Coming to Beirut I had a few vague ideas of what kind of bands I hoped to discover. While these ideas were never specific, in my own naïve romantic imagine they involved bands that took real musical risks and encouraged their audience to participate, rather than just watch. On Thursday night I saw a band at Kunkunkun’s, in Gemmayze, that fit this description. That band was The Incompetents.
After the first 3 songs of The Incomptents’ set I was giddy. I was giddy because they had this knack for taking twisted, disjointed, Tom Waits-esque melodies and them mixing with happy, loud, and danceable guitar pop tunes, a la CBGB’s. On top of that they did these intricate psychedelic prog-rock breakdowns that didn’t last too long and didn’t scare half the crowd away. Just when you were about to go, “okay this is cool, but what the fuck?” they’d hit you in the face with a leg-kicking, noise rock free-for-all.
The free-wheeling collaborative nature of The Incompetents was inspiring and highly entertaining. At their core, they are a two-piece band. However, their live shows consist of a revolving door of stellar musicians who amazingly manage to make it all work. For me, the secret weapon behind this amazing cohesion was the rhythm section. Maya the drummer was possibly one of the coolest and refreshing drummers I have seen live in a long time. She was completely free and made every gut punching hit count. Then they had this bass player, Paed, who was like John Entwistle and Les Claypool rolled into one. Watching the two them made me grunt relentlessly.
On the subject of grunting relentlessly, the Incompetents pulled off something very few bands can do: they covered Tom Waits and fucking killed it! Now, I don’t want to focus too much on the one cover that the band did, especially when their originals are awesome as well, but I think the fact that they pulled this off, in their own unique way, demonstrates the character and uniqueness of this band. On top of that they’re other major asset, the French guy in the black turtleneck who plays like 15 instruments, did a 20 second long solo for this song on soprano saxophone that was essentially comprised of one note. That pretty much did it for me.
At the end of the day it was refreshing to see a packed club enjoy such an interesting band. The band definitely shows their strength live; the full spectrum of sounds that they present live elevates the band beyond their recorded sound. Aside from some technical difficulties that sort of come with the territory when have about 37 instruments on stage, the band nailed it. Hopefully I can jam with these guys sometime.
Wicker Park: A Festival for both hot birds and music nerds
This past weekend, the 3rd annual Wickerpark Music festival took place on the shores of the turquoise beaches of Batroun. The festival is a yearly showcase of some of the top acts in Lebanese rock n roll, which seeks to promote Lebanese music along with environmental causes. While many festivals in Lebanon have been cancelled in recent weeks because of ongoing political bullshit, Wickerpark wi... [more]
– Watch the extravagant video of the fucked up high life of the anti virus Guru
Behind every cool website, movie, and music album is a tech genius who makes all of the backend stuff happen. While they usually get little fame and glory, without them none of these projects would be what they are. 2famous is exactly the same. Jorgen Ekvoll Knut O. are the behind the scenes masters pulling all of the strings and making 2famous the sexiest, most efficient website in the Middle... [more]
“Adventures” on the Mediterranean Island of Corsica
Corsica is one of those places that most people would never think to travel to. It’s an obscure island outpost of France in the Mediterranean Sea stereotyped for its fiercely independent people and militant separatist culture that routinely tells France to get fucked. It has the highest per-capita murder rate in Europe, has a severed head on its flag, and the mafia runs everything. It&rs... [more]
A nostalgic homage to one of our favorite towns in the whole world
If you’re a foreigner who’s been living in Lebanon the chances are you have ventured to Syria at some point before the political situation descended into utter tragedy. For myself, and many people I know in Lebanon, Syria is not some far-flung wild country that is the center of everything wrong with humanity, no matter what people in Beirut try to tell us (history can be complicat... [more]
A few weeks back, Cyril from Underrated productions approached 2famousTV. He told us about a new party concept he and his crew were creating and promoting called “Stereo Club Nights.” Basically, they are the uber cool, refined, and dare I say classy club parties with an emphasis on Deep House music.They are being held on May 11, 18, 25 and June 1 at Solea V Rooftop in Beirut.<... [more]
Time: September 2006Location: Pakistan, somewhere on the road between Peshawar and Islamabad
It was Ramadan, the Islamic holy month when the faithful fast during daylight hours. It was late afternoon and I was on a comfortable air-conditioned bus somewhere between the city of Peshawar, on the Afghan frontier, and the capital Islamabad. The luxurious bu... [more]