Truth Frequency Radio
Nov 12, 2013

iran-iranian-rock-music-band-murder-suicide-the-yellow-dogs-brooklyn-new-york-truth-frequency-radio-chris-geo-sheree-geo-alternative-media-news-informationBy VIVIAN YEE and J. DAVID GOODMAN, New York Times

For their music they had risked the wrath of Iran’s government, practicing American-style rock in makeshift soundproof studios and performing it in underground clubs and parking lots, despite the threat of fines, detention or arrest. Growing up together in Tehran, they had found a sound: part punk, part garage rock, part their own invention.

The Yellow Dogs, as the four Iranian musicians were known, played in the shadows until 2009, when they appeared in a film about Iran’s underground music scene that garnered international attention. The next year, they left for America, finding their way to East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where their tidy house became a hub for fellow musicians and Iranians.

Hailed as countercultural heroes in Iran, they were a few musicians among many in Brooklyn, working day and night to stay afloat, playing in basements and lofts until they scored better gigs. And then, suddenly, in the early hours of Monday morning, two of them and another musician were dead, shot by another Iranian musician who then killed himself.

While the precise motive was unclear, it seemed that money, distrust and discord sown amid a tight fraternity of Iranian rock artists were to blame.

If the Yellow Dogs had begun to find success in Brooklyn — they were playing at venues like the Music Hall of Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bowl — the gunman, Ali Akbar Mohammadi Rafie, had joined his fellow Iranians in Brooklyn only to struggle. Though he had left Iran as part of another band, the Free Keys, who stayed at the Yellow Dogs’ house when they arrived in New York in 2011, his relations with both bands had frayed.

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