Jason Poranski (he’s in the red t-shirt) plays guitar, ukulele, and mandolin in Beirut and was kind enough to answer some questions for us about the band and tour.

Why the name ‘Beirut’?
The name goes back further than the band’s live shows, further than 'Gulag Orkestar', to Zach’s earlier home projects. Somewhere when he was a lot younger, maybe fourteen or fifteen he came up with that name. It is in no way was supposed to be political. It probably just seemed like an exotic place that was a lot different than New Mexico.

Any hints of what people can expect at the SF show?
A mix. A lot of new songs, a lot of gulag songs, a lot of stuff off the new record. People who have been to our shows before should expect it to be more vibrant, there’s a lot of energy in music. They should expect to have fun.

What’s your favorite song to perform live?
A new song off 'The Flying Club Cup' called “In the Mausoleum” It has a lot different flavor from the others we perform. There’s a groove to it, its fun to play.

Favorite song off the new record?
It’s hard to say. I like Owen Palat’s [Final Fantasy/ Arcade Fire] song on the record. It’s a nice break on the record to hear a different voice. I like his arrangements.

Photo by Kari Sharff