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Album & concert reviews

Latest 2005-2006


Music across the globe
Shayan Italia

My name is Shayan Italia and I am the artist/songwriter of the forthcoming album DELIVERANCE. I also happen to be a Zoroastrian. I am pleased to mention that I have now signed a worldwide digital distribution deal to have the album distributed ONLINE in over 25 countries as of July 23rd 2006. In light of the above I wish to make all Zoroastrians across the globe aware of the same... I really want to get Zoroastrians across the world to be a part of this unique project. If you can help in any way spread the word, i.e. recommend the music, or contemplate writing about this project so that other Zoroastrians may read about it, I would be most grateful >>>

Een ferekaanse beechaareh raa rahaa konid
The ultimate Googoosh fan



Turning up the volume
Photo essay: Intergalactic Iranian Music Festival, Zaandam, Holland


Dadash/Garde Sefid

Music inspired by drug abuse
Amir Amini

Sultan of my heart

Monika Jalili and Noorsaaz's remembrance of things past...
Darius Kadivar

There is something extremely moving to listen to the Classically trained Soprano born in New York who seems to naturally bring to our ears familiar rhythms and sounds that through her lips seem to take a new rejuvenated resonance. This is particularly true for the English version of the song based on the music score Sultan of My Heart which could be used as a music score to any classic Romantic Hollywood Film of the Golden Ages and yet is actually that of one of the greatest romantic films of Pre-Revolution Iranian Cinema starring the charismatic Film Star Fardin, certainly the Burt Lancaster of Iranian Cinema and the beautiful Azar Shiva >>>

The Big Apple and the worm

Googoosh & Mehrdad show in New York
Alireza Tarighian

OK! It is good to go to any Googoosh event. But I had a hard time convincing myself to go to this one in New York's Madison Square Garden last weekend for one obvious reason: I can not tolerate Mehrdad. After this show, he proved how right I am to feel this way. Please note that I purposely call the event a "show" and not a concert. It did not have the quality of a concert. It was way different than the one we drove to all the way from New Jersey to Toronto six and a half years ago. I was so impressed in Toronto that I wrote "Mahe-Nou-Aeen". But the New York show was more like a cabaret performance. Googoosh was more into changing dresses and acting. She is still an excellent performer and pleases her audiance but what she says does not go to your heart. Money rules and acts there. Show business, folks! >>>


Putting themselves on the map

Photo essay: Iranian music festival in Holland
Babak Andishmand


Sisters of Rock

Photo essay: Abjeez in concert in London
Parima Shahin Moghaddam

Or quite possibly just the beginning

Being made to eat your words can be a bitch
Behrouz Bahmani

Shahram Kashani's new album "Game Over" is a bit of a problem. Not for you, you and everyone else should stop reading this right now and open a new browser window and find a way to buy it. And stop asking me for free MP3 files. Go ahead do it now, I'll wait for you to come back...Got it? OK here's why the album is a problem. As someone who has had it with the LA machine cranking out the usual dull and boring 6/8 fecal matter, I had in fact lumped SK in that cess pool. Now I am forced to face the embarrassing task of eating my words.At least with this album. Game Over is a radical departure for an artist better known for his LA party boy image >>>

Take that LA!

Bruce Bahmani

It seems the power of music is stronger than politics, government corruption and possibly faith. At least that is the way it seems it might be in Tehran these days, for Benyamin Bahadori, specifically. A friend visiting Tehran recently told me this story; As he was being driven around town by a cousin, they noticed a car full of young men sitting on the back end of a vanette/pickup next to their car, stuck in traffic, per usual. The men were listening to a song being played surprisingly loudly in their car, and to my friend's amazement, his cousin began singing along with them. It was a very snappy pop tune, and clearly everyone except my friend knew the words. The song, as it turns out was "Taraneh Vazheh" (Words) a hugely popular hit on the street >>>

It was not easy just sitting in your seat


Chicago was the first city on a US tour for a new voice, ROJAN. And such a delight to hear her\ warm, rich and powerful voice accompanied by accomplished musicians who truly enjoyed playing their instruments. Last month the Chicago audiences were treated to a wonderful evening of great music, Persian songs and poetry, Kurdish folk music and lots of heart warming sounds from different regions of Kurdestan. The masterful musicians directed by Tahmores Pournazeri, came from Kurdestan.  The sound of Tombak, Tanbour, Dohol, Daf, Santour, Setar, Ud, Kamancheh and Barbat filled the halls. The program started with a duet by Tahmores and Sohrab Pournazeri on Setar and Kamancheh and was followed by the rest of group and the voice of Rojan >>>

Talagh? Jesus Christ!

Bruce Bahmani

OK, I'll admit it. I am a die hard Googoosh fan. As one of the founders of I know my fair share of Googoosh trivia.Take for example her name. Of course we all know that Googoosh is an Armenian name. But, did you know that Googoosh is actually a boy's name?Aha!Another thing about Googosh that we all know is the sheer modernity and advanced nature of her music ... Probably the best known of these is the fantastic 70's anthem, "Talagh". Did you know that the intro to Talagh was taken from the then not so popular Andrew Lloyd Webber's Rock Opera "Jesus Christ Superstar"? >>>

Haunting performance

Babak Khiavchi

This was originally from the album Endless Vision, a live recording with Hossein Alizadeh & Jivan Gasparyan on stage in the Niavaran Palace outdoor venue in Tehran (Sept.4-6, 2003) with more than 12,000 spectators. The attached mp3 file is a haunting live performance of Sari Galin, sung in Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Farsi. Alizadehs arrangement is amazing, and Afsaneh Rasaee's emotional singing stands out even though she can't sing solo on stage in a live performance in Iran. Jivan Gasparyan sings the Armenian lyrics with the calmness and assurance of a true master musician. The Farsi lyrics give the song a whole other dimension when they start.

Auto-tune out

Musical tragedy with no act
Babak Khiavchi

No, your ears are not having hearing problems. The whining voices in your head are only echos of shifting vocal pitches, not the actual tormented souls being exposed to the latest Persian Pop music hits. What started out as a simple plug-in tool for correcting pitch in vocal and instrumental performances has now become the de facto style of singing among Persian Pop singers. The Auto-Tune audio processor by Antares Audio Technologies was first used to produce more precisely tuned recordings by disguising Out-Of-Tune singing and inaccurate tuning with its pitch shifting capabilities in studio post production and sound engineering. It was designed to be a musical spell-checker... >>>



These chicks ROCK! See them perform live in Washington DC on the 17th or the 22nd of June. They will also be performing in Sweden soon. Go to -- jj

A bouquet of music

Farhad Bahrami

Last Saturday night, May 20th 2006, we were witness to a wonderful evening of classical guitar music from around the world, performed by Lily Afshar. As maestro Andre Segovia had predicted, Lily Afshar is one of the top players in the world today. Not even considering her doctorate in guitar performance, Dr. Afshar’s credentials are seriously impressive: perfect technique and execution, beautiful tone, depth of feeling, and a genuinely graceful stage presentation. Her choice of material was exquisite, with familiar and exotic pieces - like flowers - creating a lovely bouquet of music >>>

American hickup

Taylor Hicks? Taylor Hicks?! Are you Sh---ing me?
Behrouz Bahmani

When the American Idol announcement was read by an ever increasingly annoying Ryan Seacrest, "Taylor Hicks!", I shook my head in disgust and disbelief. If you are like me, the results of this season's idol were shocking to say the least, disturbing, dumbfounding, and just plain dumb, to say the most. If you are not like me, you've got better things to do than live out your childhood fantasies, but then you are pretty much alone. And I am sorry for that. A record 60+ million votes were cast to pick this season's winner, more than voted in the general election that may have precipitated this continuing downward spiral of American culture, now that I think about it >>>

Persian Rock comes of age

Well, what do you know? It seems that after a 40-year-long delay, Iranian rockers have finally found a way to stand up and be heard
Saeed Ganji

Nothing can connect with today's youth as easily and transparently as rock music. Towards the end of the ‘60s, when I was ten or twelve, this music was at the height of its flight, and what an awesome time we had with it. That novelty and freshness, and specially the particular social conditions that gave birth to this music, such as the Vietnam War and the vocal opposition to it, or the hippie movement, many of whose leaders were musicians, the whole thing, was like a modern social renaissance in which music had a most central role. All these electric-guitar virtuosos have come and gone; still, the picture of {Jimi Hendrix}, with his emotional and sarcastic rendition of the American anthem, during the massive Woodstock concert, is forever etched into our memories. >>>

Iran barandeh misheh!


My name is Blash. I've recently finished recording a song for Team melli. the song is now the most requested on i am trying to make this song an official football song for iran. I m just wondering if you can do a feature on me. for more info visit my site

Modern treasure

Mariah Ashkenani

When I was searching for a tape among my father's old properties, I found a Neli's old tape belongs to late 70's, an old damaged recording, but It was like a treasure to me. I didn't want to lose that great rare recording of Neli's, the Iranian pop singer who never got known by our generation, I don't know why! Although her songs were just great and modern. So as I'm familiar with sound engineering, I started converting this damaged old recording into equalized digital mp3 files which can be saved for ever. Enjoy listening to "Man o toh" song while I'm working on the other singles of her.

The last seduction

Her voice mixed with the scent of the sea and the memory of that afternoon, and I was sure I’d never heard such lovely music
Jasmin Darznik

Let me be up-front about this:  I am not a Googoosh fan.  The plaintive wail, the disco tempo.    Her charms may be many, her fans legion, but over the years I’ve remained stubbornly uncharmed.  It is true that when I read in the newspaper some years ago that she was staging a comeback in the States, I paused for a moment and said out loud to nobody but myself, “Well, that’s interesting.”  It was a reaction not unlike the one I had a few months ago when learning that a new planet had been discovered.  Interesting, yes, but just too remote for me to really care about it. So who can explain the late night impulse that recently drove me to punch in my credit card information, courting untold perils of fraud, in order to purchase one of her old CDs online?  Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to have waited until the next morning, when I could have calmly pulled one of her CDs from the music shelf of my local Iranian grocery? She’d seduced me at last, our siren of song.  I had to have her.  She arrived last night.  I have been with her ever since.


East-West Symphony

Photo essay & video clip: Tara Kamangar's piano concert in San Francisco
Jahanshah Javid

The sound of music

As Shajarian started the Persian "chah chah", the American guy gave an estranged look to his Asian woman
Nilufar Hakhamanesh

As the lights dimmed, the voices faded and the sound of music became to display. Little by little an odd aura hovered around me. I don't know what it was but I think I started feeling nostalgic and a bit irritated. Maybe I thought we were a wrong crowd for this, that this was too pure and sanctified for this society of people to get... The Persian woman sitting behind me kept moving in her seat, kicking me in the back and falling on her husband. I'd turn my face sideway and see them at the corner of my eyes. She would be rubbing her head against his chest "ohhh, honeeeyy, mmmm". The guy in his mid 20's next to me suddenly turned to his father and said impatiently "so when will Michael Jackson come?"  "Bisho'oor" was his father's reply.

1001 beats

Video & photo essay
Pop singer Shahrzad

Listen to the reed how it tells a tale

Exploring tradition and modernity through Iranian musical literature
Aaron P. Baca

Over a century ago Nasir ed din Shah traveled to Europe and brought back a military band to encourage the Western arts (Caron, p. 15). This past November 12th, modern Iranian sensation Googoosh played a sold-out concert at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. Steeped in centuries of tradition but readily susceptible to the inclinations of modernity, Iranian music has become a crossroad for the past and present. The form instilled in the music so long ago is still greatly revered, but is approached with the tenacity of the individual. Persian music does not abandon its roots but places increased emphasis on the freedom of the performer.

Dastfane Googoosh

Defending Mehrdad, Googoosh's singing partner
In reply to Reza Kohansal's "Mordim!..."
Aanseh Amiri


On Mehrdad, Googoosh's singing partner on her concert tour
Reza Kohansal

Sad and happy

Photo essay: Childhood in Tehran & a new song
Shahrzad Sepanlou

Wild world

No matter what his name is, Yusuf Islam, or Cat Stevens, his music still sounds good after 25 years
Sepehr Haddad

My wife decided to clean out the attic last week. I dread when this happens. This means all my unused or broken musical equipment (keyboards, guitars, samplers) and other music-related paraphernalia that I have stored in boxes up there for years, has to come down and a decision has to be made as to what will be donated and what can stay up there, for another cycle of several years before we go through the whole process again. This time, I decided to actually look through a few of the boxes of CDs, promo materials, etc., (instead of just pointing to which boxes we cannot get rid of--- my excuse always being that there is “important’ stuff that some accountant or lawyer may need God knows when), and to my surprise found a letter I had received in 1984 from none other than Yusuf Islam also know as Cat Stevens.

Oriental silence

The best jewels are found underground...
Plus: Afshin's Euro Pop
Behrouz Bahmani

The lack of it means the slightest glimpse of personal freedom is captured and worshipped beyond obsession, the adaptive speed of the Iranian youth is so fast that there isn't enough time for fads and trends to develop and die out,. The process is merely fluid. So goes Payam and the group he helped found, Oriental Silence.

Googoosh groupie

Following the diva to almost any destination. But why?
Mehrnaz Tadjbakhsh

I mean why do we have to leave our jobs and take leaves just to go to another city to see her and watch her and smell the air of Googoosh? What brings all these thousands of dedicated fans who keep going to her concerts over and over again? What does this woman have to offer to us which is so novel yet so old that has kept generations loyal to her for half a century? Witnessing the huge number of Iranian-American of all ages that attended these last few concerts made me even more confused and bewildered? Who is this woman and why an entire nation love her so much? The story of my own love-affair with Googoosh goes back to over 35 years ago. I would like to share it all with you.

(Extra) ordinary Rock

A conversation with "Kiosk" band leader Arash Sobhani
Parham Nik-Eteghad

A few weeks ago, I was browsing the pages of Orkut, the very popular social networking web site on the net, when I noticed that there was no community dedicated to the new Iranian rock band Kiosk. Now, it’s not in my habit of creating communities here and there on the web, but I seriously felt that this was an aberration. After all, it wasn’t long after I downloaded their album “Adame Mamooli” from the iTunes music store, that they grew on me as one of my favorite music bands. I think Kiosk is the turning point in modern Iranian music in that the lyrics of their songs are, contrary to the work of most other Iranian rock bands, quite unpretentious, actual, and heartfelt; not to mention the humor you can sense in them.

Aghassi laid to rest


Disappointing Deev

The only difference between the rap offered by Sandy and Deev is that the latter has political, violent and racist lyrics
Nassir Mashkouri

Rap music is one of the biggest and an important part of Afro American subculture called Hip-Hop culture, which is also comprised of graffiti art, break dancing, fashion, attitude, and basically the lifestyle of the people who subscribe to its' mores and traditions. Rap is a musical art form that has been growing ever more popular since it first appeared on the radar around 20 or so years ago in the United States. With its popularity, the Hip-Hop culture has spread all over the world to a point where it even entered the Iranian music scene around 10 years ago by a commercial band called Sandy.

Gozar az koocheh Golestan

Fusion of Iranian and Hungarian folk music
Nazila Keshavarz

Far from Baba Karam

"127" band brings it to the U.S. East Coast
Nima Berkeley

Picture watching a band fresh from Tehran, playing a fusion of rock and jazz, with lyrics in English- this is not your usual Tuesday night in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  In fact, this is not usual anywhere in the world and the drive of this band to share their sound was appreciated by all those who attended.  Glancing around the space, one could find a gathering of Iranians, Iranian Americans, American Americans, French, German, Dutch, Spanish Chinese Iranians Americans,  Iranian Argentinean Italian Senegalese Americans and every other concoction of human race and nation that you can slap together for an evening to hear Band 127. 

Fan pleaser

Googoosh's new album

"Manifest", the much anticipated Googoosh album was released as promised on the auspicious occasion of opening night of her world tour on September 17th, 2005 and it did not disappoint her fans at all. In fact its music and arrangements went far beyond the expectations of Googoosh fans. Mehrdad really did a wonderful job in this album and Shahyar was also at his best in almost all the songs but in my opinion what makes these songs so spectacular is Googoosh's brilliant performance and her presence in each and every moment of the album.

Sacred night

Through the Seven Valleys of the Way with Dariush Dolat-shahi
Goudarz Eghtedari

I was 8 or 9 years old, in the mid '60s, when one night a large party brought the sounds of professional Tar to our house. My father was a bank manager in the remote town of Sirjan. Once in a while in roassa's doreh one could hear the Tar of Soleiman Khan, the mayor, the only tar player in town. In those days my dad had just purchased a Philips reel tape player and was very proud of his recording capabilities. He was famous for making a cover for everything and this humongous machine was no exception: a blue satin cover was made for it and sat in our mehmankhaneh. That night our guest was supposed to be a famous Tar player, who played for Iranian National Radio, the late Ustad Lotfollah Majd.

Hit & miss

A review of Googoosh's new album, "Manifest"
Dario Margeli

"Ay Mardom Mordam" is a CLASSIC and absolutely perfect. The chorus and melody are absolutely brilliant, memorable, original and fit Googoosh's voice like a glove. The use of a real drummer gives the song the added strength that its lyrics demand! The lyrics are very important and up to date, in line with the realities of Iranian women today.

Pale Orange Revolution

Life in Ukraine 9 months after the bloodless revolution
Kia Kashani

Ukraine is a paradise for alcoholics. Good beer and vodka are really cheap here. You can buy beer every 10 meters in streets, and of course you are permitted to drink it in public. There is a law that sipping vodka in public is prohibited but nothing can stop Ukrainians from drinking vodka in parks or similar places. What is interesting to me is how much they drink they do not shout or disturb women in streets (very unlike what is going on in Iran). Women easily can walk late night without any fear. Ukraine is a matriarchal country. The founder of Kiev was a woman and her two brothers. Maybe this is one of the reasons women are more active than men. Women feel more responsible about the economics of family and their children. They think Ukrainian men can not be trusted because most of them drink too much and are lazy.

Music to our ears

The digital future of music is here!
Babak Khiavchi

This is it. This is the digital future of music we are now literally holding in the palm of our hands. Technology has brought computers, telecommunications, entertainment, and music together into one device formerly known as the cellphone, now the most commonly used electronic device in the world. It started in November 2000 when Sprint began selling the Samsung Uproar as the first cell phone with a built-in MP3 music player. Now there are currently about 70 wireless phones or mobile devices on the market that are capable of playing digital music using Windows Mobile or Windows Media software.

Marzieh or Delkash? Gina or Sophia?

This issue was so serious that if anyone liked both, would never admit it openly for the fear that they would be perceived as an outsider (which seems to be a swear word for some Iranians)
Vida Kashizadeh

I have experienced this phenomenon in the UK only when it comes to pet lovers. Here it is very rare to see a cat and a dog in the same household. People here usually either like cats OR dogs. And during a conversation about pets if you say that you like both cats AND dogs, there is usually a pause and depending on what kind of people you are talking to, you either get ignored (by the more stupid) or given extra attention (by the enlightened ones).

Record company rats

I wish for them nothing but a soothing and serene sleep
Raman Kia

Recently, I have spent most nights chronically unable to sleep. Lying there awake I analyze the situation I have found myself in but never quite find a solution. I actually think I may be losing my marbles -- as the saying goes. I had always considered myself quite hard-boiled and emotionally prepared for anything obscene, offensive, and outrageous that the music business could throw at me, but, for the moment, my life seems to have choked on a piece of bad news.

The revolution is here

Kiosk's "Ordinary Man" is extra-ordinary
Behrouz Bahmani

Well maybe not exactly, but it's a good title for an article, and a good effort for first timers Kiosk and their debut album "adameh mamooli" (Ordinary Man), one of the up and coming underground (literally) Iranian alternative bands, slowly starting to come out into the light. I think for the first time, I have heard lyrics that actually mean something, expressing the growing frustration and boredom with an increasingly materialistic and decadent life in modern day Iran. A refreshing and honest commentary on the superficial social scene Iran has become.

A night with Aghili

He belted out tune after tune, the classics, the pop songs, and provided more than a few funny stories in between
Tahereh Aghdassifar

A little over a week ago I was on my lunch break at work, and like all good Iranian children, I called home to check in with my mother. She picked up and began to yell "AGHILI IS COMING!" I laughed and asked what she was talking about, and instead of an explanation I just kept getting "Aghili is coming, Aghili is coming!" What you have to understand is that I, like many children of immigrants, was raised on shoddy VHS recordings of music videos and worn tape cassettes made in Iran during the 70's. Somewhere between the pop sounds of Googoosh and Sattar though, I fell in love with the majestic voice of Houshmand Aghili.

Aliaj live performance

It's that god-damned refreshing

Iranian-Swedish singer Laleh strikes a new chord
Behrouz Bahmani

Get a load of this guy!

Review of Shahram K
Behrouz Bahmani

Election boycott song
Rai nemeedam...

The artist and the craftsman
Post-revolutionary Iranian classical music
Susanne Kamalieh

Chasing the devil

There is a passage somewhere in every religious text book from the Bible to the Koran that mentions something about going to war for your religious cause
Raman Kia

Hungry for L.A.

I'm excited to be playing in Los Angeles, mostly because I can have a decent chelo-kabab
Raman Kia

Death to 6/8

Recently I had 2 nasty disappointments in a row, which caused me to invoke the "enough is enough!' clause
Behrouz Bahmani

The crisis of Persian culture

Part 1: Shajarian in Washington
Rasool Nafisi

The crisis of Persian culture

Part 1: Shajarian in Washington
Rasool Nafisi

Rethinking "Ey Iran"

This terrible song is for silly royalists, whining Mossadeghists, sheepish ex-Hezbollahis, and clueless leftists, both inside and outside Iran
Hushang Shahabi-Sirjani


I immulate the language and song of a bird rather that the radif notation

The voice of music

I saw society and watched my own existence through the eyes of something higher
O'meed Entezari

Beg to differ
Aghdashloo vs. Googoosh
Peyvand Khorsandi

Debut album, "Saazeh Taazeh" [New Melody] brings out a bit of the old, a bit of the new
Behrouz Bahmani

Frozen yogurt
Arian in Toronto

Where are they now?

The characters in "Shahr-e Qesseh" 38 years later
Sharif N Mafi

>>> Previous years


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