Bands in Brooklyn take playing secret underground venues with DIY equipment as a badge of honor. The Yellow Dogs had no choice when they were in Iran, where they could only play their banned music in a hidden former trash room turned studio under Tehran, with styrofoam insulation and a World War II era gas can for a mike stand. You might not have been lucky enough to know about the band, a Williamsburg warehouse dance pop outfit, before Monday’s horrific shooting massacre, but you can help pay tribute and raise money for families of the deceased on Monday at Brooklyn Bowl, which is hosting a memorial featuring Nada Surf, Dirty Fences, The Men and many more.
As BrooklynVegan reports, there will be a “Special Memorial Evening / Fundraiser” Monday night with performances by Nada Surf, James Chance, Luke Temple, Dirty Fences, Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, Helado Negro, Hamish Kilgour of The Clean, Iranian visual artist and activist Shirin Neshat and more, along with DJ sets by Paul Banks of Interpol, Jonathan Toubin, Sinkane, Vito & Druzzi of The Rapture, The Men and more.
Tickets are $15-$30, 100 percent of which will be going to the families of the deceased, the hospital bills of Sasan Sadeghpourosko who was wounded in the shooting, and then as well as the two surviving members of Yellow Dogs. If you can’t make the show, you can also donate here.
Learning about The Yellow Dogs story over the past week, I’ve been impressed at how mundane their ambitions were — and I don’t mean that in a bad way. They had a tragic end, but their start came from a place of hope once they fled Iran, where their music was illegal, and got asylum in America in 2010. Yet once they got to Brooklyn, they didn’t position themselves as ex-pat spokesmen or critics of the oppressive Iranian regime; they basically just wanted to blend in. As one friend of the band told me, “they’re super sweet indie rock dudes who just wanted to live a care-free hipster life in Brooklyn.”
So if anything good can come out of this, let it remind you not to take your Brooklyn lifestyle for granted, kids. And get out to Brooklyn Bowl tonight to show some love.