The Yellow Dogs
|The Yellow Dogs|
|Genres||Indie rock, post-punk revival|
Two of the band's founding members, brothers Soroush "Looloosh" (age 27) and Arash "Sina" (age 28) Farazmand, guitarist and drummer, respectively, were shot dead in Brooklyn, New York on November 11, 2013, along with an associate Ali Eskandarian (age 35). The two surviving band members are Siavash "Obash" Karampour (vocalist) and Koory Mirzeai (bass), who were not present when the shooting occurred.
The Yellow Dogs were from Tehran, Iran. They sang in English and played Western instruments, citing Joy Division, Talking Heads and The Rapture as an influence. Their music was not approved by Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and was therefore illegal. They performed in Bahman Ghobadi's Cannes Un Certain Regard award-winning film, No One Knows About Persian Cats and were interviewed by Reza Sayah for CNN before leaving Iran.
On 8–9 December 2009, the band was interviewed by the U.S. government at the U.S. embassy in Istanbul, Turkey and their comments about the Iranian Green Movement Protesters, Iranian counter-culture, freedom of expression, trends in drug usage and music in the authoritarian state were reported in an unclassified U.S. State Department document, "Iran/culture: So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star", which was later released by Wikileaks. The U.S. government officer interviewing the band members described them as "astute, well-informed, and resourceful."
The Yellow Dogs played their first 'aboveground' (legal) concert at the Peyote club in Istanbul in January 2010. Two days later, they flew to New York City.[why?] Their second 'aboveground' concert was at the Cameo Gallery, in Brooklyn, New York. They later played Santos Party House and the Delancey in New York, and they played the Wave in Austin, Texas as part of the SXSW festival. They played the 92nd St. Y Tribeca in Manhattan at an afterparty for the U.S. opening of No One Knows About Persian Cats. Another band, also from Tehran, was also on the bill for this concert, Hypernova. Koory and Looloosh were part of the original line-up of Hypernova. But they did not leave Iran when other Hypernova members departed for the United States.
On April 13, 2010 Milan Records released the No One Knows About Persian Cats motion picture soundtrack. The Yellow Dogs track "New Century" is included in the motion picture soundtrack, and bassist Koory appears on the CD cover and on the movie poster. IFC Films released the movie on demand on April 14, 2010, and in theaters two days later.
November 2013 shooting
On November 11, 2013, a shooting took place in Brooklyn that involved Yellow Dogs band members. According to band manager Ali Salehezadeh, guitarist Soroush Farazmand and drummer Arash Farazmand, along with Ali Eskandarian, a musician friend who was not part of the band, were all shot dead by a 29-year-old disgruntled musician, Ali Akbar Mohammed Rafie (also known as Raefe Akhbar). Another man present at the crime scene, Sasan Sadeghpourosko (age 25), survived, suffering only wounds to his arm. Rafie committed suicide.
Originally, media reports described Akhbar as a former band member who had been thrown out of the band three days before. In later reports, however, it was stated that he had never been an official member of the Yellow Dogs, but had hung out with Yellow Dogs since being expelled in 2012 from a different Iranian emigre rock band, Free Keys.
- In the Kennel EP (2011)
- Upper Class Complexity (2012)
- "Gastronomic Meal" (2011)
- "New Century" (No One Knows About Persian Cats soundtrack, 2009)
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