Category Archives: Music

Cool Discovery by Project Revolver: Meet The Sea-Ders (The Cedars), Also Known As “The Beatles of Lebanon”

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I love digging out stories from Beirut’s pre-war glory days and I’m surprised that I haven’t heard about the Sea-ders band until now all thanks to ProjectRevolver‘s research. The Sea-ders, who started off with the name “Top 5″ during the 1950s are presumably the first ever rock band to appear on stage in Lebanon. They were inspired by the popular rock bands that emerged at the time, and went on to record a total of 10 tracks and land a major deal in London during the 1960s.

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They were called the Beatles of Lebanon, because they grew their hair to look like them when the Beatlemania swept across the world and used to perform Beatles songs at a cinema in Hamra for a period of 20 minutes before the movie started. They made a name for themselves in Lebanon as skilled “imitators, capable of replicating the Fab Four’s sound (and looks) down to a T”.

Once they moved to London after signing a deal with Decca Records, they started attracting some attention during a 3-month gig at PickWick, a club in Leicester Square, as they were using the buzuq instrument in their songs, which was strange to Westerners at the time. Apparently, Paul McCartney and George Harrison stopped by one night to see the band playing this weird instrument. The Sea-ders’ first single in the UK was “For Your Information” in 1967 (which was a big hit in Turkey back then) but the record never made it to the charts and the album was labeled as a failure.

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Performing at AUB

The Sea-Ders’ drummer Zouhair Tourmoche, better known as Zad Tarmush, talks about their album’s flop in the UK and says “it’s all about luck in the music industry and about knowing the right people”. Personally speaking, I think what they’ve done is beyond awesome specially with all the cultural barriers that they have to overcome at the time, and I enjoyed listening to their songs.

I strongly recommend that you read the full story of the Sea-ders [Here] as it’s an intriguing and captivating one. All the pictures and information are from [ProjectRevolver].

You can list to their songs [Here].

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Beirut, the early 1960s: a time of growing religious and political tensions in and around Lebanon… But something else was brewing then: the rise of rock & roll. Circa 1964, the Beatles erupted unto the international scene and the entire world, the Middle East included, fell for their music (and their boyish charm).

With the Fab Four’s breakthrough, Lebanese and Arab bands playing psychedelic and garage rock started to emerge in the 1960s and 70s: Dark Eyes, The Kool Kats, The News, The Nomads, the Vultures… catchy names that have since been forgotten, and whose music is sparsely found on the Internet today.

But one of them – the very first rock act to emerge in Lebanon as early as 1962, deserves a special mention. In turn called “Top 5” and “the Sea-Ders,” their music masterfully incorporates the Byrds’ psychedelic harmonies and the distinctive vocals of the Beatles’ front men… with an Oriental twist. This is the story of a band that broke cultural and religious barriers, landed a major deal in London during the swinging 60s and one day caught the eye (or ear, rather) of a couple of guys named Paul McCartney and George Harrison. This is the story of the Lebanese rock band that maybe, just maybe, could have made it big on the international stage. [Source]

[YouTube]

[YouTube]

#HappyFromLebanon (Pharrell Williams’ Happy Song) Lebanon Version

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[YouTube]

I thought of coming up with a Lebanese version of Pharrell Williams’ Happy song back in early February before any of the Happy videos came out, and I got a lot of submissions within the first few days as well as people asking me how they can help. However by the time we sat and compiled all the videos together, there were already 2 versions of the Happy song out and a couple of others followed last week. Nevertheless, I insisted that we go through with this project and bring out the video because it encouraged the Lebanese Online Community to take part in it and didn’t include any third party. Moreover, the International Day of Happiness is tomorrow so the video is right on time!

The whole thing was a joint effort between the blog’s readers, myself and people that I’ve never met before. It was a cool experience and I wish we had others join us to make one big Happy video for Lebanon but no harm was done as the more Happy videos are spread out, the better specially with everything that Lebanon is going through.

I think what we came up with is awesome and it’s all thanks to Joy, Karim, Ghiwa and Lynn.

Watch and Share!

Happy In Lebanon: The Lebanese Version of Pharrell Williams’ Happy Song

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[YouTube]

I was hoping to compile the entries I got and upload the video by this weekend but it seems someone has been working on it already. I wish they had seen the post and contacted me, at least I would have shared the stuff I got and compiled everything into one video.

Either way, it’s a pretty cool clip but I think I will still go ahead with our planned video since a lot of readers already emailed me. There’s no harm in coming up with more happy videos from Lebanon and by the Lebanese.

How To Take Part In The #HappyFromLeb (Pharrell Williams’ Happy Song) Lebanon Version

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[YouTube]

I already posted last week about this, so here’s a reminder for those who wish to take part in the Lebanon version of Pharrel William’s Happy Song. All you need to do is the following:

- Film yourself either alone or with your friends or anyway you want for at least 10-15 seconds dancing the Pharrell Williams’s Happy song. You could film yourself dancing at home, on a sidewalk, in the park, in the parking lot, on the roof, anywhere you like.

- Make sure the camera is fixed and set properly just like you can see it in the video clip above.

- Check that the video is a good quality one, save it as .mov or .mp4
& email me najib@blogbaladi.com. If you are filming using a smart phone, use it horizontally and avoid using the zoom.

I’ve already received few videos and am expecting more this week. Moreover, I was contacted by students from two different universities in Lebanon who are working on a similar project and are willing to help which is great. Having said that, I will set the coming Saturday February 22nd as a final deadline for receiving videos, so hurry up and email me at najib@blogbaladi.com if you wish to take part.

Let’s Make This Happen: Pharrell Williams – Happy (We Are From Lebanon) #HappyFromLeb

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[YouTube]

I am sure all of you have heard Pharrell Williams’s Happy song and seen the world’s [first 24 hour music video]. The whole video and idea are pure genius and seeing all these people dancing happily is a great way to cheer yourself up on a bad day.

Having said that, and since Lebanon is going through bad MONTHS not just days, I thought we make our own version of Pharrel’s song by compiling clips sent from various Lebanese from all across the country. I tweeted last week to see how many people would be interested in this idea and got plenty of positive replies. Liliane also posted about that yesterday and also got some positive feedback.

I think we all agree that dancing and music are great ways to boost happiness and feel better, so here’s what you have to do to take part in this video clip and make it happen!

- Film yourself either alone or with your friends or anyway you want for at least 10-15 seconds dancing the Pharrell Williams’s Happy song. You could film yourself dancing at home, on a sidewalk, in the park, in the parking lot, on the roof, anywhere you like.

- Make sure the camera is fixed and set properly just like you can see it in the video clip above.

- Check that the video is a good quality one, save it as .mov or .mp4
& email me najib@blogbaladi.com. If you are filming using a smart phone, use it horizontally and avoid using the zoom.

Once I receive the needed entries, I will compile and edit them with the help of a friend into one video clip and upload it on YouTube. The sooner I get the needed amount of videos, the earlier I upload the video so spread the message and let’s make this happen and show a better image of Lebanon.

You can check out the [Dubai Version] or [Bucharest] version or [Paris Version] and a lot more versions online to have an idea on how to make your video and send it over.