LAZLO'S ALBUM OF THE WEEK
No One Knows About Persian Cats soundtrack
"Incredible collection of indie rock! What makes it even more incredible is that the bands on this album are all from Iran, where it is illegal for them to make this music. So the music on this album isn't just them showcasing their art and talent, it's also a direct defiance of their government." - Lazlo
NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS - a film about Tehran’s underground indie music scene that has won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the audience award at the Miami Film Festival - is finally opening across the United States on April 16th. The film will simultaneously be available nationwide on IFC Films’ video on demand platform.
While the political themes of the film are engaging, eye-opening and supremely important the overarching theme of the film is the shared love of rock & roll music.
The soundtrack album (A European Best Seller) will be released in the U.S. through Milan Records on April 13.
The fifth feature by celebrated Iranian-Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi (A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES, TURTLES CAN FLY), the film was co-written by imprisoned Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, and was the winner of the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2009.
PERSIAN CATS follows young singer Negar and her musician boyfriend Ashkan (Take It Easy Hospital), who attempt to form a rock band after being released from prison. Forbidden by the authorities to play in Iran, and dreaming of performing in Europe, they plan their escape. The necessary paperwork proves impossible to come by legitimately, so they team up with Nader, a fast-talking music promoter, who may be able to provide the connections they need.
With passports and visas being made to order, the trio trawl the Tehran underworld, listening to local rockers, metal-heads, rappers, singer-songwriters, musicians of every sort—all of whom will go to any length to perform their music. But with deadlines looming and authorities on their heels, Negar and Ashkan’s hopes of completing their mission may soon be shattered.
No One Knows About Persian Cats is an urgent scream for freedom in a land where it is unlawful for musicians to play, rehearse and just make their art. The film is a window into a system where being a musician is a daily challenge...
1/ Take It Easy Hospital: "Human Jungle"
2/ Take It Easy Hospital: "Me And You"
3/ Rana Fahran: "Mast-e Esgh (Drunk With Love)"
4/ Hichkas: "Ekhtelaf"
5/ Take It Easy Hospital: "Scenarios And Starlights"
6/ The Yellow Dogs: "New Century"
7/ Shervin Najafian : "Opening TItle"
8/ Ash Koosha: "Chasing The Sun"
10/ Take It Easy Hospital: "My Sleepy Fall"
11/ The Free Keys: "Dreaming"
12/ Mahdyar Aghajani feat. Bahman Ghobadi: "Jouwani"
14/ Ash Koosha: "They Sing" 15/ Hamed Seyed Javadi: "Fekr"
TAKE IT EASY HOSPITAL
This indie rock/ pop band from Tehran, lead by Ashkan and Negar. They are the main protagonists of the film and their music with no less than six songs in the film. Ashkan and Negar live in London now after having left Iran. Ashkan was in Iranian jail for 21 days in Iran for playing music illegally. Ashkan's favorite band is Sigur Ros.
HICH KAS (In Persian it means 'Nobody')
He is a rap artist from Iran. Despite being one of the most popular hip hop acts in the country, he has never received official permission to release his music on CD. He has a Youtube video hit with the song "Bunch of Soldiers". He was interviewed on THE DAILY SHOW by JASON JONES on June 25, 2009 during Jones' 10 day visit to Iran. Hich Kas’s first songs were mostly in English about social problems in Iran. Then he began rapping in Persian because it is easier for him to express his feelings. He mixes Persian traditional instruments with hip hop beats.
Mirza is an underground rock and blues band from Tehran, led by electrifying voice of frontman Babak Mirzakhani
Mahdyar Aghajani (Persian: مهدیار آقاجانی ,) is a musician and record producer in Iran who made a big improvement to Iranian hip hop. He mixed Persian traditional instruments (such as oud, santoor, daf, tombak, ney, kamancheh and qanoon) with hip hop beats. He produced the album of HICH KAS.
A unique fusion of classical Persian poetry with contemporary jazz and blues, Rana sings in a cool bluesy style that transcends time and erase all borders. Born in Iran, Rana grew up listening to any albums she could get her hands on, fostering a love for American blues artists like Brownie Mc Ghee, Leadbelly, and Johnny Winter. Rana left Iran after graduating from Tehran University and she soon found herself in NYC, exploring her talents in lacquer paintings and soaking in the sounds and music of the city. Rana has been featured on BBC Persian TV, 670 AM radio show "Live From Hollywood", RFI, Voice of America....
THE YELLOW DOGS
The Yellow Dogs is an underground indie rock band from Tehran which formed back in the end of 2006. Culture of people in Tehran and ideology of Iranian government forced them to hide in their tiny bohemian practicing room (SAGDOONI), which they had made by their own hands. SAGDOONI (farsi for doghouse) was the place that they found their own style of independent music. Playing live concerts have always been their dream, working together with their best friends The Free Keys to prepare a garage/basement into a mind blowing venue for their underground concerts. The avant-garde underground music scene that they made in Tehran was a legendary. During the recent years they didn’t stop making and playing music’s, although the situation in Iran gets harder and harder as the government becomes stricter on underground music. Not gibing up, they dream is to travel the world and play their music to different people with different tastes.
THE FREE KEYS
This “new metal” band has a large underground studio where they practice and record in the middle of Tehran. Last year they held several illegal concerts here but had to stop in fear that the popularity of the gigs would attract the attention of the government. The drummer of the band has just been invited to the UK to play on a tour with their friends of "Take It Easy Hospital".
HAMED SEYED JAVADI
An Iranian actor and musician who mixed traditional Iranian music with elements of pop and ambient music. Here is a clip: http://www.youtube.com/user/dBelendax
An Iranian singer/songwriter, guitar and piano player. He teaches young, poor street children guitar, harmony....
Check out the film trailer here