Out of Obscurity

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EKR4: Stuart Davis “Music for Mortals” & Mashrou Leila “Ibn El Leil”

April 16, 2021

Purchase options:  “Music for Mortals” http://www.stuartdavis.com/album/music-mortals   “ibn El Leil” https://www.emusic.com/album/84891083/Mashrou-Leila/Ibn-El-Leil 


Structure:  Background on SD (up to 6:13); “Music for Mortals” album:  songs in 3-4 tiers (6:13-16:00) Comparisons & RIYLs for SD and eclectic albums (16:00-25:36) The SD discography & ratings for “Music for Mortals” and whether to focus on one genre per album (25:36-30:31)  Transition between picks (30:31-31:56) “Ibn El Leil” album, openness to the style, the band has faced adversity for its identity, political lyrics, their Tiny Desk concert, different versions and songs repeating appearances, Middle Eastern pop production strictures (31:56-41:23) Song highlights (41:23-47:53) ML discography and RIYLs from the Middle East and the West, Synth-pop examined (47:53-51:59) Ratings and possible appeal beyond a Middle East fanbase (51:59-end)


Hopeful news article on a previous album by SD:  https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/2257208-cd-review-davis-set-become-breakthrough-artist-new-release


Pitchfork called this video for ML’s “Roman” one of the best of the 2010s, and it’s been viewed enough times to make the pick for OoO questionable:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF__cpsDmZk 


ML lyrics in translation:  https://mashrouleilalyrics.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/the-truth-behind-ibn-el-leil-night-wine-and-gods/


ML banned from performing in Jordan:  https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2016/04/28/moderate-jordan-bans-lebanese-rock-group-for-music-that-contradicts-the-abrahamic-faiths/


Clearly showing religion is not my forte nor the focus of OoO, I misremembered this documentary as being about LGBTQ Muslims rather than Hasidic & Orthodox Jews…still relevant, I suppose, and it’s good to establish a negligent correction policy.  Sorry to anyone who’s offended.  https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/trembling-before-gd 


SD is RIYL:  90s rock, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, RHCP, Adam Green


ML is RIYL:  Depeche Mode, New Order, Pet Shop Boys


RIYL ML:  A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Dissidenten, Ouzo Bazooka, Jerusalem in My Heart, Aufgang’s “Turbulences” album