Amoeblog

Omar Souleyman At The Echo 7/12/11

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 18, 2011 07:45am | Post a Comment
Omar Souleyman at The EchoWhen I heard Omar Souleyman was playing in Los Angeles, I knew I had to go. Not only do I love his music but also how many times do you have a chance to see anyone from Syria perform in the U.S.? All those who cry about what a disappointment the Obama administration is can thank their liberal visa policies towards international artists. Do you know how many artists’ visas were denied during the Bush administration, especially if they’re from a country deemed a threat to the U.S.? 

Truth be told, there are many places you can hear music like Omar Souleyman across the Los Angeles area. In various Arabic restaurants in Glendale, Alhambra and the West Hollywood you can find someone like Souleyman’s collaborator Rizan Sa'id on a couple of keyboards playing behind a group of belly dancers or at a wedding reception. However, comparing Souleyman to those restaurant musicians is the equivalent of comparing Junior Kimbrough to some hack wearing a fedora playing slick Chicago-style blues. Sure, they both play blues music, but with Kimbrough, you felt the blues.

I had a feeling what an Omar Souleyman audience would look like: The hipster boys who travel to places like Indonesia and buy cassettes of local artists with their ambiguously ethic girlfriends? Check! Arabic people, mostly Syrian nationals, checking out a guy from their home country? Check! The “way too cool” musicians and deejays, who never say anything to you even though you see them everywhere you go? Check! Aging hipsters, still on the brink of discovering something new? Check! Ok, we can proceed.

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Omar Souleyman at the Mezzanine in SF this Tuesday June 7

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, June 2, 2011 02:19pm | Post a Comment
Syrian master of dabke and Iraqi choubi jams Omar Souleyman will be setting the sweaty boogie-party off this Tuesday in San Francisco at the Mezzanine! Come one, come all and join the one-third of the Amoeba Music SF staff that already hold tickets to this high-impact, calorie-shedding dance party --- hope they properly packed that keyboardist this time 'round: get your tickets here!
omar souleyman live mezzanine san francisco dabke sublime frequencies iraqi choubi dance party syria
check out this sweet vid below featuring "Leh Jani" --- the opening track from the Sublime Frequencies CD Omar Souleyman - Highway to Hassake: Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria:

(In which Job returns from [kind of a] vacation.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 4, 2007 11:31am | Post a Comment

Honey! I’m home…!

[Kiss.]

Whew! It is crazy hot here in Hollywood. How have you survived? I’m this close to envying the Donner Party.

[Sets luggage down.]

Where have I been? Didn’t you see the Post-It note I left on our autographed portrait of Gunnar de Frumerie?

No?

What do you mean you were struck blind by the Lord Our God while traveling the Road to Damascus? Are you crazy?

Yes, I know Labor Day traffic on I-5 is maddening, but I hardly think a detour through Syria was good idea. And anyhow, I wrote the note in Braille, so that’s no excuse for not reading it.

[Takes off shoes and unbuttons shirt.]

Anyway, I don’t want to fight.

I’ve been in Santa Barbara over the weekend. I was at a wedding for some of Corey’s friends. It was hot there, too, but at least we were on the coast, so it was beautiful.

Oh, a funny thing happened that continues a strange theme in my recent blogs. One of the humans attending the wedding was Octavia Spencer – a total sparkplug, very quick with the one-liners – and, as she was introduced to my small group, she lowered her sunglasses at me and said:

“Whoa! You have some pretty eyes! Hoo!”

Which makes two times this week that an obscure female comedian has commented on my optical globes. I know, right? What exactly are my pheromones excreting? Too funny.