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...perhaps in Dubai
November 23, 2008 9:15 PM   Subscribe

They cannot perform in public. They cannot pose for album cover photographs. Even their jam sessions are secret, for fear of offending the religious authorities in this ultraconservative kingdom. The AccoLade is Saudi Arabia's "first all-girl rock band."
posted by Navelgazer (36 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
They're stringently drug-free, too. They're afraid of getting stoned.
posted by codswallop at 9:17 PM on November 23, 2008 [8 favorites]


Nothing interesting at all about the music, but good for them.
posted by Huck500 at 9:22 PM on November 23, 2008


meh
posted by shockingbluamp at 9:31 PM on November 23, 2008


Interesting post, however - NYtimes links that go to a reg-wall are kind of annoying.
posted by acro at 9:39 PM on November 23, 2008


Kinda sounds like Concrete Blonde.
posted by ducky l'orange at 10:08 PM on November 23, 2008


Wishing them the best. Seriously.
posted by wuwei at 10:14 PM on November 23, 2008


Your favorite quasi-illegal all-female band from a reactionary Wahhabi theocracy sucks.
posted by Panjandrum at 10:25 PM on November 23, 2008 [16 favorites]


Hey, they're not the Beatles, but I thought parts of it was kind of groovy. I was surprised at the English lyrics without any apparent accent.

Also, it's nice to see once in a while that social change can occur in an Islamic theocracy without the USA bombing the crap out of them.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 10:46 PM on November 23, 2008


Their manager.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:04 PM on November 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


The quotes around "first all girl rock band" are unsettling.

Are they not really first, or are they not really an all girl rock band? Does being say 10% "all girl rock band" mean you can call yourself All Girl Rock Band Product? Or just girl band flavored?
posted by freebird at 1:00 AM on November 24, 2008


The quotes around "first all girl rock band" are unsettling. Are they not really first, or are they not really an all girl rock band?

Or are the quotation marks cleverly signifying that the phrase is quote from the linked article, maybe?

Are we so drenched in irony we can't even take punctuation at face value anymore?
posted by rokusan at 1:19 AM on November 24, 2008 [14 favorites]


Are they not really first, or are they not really an all girl rock band?

They haven't found a female drummer yet, but are looking for one. That could be why the quotes are there.
posted by delmoi at 1:26 AM on November 24, 2008


"Are we so drenched in irony we can't even take punctuation at face value anymore?"
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:28 AM on November 24, 2008


Are we so drenched in irony we can't even take "punctuation" at face value anymore?
posted by pompomtom at 1:45 AM on November 24, 2008


They're stringently drug-free, too. They're afraid of getting stoned.

Wow. Really? Hope that was worth it for you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:51 AM on November 24, 2008 [11 favorites]


This is probably my favorite link ever posted to MeFi (not that I've been here that long, but everyone gets an initial favorite, right?.) I recently went to a small meeting at my university with Azar Nafisi, and, combined with a couple books on Muslim culture (none of this is directly related to Saudi Arabia, I know) really enhanced my appreciation of underground culture there.

I was surprised at two things, though:
1) How tolerable their music is. Not because of any racial/gender bias, but because most music sucks.
2) The English lyrics sang sans accent. o.O
posted by aliceinreality at 1:54 AM on November 24, 2008


I agree, the song on the MySpace is quite good. Kind of reminded me of Sunny Day Real Estate.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:03 AM on November 24, 2008


I haven't heard much Sunny Day, but I felt it was a nice synthesis of the parts of mainstream rock I like.
posted by aliceinreality at 2:18 AM on November 24, 2008


The Art of Noise has reformed?
posted by Zangal at 2:21 AM on November 24, 2008


Sounds good. I hope they succeed in getting some paid concerts put on.

Was interested to learn that 60% of the country's population is under 25 years of age. As they age they'll move into positions of authority in the country and be able to make the changes they want. It'll be interesting to see how that works out. I hope they chart a new course from what they've grown up with, but I bet they won't just copy western-style politics and democracy either.
posted by harriet vane at 2:54 AM on November 24, 2008


The only Saudis I ever met were all very up on Western culture and spoke nearly-perfect English. We don't usually hear about the other kind.

Good for them. Not every revolution has to arrive with a big boom.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:20 AM on November 24, 2008


So they are OMGSEKRIT but interviews with the NYT and FPPs on the internets are OK? I guess the ultraconservative kings don't have the google.
posted by DU at 4:44 AM on November 24, 2008


Hmmm....pretty high production quality. Likely recorded in a professional facility. Or at minimum a very good home studio. The BG's are tight and well placed in the mix. This isn't the work of amateurs. I smell something fishy.
posted by gigbutt at 5:22 AM on November 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fascinating stuff—I had no idea there was a Saudi rock scene at all, let alone an all-girl band. Thanks for the post, and ignore the meh-ers!

They're stringently drug-free, too. They're afraid of getting stoned.

The quotes around "first all girl rock band" are unsettling. Are they not really first, or are they not really an all girl rock band?

So they are OMGSEKRIT but interviews with the NYT and FPPs on the internets are OK? I guess the ultraconservative kings don't have the google.


I'm not sure which is more depressing, the reflexive need to snark or the low quality of the snark produced. You all need to go take a course with quonsar.

posted by languagehat at 5:55 AM on November 24, 2008


Was interested to learn that 60% of the country's population is under 25 years of age.

I think the demographics of many Middle Eastern countries are like this. I think Iran is even more bottom heavy. (According to Wikipedia the Median age in Iran is 27.) Plus, because of the revolution, many people who wouldn't have sent their daughters to school past a certain age started doing so -- because schools are segregated and Muslim friendly I guess -- so now Iran also has really high numbers of Women in university. (I think there are more women graduating from university than men now.) I guess this entire comment is off topic. That's how I roll. WORD.
posted by chunking express at 6:49 AM on November 24, 2008


My Saudi neighbor went to Vegas last winter and came back with all kinds of stories because he randomly went to Paris Hilton's birthday party.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:57 AM on November 24, 2008


My comment wasn't snark. I'm seriously trying to figure out how they think they are going to remain secret if they interview with NYT. Omitting your last name is not going to keep you safe if you get big enough for Them to really care about taking you down.
posted by DU at 8:18 AM on November 24, 2008


Really encouraging. They are risking so very much by doing this, by even thinking of doing it, I am filled with admiration and respect for them.

You've really got to love music (and personal freedom) to put yourself on the line like they are.

More power to them.
posted by batmonkey at 9:59 AM on November 24, 2008


Salvor Hardin wrote: I was surprised at the English lyrics without any apparent accent.

aliceinreality wrote: 2) The English lyrics sang sans accent. o.O

They're very obviously singing in an American accent.
posted by jack_mo at 11:34 AM on November 24, 2008


Courageous initiative, bland music.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:17 PM on November 24, 2008


They're very obviously singing in an American accent.

No, the "American accent" is just a rock and roll voice.
posted by rokusan at 2:08 PM on November 24, 2008


i was hoping for something a little less produced-sounding and a bit more raw. also surprised by the english lyrics.

i didn't love the track i heard, but if they're for real, then good for them. in a probably meaningless show of support, i added them as a myspace friend.
posted by sentinel chicken at 2:11 PM on November 24, 2008


No, the "American accent" is just a rock and roll voice.

And the default rock and roll voice is... an American accent.

(That said, a lot of the Saudis I know have vaguely American/mid-Atlantic accents, even though they've spent most of their time in Saudi or the UK, so I don't know if these women sound American because the are deliberately going for a 'rock and roll' singing style or if it's just a reflection of the way English is taught in some Saudi schools.)
posted by jack_mo at 3:46 PM on November 24, 2008


Data point: They had 19 friends on MySpace this morning and, as of this comment, have 470.
posted by batmonkey at 4:48 PM on November 24, 2008


460! 460! DANGIT. I do not transition well between phone key pad and 10-key pad.
posted by batmonkey at 4:50 PM on November 24, 2008


The music isn't my taste, but I am into all girl rock bands! Rock on, sisters! Subvert that dominant paradigm!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:48 PM on November 24, 2008


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