3:39pm PT by Shirley Halperin
Iranian Indie Rock Band Flees Homeland, Looks to Crowd-Funding to Finance World Tour
Here’s further evidence that the Kickstarter phenomenon is fast becoming an integral step for unsigned bands. The Yellow Dogs, a band of twentysomethings who fled Iran and are now settled in Brooklyn, are hopping on that crowdsourcing bandwagon before hopefully venturing out on a world tour. They’ve set up shop at RocketHub and are appeasing prospective donors with possibly one of the most compelling stories out there.
The Yellow Dogs are a postpunk band from Iran, where a musician can be thrown in jail simply for practicing rock music. The group appeared in a docudrama about Iran’s secret rock scene called No One Knows About Persian Cats. To their surprise, that little underground film won an award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. Fearful of exposure and arrest, they left their motherland and were granted asylum status by the U.S. government. This means they can never return to Iran -- but they can travel the world and reunite with their (supportive) parents at an intended pit stop in Turkey.
But there’s another little twist in their story: eMusic, the music-download site, has inducted The Yellow Dogs into its “eMusic Selects” program, which singles out up-and-coming bands. The service, which gets no money from the fundraiser, helped them make their pitch video and has pledged to match the first $1,500 in donations. “Relying on the kindness of strangers has propelled many punk bands to legend,” the RocketHub pitch reads. “And we believe that even today, that ethic still exists.”