Beirut Talk Brazilian Music in MOJO Music Magazine

By 13 October, 2011

It’s fair to say that Beirut have become one of the biggest indie-rock bands in the world. What might be quite surprising, considering their music’s French and Eastern European influences, is the fact that some of their group’s most devoted fans are from Brazil. This is well known to the band itself, especially through the hugely-flattering Beirutando concept (read more on that here), and now it seems that Zach Condon, the group’s singer, is repaying the favour.

In the latest issue of MOJO – a magazine Sounds and Colours consider to be the best music magazine in the UK – Zach Condon is interviewed by David Sheppard, revealing that one of his favourite albums is Brazilian and also talking about the whole Beirutando phenonomenom.

Here is the section about Beirutando:

Meanwhile, Beirut’s audience was growing inexorably and globally, notably in Brazil where, in late 2008, copycat street bands – Beirutando – became an improbable mass craze following the use of Beirut’s song Elephant Gun in the popular Brazilian TV mini-series Capitu. The fad, initially propagated by the popular social networking site Orkut, peaked with Beirutando na Praca (‘Beiruting in the square’), a nationwide event staged on August 30, 2009, during which makeshift tribute bands took to the streets of several major cities to play Beirut songs on adapted local instruments such as the cavaquinho, a miniature guitar rendered ukulele-like with the addition of nylon strings, and ad hoc percussion, melodica and trumpet. It’s a phenomenom which a clearly still dumb-founded Condon calls “amazing and incredibly flattering”, adding, “some of the bands are really, really good. The only modern Brazilian music I’d heard was incredibly aggressive, so it was a total surprise that they liked what we did.”

Zach also listed four albums that had a huge influence on him. These were Kocani Orkestar’s Alone At My Wedding, Jacques Brel’s Les 100 Plus Belles Chansons, Boards of Canada’s Music Has The Right To Children and Cartola’s self-titled album from 1976. Here’s what he had to say about the Cartola album:

“Cartola was a kind of Brazilian street musician – not very well known. This is a guy who’s been writing songs for years; then someone randomly throws him in a studio towards the end of his life. You put on the record and it just inhabits this happy space. You just feel good, everything feels OK; you can feel the fucking sunshine on your face! No album has ever done that for me so vividly.”

All this information is taken from the November 2011 edition of MOJO. To find out more details about that issue as well as details on how to buy a copy go to

To find out more about Beirutando click here

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