Beirut (aka Beer Pong) is a highly competitive drinking game in which players throw a ping pong ball across a table with the intent of landing the ball in one of several cups of beer on the other end. Much time and effort is of course dedicated to understanding the nuances and variations in rules of this beloved frat boy past-time, as seen in the Beirut-Guide, or on the Beer Pong Map (Beer Pong vs. Beirut – What is the game called?) Not to mention classic dramatic films like Beer Fest…
Beirut, it turns out, is also a pretty sweet new band. Check out their MySpace and have a listen. Recommended by a friend whose musical opinion I dare not take lightly, Beirut quickly secured special place in my heart after I heard the first few notes.
This review hits the nail on the head:
“While it may sound like an entire Balkan gypsy orchestra playing modern songs as mournful ballads and upbeat marches, Beirut’s first album, Gulag Orkestar, is largely the work of one 19-year old Albuquerque native, Zach Condon…like a drunken 12-member ensemble that has fallen in love with The Magnetic Fields, Talking Heads and Neutral Milk Hotel”.
At times very cobblestone-streets-of-Paris-à-la-Amélie with hauntingly beautiful melodies and sad accordian, Zach’s wistful vocals bring tears to your eyes. And yet, you can’t help but tap your foot to that dirty gypsy beat.
For more on the rise of this unassuming star, check out Rachel Syme’s review: “How a 20-year-old blogosphere star is dealing with massive hype, brutal flops, and a suddenly awkward name“