I never waited for inspiration

Conversation with Barzin (Part 2)

13-Feb-2008 (4 comments)
To be honest, it's a mystery to me why my music is listened to more by a non-Iranian audience. I am not sure why that is the case. I've never specifically targeted one audience over another. Maybe it's because I sing in English, or maybe it's because the type of music I play does not sound like "typical" Iranian music... I've always been on the periphery of the Iranian community. I had always thought that the Iranian community both in Canada and in other countries listened to "typical" Iranian music. I didn't think an Iranian "underground" music scene really existed. It wasn't until I met the drummer of Kiosk, Shahrouz Molaei, that I began learning about the underground music scene in Iran>>>


Ey Sareban

My dedication to Ahmad Bourghani

04-Feb-2008 (17 comments)
Music video>>>


The quiet side of Pop

The music of Barzin (Part 1)

30-Jan-2008 (7 comments)
I discovered Barzin a few months ago when I was browsing the Internet. Barzin was supposed to open for Kiosk in Toronto and yet, I had never heard of him. I quickly Googled his name and found his web site. Lucky me, I found a few full-length mp3 files from his music there to listern to. I think the first few notes did it for me. I was rather surprised at the fact that an Iranian act would create music in the same style as bands such as Wilco, Mazzy Star, or even Radiohead. The next thing that surprised me was his smooth Canadian/American/English accent, to the point that I first had doubts about him being Iranian>>>


Effortless energy

Interview with Arash Sobhani of KIOSK

25-Jan-2008 (8 comments)
The truth is I was a bit nervous at first. After all, it is not often that I have the chance to meet a total stranger whose voice has become a part of my every day routine. Odd as it may seem, this one dimensional nature of fame is an inevitable reality for all successful artists including the one I was about to interview. Adapting to increased recognition and celebrity is an adjustment that Arash Sobhani will most likely have to make in the upcoming years because both he and his band Kiosk have gained significant popularity and recognition recently across the US, Europe and Iran and show no signs of slowing down>>>


Nazeris on fire

Shahram and Hafez Nazeri's new album

23-Jan-2008 (12 comments)
There is such relief in reviewing a piece of music by Hafez and Shahram Nazeri, mostly because nobody who likes Shahram Nazeri will abstain from buying his latest work, even if I give it a bad review! My review is not a technical one, as I am barely qualified to be a good connoisseur of good Iranian music. I am a listener. The one for whom music is written (sometimes) and produced (always). As listeners, some music we hear with our ears, and some music we hear with our hearts. This man’s voice, and his young musician son’s composition, is something I listened to with my heart>>>


Freedom to explore

Interview with Mamak Khadem on her new album "Jostojoo"

"I ended up discovering how many things we all share - especially in music. I first thought about doing these beautiful songs in their original languages but I soon realized that I can express myself more openly and effectively in my native language, Farsi. So I married the work of some Persian master poets such as Rumi and Shamloo to the melodies. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use musicians from Iran as well as non-Iranian musicians and I am so thrilled with the combination of players on this album from folk traditions, contemporary world music and from the jazz scene">>>


Unfinished story

A different work from California's Persian Pop music scene

02-Jan-2008 (3 comments)
Some time ago I saw an advertisement for a new album, of a new singer, on one of the Persian television channels in Los Angeles. Strangely, this time, there was neither any mention of 6/8 rhythms, nor was there a pick-up truck full of dancing girls behind the singer! As the singer sang calmly on the video, images of Persia and its people followed one another beautifully. The title of the album was "Neverending Story", better said "Unfinished Story" (Ghesse-ye Naatamaam), sung by Amir. This is his first album with cooperation of two significant figures in Persian pop music: Andranik and Shahyar Ghanbari. I became curious to hear the rest of the album but just as I had guessed, there was no sign of the CD in the Persian stores of Amsterdam.>>>


Sense of rebellion

Erfan: Modern day Persian poet

02-Jan-2008 (4 comments)
A new generation of Iranian artists are striving for the mutation of our music. For those who have been waiting for a change, the time is now and there is a new wave of talented Rock and Hip-Hop artists reaching out to us. This goes a long way toward explaining the large majority of our Iranian pop music culture. However, every once in a while an album will make its way past reviewer after reviewer and deservedly earn high marks with nary a scratch. I believe this will be the story with Iran’s hip-hop messiah, Erfan, and his debut Album, “Az Khaneh ta Goor”>>>


One and only

One and only

Photo essay

by Danish Saroee
27-Dec-2007 (26 comments)



Say hello to Hamed

Say hello to Hamed

Hamed Nikpay shines at "Solh Fest" concert

by Jahanshah Javid
10-Dec-2007 (30 comments)



Persian classical music with oomph!

Interview with vocalist Hamed Nikpay

04-Dec-2007 (11 comments)
Hamed Nikpay is that rare triple threat you don't run into that often. He appears to have it all. Brains, Talent , and (damn him!) Good Looks. In preparing for introducing him (to those of you who don't know him yet), I was finding it a bit difficult, and have been more than a bit stymied as to how best to describe him to newcomers to his music. Best to just jump right in. Hopefully you'll get it and become a huge fan like I am. First off, I have to say that along with my rather vocal opposition to the tripe known as 6/8, the next most displeasing sound I can name is the overdone traditional Persian Classical music, or Sonnati>>>


Watch out, here they come! (part 4)

Conversation with director Ahmad Kiarostami

06-Nov-2007 (94 comments)
I met Kiosk's Arash Sobhani for the first time at Yoshi's (a famous jazz club here in San Francisco) through a mutual friend, Afshean. This is 5-6 months after I moved to San Francisco. Arash had moved to San Jose just a few weeks before, and was looking for a place here. I recalled I didn't know many people when I moved here, and out of empathy, gave him my number and told him he can call if he needs help to move his stuff. I was fool enough not to remember that he's a rock star, that he knows half of the Bay Area, and the other half he doesn't know, know him!>>>


Watch out, here they come! (part 3)

In-depth look at Kiosk

12-Oct-2007 (4 comments)
We write the songs on guitar, and when you use a standard blues line up for the recording and the sound and everything, you become a bit bluesy! And our influences; people who we grew up (and grew old!) listening to were either blues players (like Stevie Ray Vaughan or B.B King or …) or influenced by blues players (like E.C, Jeff Beck, Led Zeppelin and of course Dire Straits!), so the blues element is there, but comparing to Adam e Mamooli, I must say we are less of a blues band. Actually, we are aiming to have no label and sound like KIOSK, that’s what I am talking about when I say we are not mature enough and we still don’t have our own genuine sound, but this album was a big step for us towards that goal.>>>


Feels right

Piano solo

I write English like how it's spoken at the Wilton house -- the way it feels right. Chris Ransom in general is a fucked-up homie, and James Hollywood is a muthefuckeh on sherms. They sell anything out of the Wilton; hash, crack, powder, ass, and what have you.>>>


Band on the run

Band on the run

Hanging out with Kiosk in Vancouver

by Shadi Yousefian
02-Oct-2007 (4 comments)