Beirut is an American band which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zach Condon. Beirut's music combines elements of indie-rock and world music. The band's first performance was in New York, in May 2006, to support its debut album, Gulag Orkestar.
Beirut performing at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles in 2019
|Origin||Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A|
|Past members||Jeremy Barnes|
Jared van Fleet
Condon named the band after Lebanon's capital, because of the city's history of conflict and as a place where cultures collide. Beirut performed in Lebanon for the first time in 2014, at the Byblos International Festival.
- 1 History
- 2 Personnel
- 3 Side projects
- 4 Discography
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Zach Condon was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on February 13, 1986. He grew up in Newport News, Virginia, and in Santa Fe. Condon played trumpet in a jazz band as a teenager and cites jazz as a major influence.
Condon attended community college for a short period, before traveling to Europe at the age of 17 with his older brother, Ryan. Condon's exploration of world music developed Beirut's melodic sound. Zach's younger brother Ross Condon played in the Brooklyn-based band Total Slacker.
Returning from Europe, Condon enrolled at the University of New Mexico, where he studied Portuguese and photography. Condon recorded most of the material for Gulag Orkestar alone in his bedroom, finishing the album in a studio with Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel, A Hawk and a Hacksaw) and Heather Trost (A Hawk and a Hacksaw), who became early contributors to the band.
Ba Da Bing! records signed Condon on the strength of the recordings. Condon recruited friends to play Gulag Orkestar's first live shows in New York in May 2006.
Beirut's first music video was for "Elephant Gun", directed by Alma Har'el who also directed the band's second video, "Postcards from Italy". Lon Gisland EP was the full band's first release, in 2007.
The Flying Club CupEdit
Beirut's second album, The Flying Club Cup, was recorded largely at a makeshift studio in Albuquerque and completed at Arcade Fire's studio in Quebec. The music on the album has a French influence due to Condon's interest in French chanson during its recording. Condon has cited Francophone singers Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg and Yves Montand as influences. He also expressed interest in French film and culture, claiming this was his original reason for travelling to Europe. The Flying Club Cup was officially released in October 2007. In September 2007 they did a Take-Away Show acoustic video session shot by Vincent Moon. A DVD, Cheap Magic Inside, was shot but quickly sold out; in December 2010, Beirut, BaDaBing, and La Blogothèque authorized its dissemination via digital download.
March of the ZapotecEdit
On April 3, 2008, Beirut canceled a previously announced summer European tour. Already in 2006, Beirut canceled the European leg of the tour due in the fall because after two months of the US tour, Condon stated that after two months of touring, he was suffering from exhaustion. Zach Condon explained the cancellations in a post on the official Beirut website, stating that he wanted to put the effort into ensuring that any shows would be "as good as humanly possible". In January 2009 the double EP March of the Zapotec/Holland EP was released, containing an official Beirut release based on Condon's recent trip to Oaxaca (March of the Zapotec), and electronic music under the "Realpeople" name (Holland). On February 6, 2009 Beirut made their debut television performance in the United States on the Late Show with David Letterman, performing "A Sunday Smile".
The Rip TideEdit
In early June 2011, amidst touring the US, Beirut announced that their newest album, The Rip Tide, which had been recorded the previous winter in upstate New York, was to be released on August 30. The band simultaneously released a single from the album, "East Harlem" (which was first recorded on Live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg), with the B-side "Goshen". The album was recorded, managed, and released under Condon's own Pompeii Records. Reviewers and fellow musicians have noted that, unlike the prior albums which drew heavily on foreign music from Mexico, France, the Balkans, etc., this one has shown Beirut with its own, more pop-oriented sound; saying, "what emerges [on The Rip Tide] is a style that belongs uniquely and distinctly to Beirut, one that has actually been there all along." One reviewer noted that "the Euro influences [of Beirut's previous albums] are still there, but the presiding spirit is old-fashioned American pop." This album also differs from Beirut's previous albums in that the music was recorded as a band playing together rather than laying down individual tracks one at a time, though the lyrics were only added by Condon after all the music had been recorded.
No No NoEdit
On June 1, 2015, Beirut announced their fourth album, No No No, which was released on September 11, 2015. On the same day, the title track "No No No" was released for streaming. The album was recorded following a period of turmoil in Condon's life, facing a divorce and having been admitted into a hospital in Australia for exhaustion following extensive touring. However, Condon recovered fully thanks to a new relationship and his return to New York. Beirut also announced a tour for the album.
On October 22, 2018, Condon announced Beirut's next album, Gallipoli, which was released on February 1, 2019. The album is named after the Italian town where Condon wrote the title track. On January 10, 2019, the music video for Beirut's new song "Landslide" was released. On February 9, 2019, Beirut appeared on the "Saturday Sessions" segment of CBS This Morning's Saturday program, playing selections from "Gallipoli."
Condon plays a rotary valve flugelhorn and the ukulele as his main instruments. He bought the ukulele as a joke stage prop, but found he liked the sound and was able to play it despite a wrist injury that inhibited him from playing guitar. Condon also plays the trumpet, euphonium, mandolin, accordion, various keyboard instruments, and a modified conch shell that appears on The Flying Club Cup.
Live, Beirut's roster generally consists of:
- Zach Condon – trumpet/flugelhorn/ukulele
- Nick Petree – drums/percussion/melodica
- Paul Collins – electric bass/upright bass
- Kyle Resnick - trumpet
- Ben Lanz – trombone/sousaphone/glockenspiel
- Aaron Arntz - piano/keyboards
Past members include:
- Kristin Ferebee – violin
- Jason Poranski – guitar/mandolin/ukulele
- Heather Trost – violin/viola
- Jon Natchez – baritone sax/mandolin/glockenspiel/keyboards
- Tracy Pratt – trumpet/euphonium/flugelhorn
- Greg Paulus – trumpet
- Kelly Pratt – trumpet/french horn/glockenspiel/keyboards
- Jared van Fleet – piano
- Perrin Cloutier – accordion/cello
- Sharon Van Etten, who contributes vocals to two tracks on The Rip Tide
The majority of the members of Beirut have performed live as well as appeared on recorded material.
Realpeople is Zach Condon's electronic side-project. It was under this name that Condon made his first (unreleased) album, The Joys of Losing Weight, and the name to which the Holland EP is credited. The Joys of Losing Weight, which was made when Condon was fifteen, has never been released officially, but has been leaked on the internet.
Condon has also released an EP, Small-Time American Bats, under the name 1971. This was recorded with his friend Alex Gaziano on guitar and vocals, when they were both around 16 years old (2002). Gaziano is a founding member of Kidcrash, another band originating from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Soft Landing was a project started by Beirut members Paul Collins (bass) and Perrin Cloutier (accordion) and Mike Lawless. Their eponymous debut album was released on October 12, 2010 on Ba Da Bing records, and has been described as "a pop version of Beirut" and freak-folk, with a heavy emphasis on dance beats and sheer energy.
Pompeii Records is the record label founded in 2011 by Zach Condon in order to give the band and himself full control over their music. The first recordings released on the label were the band's double EP, March of the Zapotec/Holland EP.
Condon plays mandolin, trumpet and ukulele on A Hawk and a Hacksaw's album A Hawk and a Hacksaw and the Hun Hangár Ensemble, and trumpet and ukulele on Alaska in Winter's album Dance Party in the Balkans. He appears on Get Him Eat Him's album Arms Down, on the song "2×2".
Condon also contributed to 4 songs on Mouse On Mars' 2018 album, Dimensional People.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|The Flying Club Cup||
|The Rip Tide||
|No No No||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- The Guns of Brixton / Interior of a Dutch House (November 13, 2006) – Calexico/Beirut 7″ split single
- Lon Gisland (January 30, 2007)
- Pompeii EP (February 28, 2007)
- Elephant Gun EP (June 25, 2007)
- March of the Zapotec/Holland EP (February 16, 2009 – Unofficially released onto iTunes on January 27) US No. 87 UK No. 101 and FR No. 14 
- Dark Was the Night Beirut contributed the song Mimizan to the charity compilation benefiting the Red Hot Organization
Again in 2011, they contributed a cover of Caetano Veloso's song "O Leãozinho" to the Red Hot Organization's most recent charitable album Red Hot+Rio 2. The album is a follow-up to the 1996 Red Hot+Rio. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues.
- Cheap Magic Inside (2007)
- Beirut: Live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (2009)
- Jorgensen, Chris. "Off the Charts: DeVotchKa Employs Symphony to Fine, Subtle Effect". Billings Gazette. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- "Beirut Interview", Pitchfork, archived from the original on December 18, 2008, retrieved December 11, 2009
- "Beirut, the band", New York Magazine, August 6, 2006, retrieved December 11, 2009
- "Zach Condon returns home to the land of red and green", Albuquerque Tribune, October 19, 2006, archived from the original on April 12, 2008, retrieved December 11, 2009
- Roberts, Kathaleen (May 30, 2008). "Musical Maven – Zach Condon Follows His Muse to E. Europe And France of the '40s". Albuquerque Journal.
- "Beirut: Zach Condon's Brass Band Blowout", ShockHound, February 24, 2009, archived from the original on March 8, 2009, retrieved December 14, 2009
- "Beirut On World Cafe : World Cafe". Npr.org. November 7, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "An interview with Beirut", Brooklyn Vegan, retrieved December 11, 2009
- "Summerscreen TONIGHT: Point Break with Total Slacker and Red Romans – Free Williamsburg". Freewilliamsburg.com.
- Total Slacker : pop hallucinogène pour fins de soirées enfumées – Rolling Stone Archived March 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Klimchak, Amre (May 19, 2010). "Dazed and Amused". New York Press. Archived from the original on August 15, 2010.
- Fitzmaurice, Larry (July 6, 2010). ""Crystal Necklace"". Pitchfork.com.
- "Beirut's Zach Condon: young success 'fucked with a lot of things'", All Shook Down: SF weekly, October 8, 2007, archived from the original on December 26, 2009, retrieved December 11, 2009
- "Beirut", Myspace, archived from the original on December 10, 2009, retrieved December 11, 2009
- "Exclusive interview with Beirut", The Miscellany News, January 26, 2009, archived from the original on February 20, 2012, retrieved December 11, 2009
- "Beirut Giving Away Movies: Or, Why I Love Indie Labels Against My Better Judgment - Chris Peterson". Cpeterson.org. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Beirut cancel all European tour plans", Gigwise, April 3, 2008, retrieved December 11, 2009
- "Beirut's Zach Condon: Young Success 'Fucked With a Lot of Things' – Interview – San Francisco Music – All Shook Down". Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- Beirut's official website, archived from the original on December 16, 2009, retrieved December 11, 2009
- Beirut's Zach Condon discusses new EPs, time off, archived from the original on November 2, 2008, retrieved December 11, 2009
- "Beirut announces new album, The Rip Tide". Consequence of Sound. June 7, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Beirut: side-project Soft Landing; New Beirut album in the works". World Music Instruments Happen. December 23, 2010. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Beirut The Rip Tide Details". Stereogum. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Persona Sauna: New Album: Beirut - The Rip Tide". Personasauna.blogspot.com. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
-  Beirut – 'East Harlem' / The Rip Tide at the Wayback Machine (archived June 10, 2011)
- Meatto, Keith (August 15, 2011). "Less Is More – A Review of Beirut's The Rip Tide". Frontier Psychiatrist. Archived from the original on May 31, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Beirut announces new album, shares title track No No No". Consequence of Sound. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- Yoo, Noah (October 20, 2018). "Beirut Announce New Album Gallipoli". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
- "Beirut - Landslide (OFFICIAL VIDEO)". YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "Montreal International Jazz Festival: Beirut in conversation", The Gazette, July 10, 2009, retrieved December 14, 2009
- "Edward Peckham (beruit) on Myspace". Myspace.com. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "YouTube". Youtube.com. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- Dunn, Ryan (July 2, 2010). "Beyond Beirut, a Soft Landing". Liftingfaces. Archived from the original on November 23, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Soft Landing November 2010 Tour | BA DA BING". Badabingrecords.com. November 11, 2010. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Beirut: side-project Soft Landing; New Beirut album in the works". Puddlegum. Archived from the original on October 13, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Reidy, Julia. "Soft Landing - Soft Landing | Music Review". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
-  Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Beirut Prepare Seven Inch | News | Clash Magazine". Clashmusic.com. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- The New Pornographers reveal album details | stereokill.net Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Listen: Blondie Cover Beirut | News". Pitchfork. June 16, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Preview Blondie's Beirut Cover". Stereogum. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Beirut Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "Discography Beirut". austriancharts. Hung Medien.
- "Discography Beirut". lescharts.
- "Discographie Beirut". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Discography Beirut". irish-charts.com. Hung Medien.
- "Discography Beirut". Dutch Charts. Hung Medien.
- "Discography Beirut". charts.nz. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.
- "Discography Beirut". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien.
- "Discography Beirut". hitparade.ch.
- "Chart Stats - Beirut". Official Charts Company.
- Ayers, Michael (February 2, 2009). "Indie rock band Beirut ventures south of the border". Reuters. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
- "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on August 25, 2015.
- "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 6, 2019)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Tobias Zywietz (May 7, 2011). "Chart Log UK". Zobbel. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- "lescharts.com - Beirut - March Of The Zapotec And Real People Holland". Lescharts.com. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
- "Beirut: Live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg". PopMatters.com. August 2, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2019.