For the past 6 months the improbable rumor that we might be able to see the infamous Mohsen Namjoo perform here in the US, (See Concert Tour Schedule) had me all but shuddering with delight. Little does anyone know how excited I became when rumor became fact, as it was finally announced and his Namjoo-ness appeared from the door of the airplane, fresh from Austria, at SFO a few weeks ago.
He is here!
Not many know Namjoo, and the impact he is sure to have on those souls lucky enough to be baptized and forgiven by his lyrics, while simultaneously being gloriously whipped into sublime ecstasy by his biting sound. Or vice versa depending on how your particular wind blows.
For those of you who know, you know, so I am not even going to bother with you. You may go now.
But to those of you who don't know , or think you might know, you need to be taken to task and understand a bit about the greatness that might pass you by were you to be less than vigilant as self appointed guardians of Iranian culture and more importantly, it's rekindled evolution, turbo-charged now by this small, skinny man, with a Persian lion's roar in his chest.
Mohsen Namjoo is veritably the anti-christ of Iranian popular music. He does not merely carve out a new genre for his brand of insolence. He carves it into your heart with a nail clipper. He is the Quentin Tarantino of Iranian contemporary culture, not just mouthing empty words in his songs, but living them.
He knows a thing or two about hell, having been there and back, several times in his not done yet life. Surprisingly still alive to tell the tales. His refusal to conform, while inside the very belly of the beast, deftly avoiding the consternation of the authorities that might frighten a lesser man. Using nothing more than the very power of his art, fed by the immense strength of his dark and ugly soul.
Mohsen Namjoo is a con artist of Iranian popular culture. His con is that while you listen to his words, he picks your pocket with his music. If you shift to listen to his music, his words sneak into your head and like a thief in your wife's bedroom, toys with and tortures her seductively while you're away at the office.
These are not mere variations on a lifted theme. Words thrown onto American music, or American music with Farsi words. Namjoo does not need to piggyback his spirituality onto any Mithra, Shiva, or Yaboo Alafi belief.
But he does definitely put the Zorro into Zoroastrianism!
His music can best be described as a sneaky variation on a theme. Or false advertising. After all, he is conning you! It sounds classical, and even looks classical, classical enough to fool even your Dad. But a few minutes into it and you suddenly realize, this is not classical! This is something entirely new. And it hurts. It hurts so good.
Now trapped in his web, you realize the full effect of the con, and with nowhere to run or hide, you must confront him, now he is in your face, now he is screaming at your other self, the one you like to keep hidden, tucked away from everyone like your deformed brother, in the dark reaches of denial, away from the light.
Come out brother, indeed you are beautiful to me.
So yeah, he's kind of like that.
If you have not done so yet, get your tickets here:
SAN FRANCISCO - September 6 (Click)
The Palace of Fine Arts
Phone Orders: (415) 392-4400
NEW YORK - September 12 (Click)
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts NYU
Phone Orders: (212) 352-3101
WASHINGTON DC - September 14 (Click)
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
(Tickets for this concert are not availabe at the venue. Purchase your tickets prior to concert night)
Ordering Info: (415) 738-2182
SAN DIEGO - September 19 (Click)
San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art
Phone Orders: (858) 658-0336
LOS ANGELES - September 21 (Click)
El Rey Theater
Ordering Info: (323) 936-6400
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