Celebrations erupted in Tahrir Square and elsewhere as the Egyptian Revolution finally ended the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. After 19 days and, according to Human Rights Watch, more than 300 deaths, the power of the people was on full display.
As it turns out, UC Irvine professor Mark LeVine, author of Heavy Metal Islam, was in Egypt for days before the Feb. 11 resignation of Mubarak to witness history and to record it in song. Keeping friends abreast via Facebook, LeVine wrote, "Hooked up with Ramy Essam, the Egyptian singer, with whom I am recording a song produced by my good friend Anton Pukshansky." Essam had taken the slogans of Tahrir Square and performed a stirring song there on Egypt's "Day of Departure" protests a week earlier.
LeVine updated people on Feb. 10 on the status of the collaboration, writing, "Right now, we´re mixing the final version, as I found Ramy at Tahrir, as he´s been living there, and we went in the studio to finish the song. From Cairo to LA and back to Cairo in four days."
Check out the rough mix on Heard Mentality, as the final version is still in the works—just like the future of Egypt! From a Feb. 11 Heard Mentality blog post by Gabriel San Roman.
GOT THOSE VINYL-LOVIN' BLUES
Parker Macy is all over the place in the best possible way. When he's not shredding, metal-style, in Pistolero, he's a solo artist who plays the blues. And as if that weren't enough, he's opening a vinyl record store at The Lab on March 1. Called Creme Tangerine (it's a Beatles reference), the shop will specialize in classic rock with a focus on jazz and blues and will be a sanctuary where shoppers can kick back, listen to records or spend hours digging through bins.
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"A lot of this is my personal [stuff] that I've been collecting since I was 4 years old," Macy says. "I've got thousands of records, and I collect weird stuff, so some of it will be rare Beatles pressings, and some of it will be instructional golf LPs. We're also selling vintage record players."
It sounds kind of like a glorified garage sale, but Macy insists it's more than that. "It's been an idea for maybe 10 years, ever since I started taking collecting seriously, when I started going into stores and becoming involved in the underground-cult-ish behavior of record diggers."
In addition to the golden-age jazz and blues slabs, he'll also try to keep stocked with the latest indie vinyl offerings. Macy is planning "an event" to coincide with the opening, but he isn't offering details just yet. From a Feb. 9 post by Ryan Ritchie.
This column appeared in print as "The Revolution Will Be Zot-ified."