Beirut is an American indie-rock and world music band which was originally the solo musical project of Zach Condon (born Zachary Francis Condon in Santa Fe, New Mexico) and later expanded into a band. The band's first performances were in New York, in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar.
Condon recorded before Beirut was established: when he was fifteen and under the name of Realpeople, he made an electronic record, fashioned after his love for The Magnetic Fields. Condon was a straight-A student until he dropped out at the age of 17 to travel Europe with his cousin in a drunken haze, cavorting and partying with the locals wherever he ended up. It was during one of these evenings that he was first exposed to Balkan music (notably including the Boban Markovic Orkestar and Goran Bregovic), blasting from...