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The Yellow Dogs, RIP
November 11, 2013 8:58 AM   Subscribe

The Yellow Dogs was a NYC-based group of young expatriates who fled their native Iran for Williamsburg, Brooklyn in order to freely pursue their dream of playing rock music, saying what they wanted to say, and, well, having fun, which were three things they couldn't do back home. Three members of the band were found murdered today. A sad farewell to The Yellow Dogs.

The Yellow Dogs Facebook band page

Here's the official video for their song This City

This City live, 2011

Bruce, live at a SoHo gallery, 2012

Koskhol, live at SXSW, 2010

Get Used To It, live at Union Pool, Brooklyn, 2012

Golden Age from their In the Kennel EP

No One Knows About Persian Cats : Part one and Part two
posted by flapjax at midnite (38 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
This was a young band at the very beginnings of their musical quest. Their debt to punk and especially New Wave (I find many of their songs reminiscent of, say, Gang of Four, Talking Heads and the like) is obvious, but with slight hints here and there of Middle Eastern music influences. I think they might've gone on to mature into a really interesting band that could've brought something fresh to the table. Their tragic and untimely end fills me with sadness.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:04 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a real shame, made all the sadder by the fact that they seem really talented.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:11 AM on November 11, 2013


These guys are local to me, though I've never seen them. Very sad.

A detail missing is that he was kicked out of the band - for selling their equipment. Very uncool. No one has breathed the word "drugs" but, well, when you start selling your band's gear, it's hard to think of what else it could be...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:13 AM on November 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Man, flapjax, thanks for the "here's a band you may like; ps. they are dead." post. I mean, I guess I wouldn't have heard them at all, otherwise, probably, but, what a waste.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:15 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Live set and interview on WFMU.

.
posted by mkb at 9:18 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, I remember seeing their documentary. How fucked up.
posted by threeants at 9:20 AM on November 11, 2013


I remember them from No One Knows About Persian Cats. This is very sad.
posted by cincinnatus c at 9:25 AM on November 11, 2013


“I'd always see them skateboarding up the block wearing the tight jeans.”
This is the bit that got to me.
posted by zamboni at 9:36 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I find it especially sad that they escaped somewhere like Iran, with all of it's issues and problems, where they had the very real danger of dieing or being killed at any moment, and made it to America, only to be killed. It's sadly ironic.
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 9:38 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


OH MY GOD NO

.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:41 AM on November 11, 2013


Came for the description of what seemed to be a new Jonathan Lethem novel, left for the sadness.

They sounded good in those clips, but this is a tragedy no matter whether or not they were talented.
posted by GrapeApiary at 9:42 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


...they escaped somewhere like Iran, with all of it's issues and problems, where they had the very real danger of dieing or being killed at any moment, and made it to America, only to be killed.

Well, "the very real danger of being killed at any moment" is not something that the US is free of, to say the least.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:46 AM on November 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


> No one has breathed the word "drugs" but, well, when you start selling your band's gear, it's hard to think of what else it could be...

Guns come at a high price.
posted by de at 10:01 AM on November 11, 2013


A terrible way to learn about a band.
posted by josher71 at 10:29 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


A terrible way to learn about a band.

Absolutely. I'll take this moment to point out that my "what a waste" above meant the senseless deaths of a promising band, not flapjax's post, where the music is good, if tragically framed.

Not that the situation would be better if the music was not to my taste, of course.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:43 AM on November 11, 2013


I saw them play in a living room a few years ago and we were just playing them yesterday at work. Here's a story that Gary Sullivan wrote for us last year: "Post-Punk, Post-Tehran: Yellow Dogs Perform December 13 in Williamsburg: Formed in Iran—and influenced by Joy Division—the indie band had to high-tail out of the Islamic Republic for fear of reprisals. Why the band wound up in Brooklyn."
posted by johnasdf at 10:46 AM on November 11, 2013


A terrible way to learn about a band.

Thanks flapjax. If not for your post, I would have only heard about the tragedy.

Well, "the very real danger of being killed at any moment" is not something that the US is free of, to say the least.

In Iran, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is (2009) 3.0. In the United States, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is (2011) 5.1. (Source of unknown reliability.)
posted by three blind mice at 10:49 AM on November 11, 2013


For those interested, you can buy two of their EPs on their Facebook page, under the Music tab (via Bandcamp).
posted by Palindromedary at 11:02 AM on November 11, 2013


I have a hard time feeling sadness but instead intense anger at how selfish this person was to murder his friends and then commit suicide. You got kicked out of a band, you couldn't start a different one? You're only resolve was to kill someone?

You escape Iran to avoid atrocities and persecution yet you kill people because they kicked you out of a band.
posted by stormpooper at 11:14 AM on November 11, 2013


. . . So sad.

And a fourth . because of the talent wasted.

Yes, anger seems to be my primary emotion regarding the killer. But then I have suicide issues of my own that I deal with.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:17 AM on November 11, 2013


Update: The shooter wad not a member of the band. Two members of the band and a friend were killed, in addition to the shooter who took his own life.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:24 AM on November 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow, sounds like the police identified the wrong person as the shooter.
posted by smackfu at 11:35 AM on November 11, 2013


Yeah, the mods should maybe help flapjax out and edit the post to reflect the corrected information.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:54 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


f@m can contact us if he'd like the post modified.
posted by jessamyn at 12:06 PM on November 11, 2013


That's probably the fairest/simplest way to do it from MeFi's end, yeah.

I hope we get it taken care of, though. I hate to think some other member of the band is named out there as the shooter incorrectly.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:09 PM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm, seems to be no clear and 100% confirmed info yet on the shooter (although the very latest update in that Update link posted above still indicates that it was a former band member who'd been kicked out) but I'd of course want the post to NOT contain incorrect info, so I've asked the mods to change it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:25 PM on November 11, 2013


The latest update from the manager (from 1:30 PM) on the Pitchfork link says the shooter was not in the band.
posted by sweetkid at 12:27 PM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


[I've gone ahead and nixed the "apparently by a fourth member who was enraged at having been kicked out of the band" bit from the second to last sentence above the fold, since that seems like the biggest issue and it sounds like that's established pretty concretely not to be the case. But, yeah, hard to know what to do when the story is still coming out in conflicting bits and pieces.]
posted by cortex at 12:31 PM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks, all, for keeping an eye on it. Glad I was still hangin' round the computer to catch these latest comments, and I wrote in via the contact form to suggest precisely the change that cortex made. Great minds apparently do think alike.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:33 PM on November 11, 2013


Oh my god the comments on the DNAinfo article. Appalling. What an awful tragedy for a young band.
posted by goo at 1:15 PM on November 11, 2013


I have a lot of musician friends in NYC and they're posting a lot. I wish this wasn't the way I was hearing about them. So sad.
posted by sweetkid at 5:07 PM on November 11, 2013


NY Daily News: East Williamsburg gunman identified in murder-suicide involving indie rock band
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:50 PM on November 12, 2013


Going to have to share in the frustration and sadness party here. We saw No One Knows About Persian Cats when it first came out and were so incredibly charmed by Yellow Dogs and moved by their courage. I was looking forward to hearing news of some kind of happy ending in which they all get asylum and have a great time in Brooklyn, but this... Man. Fuck this place sometimes.

...though does anyone else suspect a little that the Iranian government was threatening the gunman's family or something?
posted by Mooseli at 7:20 AM on November 13, 2013


Mooseli, I had similar thoughts. Musicians (and the killer was a bass player, from another Iranian expat band) are just usually not mass murderers/suiciders. Just really doesn't fit the profile. I'd imagine your theory may well be reality.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:56 AM on November 13, 2013


Statement from surviving members of Yellow Dogs and Free Keys.

Don't think it was an Iranian government plot, guys.
posted by sweetkid at 1:28 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The statement is very moving and worth reading. Wishing the survivors love and peace.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:32 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The statement is very moving and worth reading.

Absolutely. Thanks for linking to it here, sweetkid.

Don't think it was an Iranian government plot, guys.

There's certainly no hard evidence that it was. But there's no hard evidence to suggest that it wasn't, either. We'd all only be guessing, of course, and there'd be nowhere to take the discussion. I'd still maintain that mass murder and suicide doesn't fit the general profile of ousted band member (postal worker, maybe, but not fired bass player) and I'd argue that it would be in the interest of religious fanatic mullahs hell-bent on controlling Iranian youth's behavior both at home and (perhaps particularly) overseas to see that these scandalously wayward youths met a tragic end in the heart of Satanland, otherwise known as New York City.

Anyway, it's all speculation, and what you think doesn't cancel out what I think.

As for what we know now, all we can finally say (as I said from the FPP) is RIP Yellow Dogs. It's a terrible tragedy.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:08 PM on November 13, 2013


Via Peter Murphy's FB page, there is also a benefit fund for the family of Ali Eskandarian (who opened for Murphy on previous tours), in addition to the Yellow Dogs benefit fund.

The whole thing is heartbreaking.
posted by scody at 9:11 AM on November 14, 2013


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