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Beirut interpret gypsy folk from an indie perspective. At the center of the group is young prodigy Zach Condon, who delves deep into traditional roots music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans as well as the mariachi of his native Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was first introduced to gypsy folk music through the films of director Emir Kusturica (Time of the Gypsies, Underground). Rather than trying to merely copy gypsy songs, he borrows its sounds to make emotive pop that's full of joy, sadness and longing. On the band's 2006 debut, The Gulag Orkestar, Condon takes a DIY approach where he sings and plays most of the instruments (saxophone, clarinet, mandolin, accordion and others). His very original take on regional folk brought Beirut critical acclaim, while their live shows -- complete with full brass and string sections -- drew international audiences throughout North America and Europe. On his sophomore album, The Flying Club Cup, with its decidedly French cabaret flair, Condon teamed up with multitalented violinist-producer Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy.
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