songs that the Eggs wrote and tested on the road in September 2008, 2 were selected for this single release, and a third, a furious cover of Abba’s ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’, is hidden at the far end of the CD. Also hidden away at the far reaches of this release are a selection of musical snippets and oddities, selected by band-leader Charbel Haber with able help from Tunefork Studio’s maestro Fadi Tabbal.
This basic, back-to-the-roots package is a masterful way to end a difficult year, and an able return to form from one of the most revered band on Beirut’s alternative music scene.
I asked the main actors of this here blog (mostly musicians, of course, but also friends, family, support-givers…) to provide me with a list (5 to 20 albums) of their favorite records of the year.
The results are slowly coming in. There are surprises, resemblances, similarities, incongruous choices… I’ve left the responses intact, exactly as I received them, along with my friends’ comments. So here goes:
Charbel Haber, Tony Elieh, Malek Rizkallah: musicians (Scrambled Eggs)
“Ten 2008 releases that can help keep Beirut weird”
MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Raveonettes: lust lust lust
Sonic Youth: Master-Dik
The Incompetents: More Songs From The Victorious City
Silver Mt. Zion: 13 blues for thirteen moons
Christine Sehnaoui/Michel Waisviz: Shortwave