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Beirut-based indie rockers MASHROU’ LEILA are breaking boundaries and courting controversy in their home country with lyrics that are by turns satirical and sexual, crooned by frontman Hamed Sinno. Their “deeply layered, darkly textured, and sonically innovative” (NPR) music has been compared to the likes of Radiohead, The Strokes, and the Arctic Monkeys, and in 2013 they became the first Middle Eastern artist to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Their latest LP Ibn El Leil continues to explore themes of materialism, immigration, and homosexuality, set mostly in the socially charged spaces of Beirut’s nightlife. It is confidently a pop record, and The Guardian says, “it’s such an impressive performance that stadiums seem not only possible but imminent.” This may be an opportunity to see a band that is about to move over to arenas, and in the current political climate, we are proud to invite to our stage an intercontinental voice of tolerance and gender equality.
DAWN OF MIDI is an experimental acoustic ensemble from Brooklyn that “dismantl[es] jazz with the tools that built it.” (Pitchfork) Their 2013 record Dysnomia achieved widespread acclaim for its unlikely hybrid of traditional jazz instrumentation with minimal electronic song forms. Lebanon’s DJ KHATIR opens the night spinning records.