Ma ki hastim?

Photo essay: Iranians jamming at Seattle party

by Mehdi Karami
Every summer Shoosh throws a party and invites his friends from all over to his house in Seattle. The first one I went to was in 2003 [see: For everyone]. A key component of these parties has been music. Shoosh and many of his friends are just crazy about music. You go to one of these parties and you'll hear guys with a guitar or on the piano playing anything from Googoosh to the Beatles to Oasis. This year it was not just a party but the "7th Annual Seattle Music Jam 080208" with performances by Shoosh's local Iranian, American, Arab and Russian friends, and ending with sets by two of the hottest Iranian rock bands, Kiosk and 127. Other artists included Anoush Khazeni, Pouya Mehrabian, Alireza Kamran, Navid, Mehrdad, Amin Emam, Ali Danesh, and Kia Payvan. During my four nights at Shoosh's house, I must have heard someone singing or humming 127's "Man Kiam" (Who am I) about 500 times. It was kind of appropriate, since we come from so many backgrounds and not firmly rooted anywhere. Mehdi Karami has beautifully conveyed the mood in these amazingly rich pictures. Thank you Shoosh for all the love and joy! -- Jahanshah Javid


I envy you JJ

by Monda on

for being there with all these talented musicians!

I read through some of the comments about 127 and it bothers me to see how black or white we can be at times. No one needs to put aside one style to enjoy another one.

These guys are very talented instrumentalists, raw musicians creatively experimenting with their own voice. I love the variety of styles that they incorporate on their different tracks; they crack me up and bottomline: put me in a good mood! They share with the listener an abundance of positive enegry, communicate their joy of music and are darn good lyricists if you ask me. A professional writer friend labled them as "worthy poets" and in my humble opinion that they are.

Their "start" on the Internationl-Iranian scene is way more enagaging than many established musicians that I wouldn't even bother to buy or listen to anymore, because their voices sound fake, tired, their messages and vibes repetative. Free yourselves of either/or mentality (6 o 8 or non, Shagarian or non, etc., etc.) and open up to some fresh creativity which sadobistohaft, Kiosk and Abjees and other younger bands offer. No one is asking you to let go of anything else, just loosen up and have fun listening to these guys!



127 aren't where they want

by JMN (not verified) on

127 aren't where they want and need to be as a successful band. They know it, and so do we. They are capable and talented guys who are scrambling to polish their sound and are very unapologetic about it (which is how they should be). It'd be a little premature to discount them like that. Anybody who's made music at a pro, or even hobbyist level knows the process takes time, and there's not much you can do about it. Hell... it even took Floyd a few albums to get dialed in. It's just how it works.

A real change in our music scene is long overdue, but is gradually happening. All these new musicians need support to take their product to a successful level. Until they get this support from you and I, we'll be getting tons and tons of pathetic, unimaginative and just plain awful music from the LA wanna-bes.

Just my $0.02.


Thanks but why 127 don't sing in Farsi ?

by Troneg on

Thanks for your photos and work.

I love Abjees and Kiosk. I didn't know 127 till reading comments.

I went to web and listn some of them. Their music & melody are great but why they don't sing more in farsi (as Kiosk and Abjees).

Bands singing in English exist all around the world, one more is not something special and don't help Iranian culture !

If they need some lyrics they could ask to all poets who write in ! We will call the CD ;-)

behrang barzin

These guys are great...

by behrang barzin on

Kiosk, Abjeez and 127 are some of the greatest things that happened in iranian music ... haters don't need to listen to this music can go listen to some of that dambal dambool that you love so much from Tehrangeles...


agar be nazare shoma 127 yek

by ardalan bahari (not verified) on

agar be nazare shoma 127 yek padideye estesnayie lotfan yek sar be iran bezanid, oonja daryaye estedade, vali hamishe baraye man soal boode ke chetori hamishe bi estedad tarinha mitoonan visa begiran o bian o gol konan va ki inaro support mikone? ehtemalan sazmane kashfe estedad haye derakhshan!!


Thanks for introducing me to

by skatermom (not verified) on

Thanks for introducing me to this band. I hope they get an opportunity to play SXSW this year. It's nice to see good music coming out of Iran. Music that's relevant to today. Don't get me wrong the elder artists certainly deserve love and respect. However that Iranian, LA crap, dressed in bedazzled clothing and 20 pounds of makeup is so played out. I went to 127's my space page and there friends with Abjeez and Gogol Bordello. Gogol Bordello is awesome for sure and we're all familiar with Abjeez' genious. This genre may not be appealing to some Iranian traditionalists but it's a fusion of world music and jazz that is so very cool.

Alahazrat Hajagha

I am jealous

by Alahazrat Hajagha on

Fist of all the portrait of Googoosh is amazing, whomever made that or/and put it on the his house wall has great artistic test. Congratulations!!!

Second, I am jealous because the pics shows that " shamo, golo, parvaneh" hame jame bodand. I wish I could see Kiosk live again.

Third, I do agree with Party girl " take them or leave them" I do leave 127, I am not their fan however that doesn't allow me to be mean or arrogant about their music and I think Appalled or whomever else should consider that

Thanks for the great pictures



by Respectful (not verified) on

I understand if people don't like 127. They are still raw and at the beginning of their way. It's easy to imitate a well-known western band (as well as eastern ones) and get attraction, from dire straits to darioush. Doesn't matter pop or rock, these are famous bands/people, and copying them guarantees some attention from the large fan base.

But it takes bravery to try something new, like what 127 is trying to do. Their first album was hard to listen to. The second album has some so-so songs, and some great songs (ostekhoon and "man kiam" to be exact). I'm sure their next album will be even better. These guys are creating something, a new style, and deserve a lot of credit fot it. Not just for being brave enough to do something new, but for actually doing something good.

If one doesn't understand their lyrics, it's probably because unlike most of the bands, they haven't chosen to write in a street-level language. Their literacy level is much higher than the average band, and even the average listener. This doesn't necessarily mean that one should like it though.

If you don't like their music, at least have some respect. They are not doing anything wrong, they are creating music, there is no music that everyone likes. But you can still have respect.

Respect is what we, Iranians, missing a lot.


Great house, indeed

by TheMrs on

There was a period when I was obsessed with sadobistohaft. I was listening to them every day, that was before they became COOOOOL and hip. So I love their music.

Having said that, to say their music is the "greatest things to happen to Iranian music in a long long time" is a bit of an exaggeration.

Anonym has shown his/her level of knowledge of hamvatans by saying that most of us "have a very low level of music appreciation". I would like to remind this user that most Iranians aren't different than other consumers. They like pop and they buy it. In our culture, complex, traditional and classic music has a special place most  of us are familiar with. On top of that, we are big non Farsi music fans. English, Spanish and French music is appreciated by a great number of iranians in side and out side the mother land. Slowly but surely, a new generation of musicians is flourishing too. So next time you want to put down Iranians' music appreciation because we like Leila Forouhar, see more than Leila Forouhar and you'll see we know and appreciate a lot more than YOU think we do. And as the great Shahram K song goes: fek mikoni ke ki hasti???? 

Am I the only one disturbed by the testosterone at this festival? As always, women musicians appear to be in the minority. The audience also seems to be speghetti strap obsessed, tight, look at my body obsessed. Nice eye candy for the men.

Party Girl

Artists--Take them or leave 'em!

by Party Girl on

How about if we all agree to disagree on our different tastes for music?  Aren't we so lucky to be able to pick and choose whatever kind of music does it for us?  To be sure, 127 is different, and as an emerging band with their own brand of music, they seem to have found a following among the audiences.  Take them or leave them, as you would any artist.  There is no need to be rude or demeaning to the artists just because we don't like their music.  Of course I understand that 127's photo is on the front page of today, hence the discussion over them!  I think anything new evokes reactions, positive or negative, among audiences.  If this band truly has something to say, it will still be around in a few years and we can check them out again then.

When JJ invited Arash and Anoush of Kiosk for the very first time on a stage in Berkeley, there were people who spoke more or less the same way about the music they were hearing Kiosk play.  A few years later, some people might still not like them, but the band has proven that they have something to say by virtue of their presence and their followers.

One last thing about the audience being "highhhhh."  It honestly doesn't look that way to me.  The audience in the photographs appear as pretty tame and sober but enjoying themselves in a party mood (my specialty!).  Anyway, you and I may not like it much, but these days almost EVERYBODY is drunk or high when they go to concerts in the US.  Does that take away from the artists' value?  I don't think so.  I went to a Carlos Santana concert last year, and he actually had to ask the audience to "take it easy with that, because that stuff is so strong, I'm getting high just breathing the smoke onstage!"  Let's be fair and be a little nicer when critiquing artists, who after all, are people just like us who have dared to step on the stage to express themselves.  There's no need to be mean.



by hco22 on

thank you jj for putting this video on the internet. i love the melody, and the lyrics, but his voice not so much. still it was wonderful, thanks again.


Dear Mr.Javid, I agree that

by Anonym (not verified) on

Dear Mr.Javid,

I agree that some people like Appalled are in the minority but do not forget that being in the majority does not approve of what you are saying.Don't forget that the majority of iranians have a very low level of music appreciation so the fact that a couple of highhhhh people enjoy such a crappy music which equals to LA dambalis does not improve 127 music level.
being out of tune , having non-sense lyrics and being mentally retarded is not considered as intelligence or sophistication.



Nice house

by KB on

Love the picture of Googoosh.

Looks like a lot of fun was had by all.

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

My dear Appalled,

You say 127 sucks. Fine. But you are in the minority. 127 is one of the greatest things to happen to Iranian music in a long long time. Their energy, their catchy and original songs and arrangements, their great lyrics... what else can I say? They have been invited to play at the World Music Festival in Chicago in September. Don't miss them. See these reviews:

* Washington City Paper (July 2008) 

* Blurt (July 2008)


127 Sucks!

by Appalled (not verified) on

For those of you who just can't wait for JJ to put up the music on this site, You can go to 127's web site and listen to them there. Wow.........These guys suck! I have not heard such crap for a long long time. As bad as the Farsi songs are, their English songs are even worse! I am not a music expert but I know crappy music when I hear it and let me tell you this is as bad as it gets.

Jahanshah Javid

Coming! Coming!

by Jahanshah Javid on

Video clips are being loaded. Will link them as soon as they are ready :o)


I know how a deaf person feels like now

by azaadeh on

music was the guest of honor but it was missing from every picture, .... please put it on youtube next time, so everyone can hear and see the beauty of this party.


lets hear something?

by faryarm on