CLAIRE KOSTOHRYZ // On May 2, Rostam Batmanglij debuted his upcoming solo album at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. He sang and occasionally played guitar on stage with a string quartet to accompany him. Batmanglij came out onstage as D.C. welcomed him back, and he clicked play on his MacBook. Graphics appeared on the projector screen behind him that displayed different designs he had created. They swirled and moved with the music, flowing and striking at every beat. The audience was extremely focused to see if Batmanglij was going to be a continuation of Vampire Weekend or try and distance himself from the indie pop genre.
For half an hour this past Friday, the sidewalk outside Songbyrd Music House and Café was a wash of lipstick, denim jackets, top knot buns, and wire rimmed glasses. Women of all shapes, sizes, and colors lined the street, waiting to get their ticket to see Princess Nokia’s (a NYC rapper’s) late show. “It’s so exciting to see this much style in D.C.” the woman behind me commented.
I quickly realized in joining the crowd that this would be a hip-hop performance for more than the average cis male, hip-hop loving audience—a type of show that is becoming more common but is still difficult to find. Upon setting foot in Songbyrd, I could immediately feel the evening’s subtle fem-respecting energy; the mixings of a female DJ welcomed me inside, playing Kendrick’s recent “Humble” followed shortly by Kamaiyah’s “N****s.” Continue reading “Princess Nokia @ Songbyrd”
By ANOUR ESA
Wednesday, March 1st. 7:59 pm. More than five thousand giddy Game of Thrones fans sit in the Verizon Center, eagerly awaiting the most epic showing of the HBO hit-series they will ever experience. One minute later, at 8 pm on the dot, hissing fog emanates from the center stage and through the thick of it, a tell-tale, chilling shape begins to emerge, welcomed by a thunder of cheering only five thousand fanatic Game of Thrones addicts could muster. It is the Iron Throne of Westeros. And with that, more than 65 musicians begin to play the now infamous main title. Thus commences the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience.
Day for Night, Houston’s unique celebration of counter culture’s approach to art and music, revealed its latest creations in December. Since 2009, Day For Night organizers have explored integrative experiences with diverse and well researched line-ups of truly innovative music and visual arts, and this year was the most impressive to date. With artists including Aphex Twin, RZA from the Wu-tang Clan, and the iconic director of Halloween, John Carpenter, Day For Night created an environment full of legends. Check out photos from the festival below. Don’t miss your chance to get the best priced tickets for next year with blind presale passes out now!
Written by MOJIB GHAZNAWI and edited by ANOUR ESA
Marcel Khalife is one of the most prolific Arab singers, composers, and oud (Arab 10-stringed lute) performers. Given his legacy of social critique and a longing for peace, Marcel is often regarded as the Bob Dylan of the Arab world. Despite this comparison, the two singer-songwriter legends could not have had more different upbringings. While Bob Dylan debuted on the stages of his high school talent shows, Marcel Khalife’s first public performance was amid the rubble of bombed-out buildings in Beirut during Lebanon’s civil war.
On December 8th, hundreds from the DMV packed into the Lincoln Theatre to see the critically acclaimed Lebanese musician, Marcel Khalife perform alongside his two sons, Bachar and Rami Khalife. Just like Khalife’s music and lyrics (poems written by the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish), this concert was politically charged. Presented by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the concert was framed as a chance for the “Arab community to take back their culture.” The performance was seen as a tool to fight discrimination, racism and intolerance, giving the Arab community a chance to define themselves rather than Hollywood or the media forcing that definition. This message is especially important for the world that we live in today, with dictionary.com’s word of the year being “xenophobia.”