I don’t often talk about my musical side (I actually had to create a new “music” tag for this post). I’ve been playing since I was a little kid, and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t banging pots and pans, or singing, or doing something else musical. Music is, quite literally, an integral part of my entire life. I guess I’m lucky I don’t live in Iran, where rock music is banned (and for about a gojillion other reasons). Music isn’t just music. Anyone who knows about Dmitri Shostakovich, or Bob Dylan, or Chuck D knows that music can be, in addition to social commentary, fuel for a revolution. Hip-hop is being picked up by Inuit youth in Northern Canada as protest music against social injustices. Reggae, as many people forget, was equal parts smooth grooves and calls for uprising (think of Bob Marley’s Get Up, Stand Up or Desmond Dekker’s Israelites). As hip-hop is to disenfranchised North American youth, and reggae is to oppressed Caribbeans and Africans, rock and roll is to a generation of Middle-Eastern youth, growing up in a war zone they had no part in building.
Enter Blurred Vision, a Toronto band fronted by two Iranian brothers, who use rock to comment on what is happening in their homeland of Iran. Right now, a single of theirs (a re-imagining of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (pt. II), is reaching an international audience. Because this is right up my alley, I thought I’d share it with you.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it – it’s not Mozart. The thing that struck me about this song is that 30 years after The Wall was released, this song can be perfectly applied, almost unedited, to a country that didn’t exist (in its present, oppressive, theocratic form) at the time. There are themes in music that are timeless, and good music can reach out through the veil of history and resonate within our psyche. So to anyone who brands any type of music as “just noise” or “not really music”, remember that Philistines said the same thing about Pink Floyd back in 1979.
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