Whose Gun Is It Anyway?

September 25th, 2009

For those of you who don’t know Beirut, the city, you first think: war. For those of you who have walked its cacophonous streets and licked its sea salt off a pretty one’s neck, you think: love. To you non-Beirutis, you’re right! Beirut attracts wars like the elephant attracts the elephant gun. But, whoa, there is no war without love. A deeply felt, aromatic love that breathes from its village kitchen, its ever-giving trees, its snow-capped mountains, its burgeoning artists, its trilingual banter that drives us into the revolution of its modern life, which has the attitude of “let’s see how much we can get away with” and the soul of “let’s see how much I can handle before I press the brakes.” Is this a necessary stage of every revolution? Or is this just our cross-eyed gaze?

This blog comprises the musings of one Lebanese-Palestinian-American girl who decided to move to Beirut at 28 after a lifetime in the U.S. of A. She will bring you not only musings and stories, but photos, videos, guest writing, recommendations, and all kinds of other scraps that will put this revolution’s cross-eyed gaze into focus.

The following song and video is “Elephant Gun,” by Beirut, the American band led by Zachary Condon. This video, to me, evokes the spirit of Beirut today. The nostalgic trumpet, the sea, the elephant masters, the hedonism, eroticism, the all out party with an effervescent tinge of tragedy in the seams. Beirut, the winged elephant.

PS, does anyone know the origin of the band’s name?

2 Responses to “Whose Gun Is It Anyway?”

  1. lens says:

    Well apparently, Mr. Condon, who by the way is the entire band – singer, songwriter, composer and musician – decided he should give his outfit an alias. (I can’t imagine why, with a name like Condon…)
    So he chose ‘Beirut’, because he said the place always struck him as this interesting, eclectic place, struggling along to be free and democratic in a sea of menacing Muslims. Not in those words, but pretty much.
    However, during the 2006 war, he was quoted as saying that if it went on much longer, he would have to change the name of the band, because the city was disappointing him with its lack of resistance to terrorism.
    So while I appreciate the Condon’s music most of the time, I seriously think he should keep his political and social opinions to himself.

  2. EDB says:

    “One of the reasons I named the band after that city was the fact that it’s seen a lot of conflict. It’s not a political position. I worried about that from the beginning. But it was such a catchy name. I mean, if things go down that are truly horrible, I’ll change it. But not now. It’s still a good analogy for my music. I haven’t been to Beirut, but I imagine it as this chic urban city surrounded by the ancient Muslim world. The place where things collide.”

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