The Yellow Dogs

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The Yellow Dogs
OriginTehran, Iran
GenresIndie rock, post-punk revival
Years active2006–present
Associated actsHypernova, Freekeys
  • Koory Mirzeai
  • Siavash "Obash" Karampour
Past members
  • Soroush Farazmand
  • Arash Farazmand

The Yellow Dogs are an Iranian-American rock band, formed in 2006.[1] The band was formed in Tehran, and is now based in Brooklyn, New York.

Two of the band's founding members, brothers Soroush "Looloosh" (age 27) and Arash (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).[2] The two surviving band members are Siavash "Obash" Karampour (vocalist) and Kourosh "Koory" Mirzaei (bass), who were not present when the shooting occurred.[2]


The Yellow Dogs are from Tehran, Iran. They sang in English and played Western instruments, citing Joy Division, Talking Heads as an influence.[3][4] Their music was not approved by Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and was therefore illegal.[citation needed] They performed in Bahman Ghobadi's Cannes Un Certain Regard award-winning film, No One Knows About Persian Cats[5][6] and were interviewed by Reza Sayah for CNN before leaving Iran.[7]

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.[8] The U.S. government officer interviewing the band members described them as "astute, well-informed, and resourceful."[8]

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.[9] Their second 'aboveground' concert was at the Cameo Gallery, in Brooklyn, New York.[10] They later played Santos Party House and the Delancey[11] in New York, and they played the Wave in Austin, Texas as part of the SXSW festival.[12] 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.[3]

On April 13, 2010 Milan Records released the No One Knows About Persian Cats motion picture soundtrack.[13] The Yellow Dogs track "New Century" is included in the motion picture soundtrack, and bassist Koory appears on the CD cover[14] and on the movie poster. IFC Films released the movie on demand on April 14, 2010, and in theaters two days later.[15]

November 2013 shooting[edit]

On November 11, 2013, a shooting took place in Brooklyn that involved Yellow Dogs band members.[16] 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.[2]

Originally, media reports described Akbar 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.[17][18][19]


  • In the Kennel EP (2011)
  • Upper Class Complexity (2012)
  • "Gastronomic Meal" (2011)


  1. ^ "The Yellow Dogs". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  2. ^ a b c Celona, Larry and Frank Rosario (November 11, 2013). "Iranian "gunned down bandmates" after group ousted him". New York Post. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Halls, Ariane. "Interview: Yellow Dogs From Oyster #92". Oyster. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  4. ^ "Brooklyn murder-suicide kills 4". November 11, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  5. ^ "Soundtracks for No One Knows About Persian Cats". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  7. ^ "Iran's Underground Rock Scene". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  8. ^ a b "Cable reference id: #09ISTANBUL461". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  9. ^ "YEllowdogs | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  10. ^ "Iranian-American Band The Yellow Dogs Leave Tehran for Brooklyn, and Greater Freedom | Public Radio International". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  11. ^ Chalupa, Andrea (June 2, 2010). "The Yellow Dogs: An Illegal Rock Band Breaks Out". Huffington Post.
  12. ^ "The Yellow Dogs Interview SXSW 2010". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  13. ^ "News and Events". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  14. ^ "NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS: ABOUT THE ALBUM". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  15. ^ "NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  16. ^ David Browne Sit (2013-11-15). "The Yellow Dogs Open Up About Their Nightmare in Brooklyn". The Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2015-06-22§. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  17. ^ Hogan, Marc (November 11, 2013). "Gunman Kills Three, Himself, in Dispute Among Brooklyn Band Yellow Dogs". Spin. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  18. ^ Tina Susman (2013-11-11). "Gunman kills 3, then self, in rampage tied to New York rock group". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
  19. ^ Colleen Long and Tom Hays (2013-11-11). "Four dead in East Williamsburg". ABC News. Retrieved 2013-11-11.

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