Entries tagged with: Iran
photos by Edwina Hay
Big Freedia & Azz Everywhere
Big Freedia, who is part of this summer's PS1 schedule, was among those who played Crust Fest at Public Assembly last Thursday. The Northside Festival showcase also had sets by Tayisha Busay, Dinosaur Feathers, Iran & more. Some more pictures from the night below...
words by Andrew Frisicano
Big Freedia & friends @ Wrongbar in Toronto for NXNE - June 18, 2010
"So what the hell is Sissy Bounce? Sort of depends who you ask. Katey Red, arguably the creator of the genre, suggests it doesn't even exist and instead insists it's just sissies producing Bounce. Other artists such as Big Freedia fully embrace the term. Take some of the most hypersexual, bump and grind you can imagine, remove everything but the sexed up chorus, speed it up, and then remove the sexual identity of the artist performing it. What, what? That's right. Sissy Bounce artists are purposely androgynous, sometimes referred to as queer, sometimes transgendered, a very direct intent is to fuck with people's heads about sexuality. It's easy to relate, or be offended when you see one sex singing about the other. But with Sissy Bounce you have no idea. This makes the performances just as important as the music itself, which is perhaps why it's stayed locked down for so long." [Sean Bonner]From the pictures above and below, maybe you can tell that Big Freedia's Friday night set at Toronto's Wrongbar (as part of NXNE) was a crowd pleaser. Big Freedia, DJ Rusty Lazer and a pair of dancers held a master class on ass-shaking dance moves and a good portion of the crowd was happy to oblige, especially for the infectious bounce of songs like "Azz Everywhere" and "Rock Around the Clock." Freedia went from a tender acapella verse about settling down to a song with the hook "I got that gin in my system, somebody's gonna be my victim." The spectacle was one thing, but it was ultimately the songs, rumbling party mantras, that made it a great set.
The next night Big Freedia brought her act to the city's Yonge-Dundas Square (a free, very public stage surrounded by stores and restaurants )- it looks like they played there with considerably more clothes on. Still, Damian Abraham tweeted: "Big Freedia's performance in Dundas Square today made the Stooges show (which was amazing) look like a Peter, Paul and Mary Concert." (btw, our pics from the Stooges show he's referring to are coming soon).
Big Freedia and crew (that includes Freedia's DJ Rusty Lazer) will be back in Brooklyn for a Thursday night set at CrushFest at Public Assembly. The lineup for the June 24th show, which is part of Northside, also includes Yes Giantess, Fang Island, Iran, MillionYoung, Dinosaur Feathers, Anton Glamb, LE1F, Jason Pants & Chaz Requina (Palms Out Sounds), Denny Le Nimh and No Surrender. Tickets are only $5.00 until 3pm today (6/22) - then the price goes back up to $15. You can also try to get in with your Northside Badge.
More pictures from Toronto, a flyer for the Public Assembly show and a video from a Big Freedia show at Glasslands are all below...
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion @ the Seaport in 2009 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
tonight in NYC
* Andrew WK DJ w/ live performances @ Santos
* Culture Shock @ SUNY Purchase
* GWAR CRACK-A-THON @ MF Gallery
* Aloha, Pomegranates @ Maxwell's
* Hanne Hukkelberg @ Rooftop Films
* "Exit Through the Gift Shop" opening
* Yellow Dogs, Hypernova @ 92YTribeca
* Budos Band, The Jay Vons @ Southpaw
* Cable, Slacks, Goes Cube @ Union Pool
* Kaki King, An Horse @ Bowery Ballroom
* Caveman, Arms, Quiet Lights @ The Cameo
* The Low Anthem, Timbre Timber @ The Bell House
* Natural Child, Liquor Store, Foster Care @ Lulu's
* Liturgy, White Mice, Suffering Bastard @ Shea Stadium
* Suprise Me Mr. Davis, Anne & the Beekeepers @ Union Hall
* Wussy, The Fervor, Mystery of Two, Little Big @ Cake Shop
* Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Golden Triangle @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Tao Saxo Quartet, Butchy Fuego, The Sway Machinery @ Zebulon
* The Little Death, Gordon Gano & The Ryans @ (le) Poisson Rouge
* Rykarda Parasol, Bootblacks, Little Annie & Paul Wallfisch @ Littlefield
* Claymation Velociraptor,Sigmund Droid,LookBook,Common Loon,No Place @ Pianos
* Girls & Boys presents VIKING, The Hood Internet, Telephoned (Live) @ Webster Hall
* Air Waves, Beach Fossils, Total Slacker, Eternal Summers, Beachniks @ Bruar Falls
* Alex Battles, Gabe Rothschild, Lenny Molotov, B is for Baroness @ Petes Candy Store
* Real Estate, Family Portrait, Liam the Younger, Big Troubles @ Monster Island
* Justice of the Unicorn,Untied States,Lucky Pineapple,Pet Ghost Project @ Glasslands
* Fiasco,Daniel Francis Doyle,Dinowalrus,Pterodactyl,Dana Falconberry @ DeathByAudio
* Contact! w/ NY Phil plays Nico Muhly, Sean Shepherd, Matthias Pintscher @ Symphony Space
UPDATE: Shrinebuilder have added a last minute show tonight thanks to the volcano.
More about some of tonight's shows in This Week in Indie.
South Street Seaport just announced some of the bands playing there this summer.
The Banksy documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" opens this weekend at Sunshine Theater and Lincoln Plaza. As everyone that was clapping at the screening we hosted on Sunday will tell you, it's a great movie. Mr. Brainwash FTW!
Speaking of movies, I haven't seen it, but No One Knows About Persian Cats (Kasi az gorbehaye irani khabar nadareh) also opens tonight...
"Recently released from prison, two young musicians decide to form a band. Together they search the underworld of contemporary Tehran for other players. Forbidden by the authorities to play in Iran, they plan to escape from their clandestine existence more », and dream of performing in Europe. But with no money and no passports, it won't be easy..."Iranian indie rock bands Hypernova and Yellow Dogs both star in the film and then are playing its opening party at 92YTribeca.
The Iranian event is not part of the Tribeca Film Festival which starts on April 21st.
The Roadburn Festival is underway in Tilburg in the Netherlands. Stay tuned for reports from the ground.
Coachella starts today in California. You can stream it online.
Have Coachella open in one window and the Gwar Crack-A-Thon open in another (or go to the Crack-A-Thon in person).
The Cribs were supposed to be one of the streaming Coachella performances today, but not anymore.
Pavement played a US show at the Fox Theater last night. A video from the show below...
Spoon played Kimmel last night. Video below...
Kaki King plays Bowery Ballroom tonight. Last night she was at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Two nights ago she was on Fallon. Video from the TV appearance below...
Caribou's recent video for "Odessa" below...
Rain Machine @ BAM Opera House (more by Vincent Cornelli)
As pointed out in the comments, Noveller's Brooklyn Valentine's Day show at Glasslands will be happening instead at Coco 66. The lineup for that includes Bad Credit No Credit, The Shivers, comic Caroline Contillo and DJ Ropstyle .
Instead, Glasslands (before its Neon Indian/French Horn Rebellion/Cubic Zirconia DJ party) will be hosting a Valentine's Day show with TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone & friends. There'll be sets by Rain Machine (Kyp's band), Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (Kyp is a huge fan, a friend, and appears on his album), Iran (also Kyp's band) (sometimes) and Candles of Paradise.
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's backing band shares members with Holly Miranda's (its a night off from her Tegan & Sara-supporting tour) and Holly's forthcoming album, The Magician's Private Library, was produced by TVotR's Dave Sitek who also produced Iran's Dissolver (which came out last year). In related Sitek news, Dave also has a remix on the new 12" from DOOM (who plays NYC with Mos Def on February 26th).
Miles Benjamin is also playing a show at Le Poisson Rouge on March 10th with Shilpa Ray and Suckers. Tickets just went on sale.
And to complete the TVotR roundup, we should mention that Tunde is one of the guest vocalists on the new Massive Attack record, and TVotR's "Wear You Out" was recently remixed by Brooklyn MC Bisco Smith, re-linked above.
Some classic TV on the Radio videos (and others you'd probably rather not see) are posted below...
photos by Vincent Cornelli
Rain Machine @ BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House
post-show: still smitten with kyp. he was great. funny and personable and best alone on stage (esp. with howler monkey backup chick with them? yeesh) AND anti-pop consortium killed it. they were so good. i kind of felt bad for them, though; sitting at shows is weird which is the one reason i'm not more of a fan of seeing concerts like that at bam, and it must be double weird for a bunch of rappers up on stage to be performing in front of an awkwardly seated audience. no matter, though, their energy was great and it made me like the new album even more. [The Vagabond]The above review is of Rain Machine's Satureday night (January 30th) Sounds Like Brooklyn show at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House with Anti-Pop Consortium. Les Savy Fav and Vivian Girls kicked off the fest (which has shows through February 6th) at the venue the night before (1/29).
Though Kyp and the rest of TV on the Radio are still taking a break, Iran, a group fronted by filmmaker Aaron Aites that sometimes includes Kyp, has an upcoming show. They'll be playing at Knitting Factory on Thursday, March 11th with Arbouretum. Tickets are on sale.
More pictures from the BAM show are below...
photos by Raymond Haddad
Denver Post: What have you learned from playing in groups like the Shins, Vetiver and Califone over the years?Fruit Bats stopped in Brooklyn last night (9/14) to play a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Iran and Kevin Barker. Their tour continues tonight (9/15) in Cambridge. How was the NYC show? A few more pictures and a video from it below...
Eric D Johnson: It's sort of intangible. Especially with the Shins, the operation is such a larger scale than my own band that I compare it to having a job at a law firm, and then Fruit Bats is my job volunteering at the soup kitchen.
That's not a bad soup kitchen.
In the simplest terms it's motivating to be like, "I want that cheese platter for my own band backstage." The Shins' (popularity) was a pretty awesomely organic process as far as where they went with themselves. Their story is no one else's story. Our bands existed in parallel worlds for years -- the home recording, the unambitiousness of both. James and I have really similar personalities and that's why I think he ended up bringing me on board. But I'm sure there have been a trillion little musical things that have seeped in there too over the years.
Kyp Malone (TVOTR/Rain Machine) @ Masonic Temple (more by Tim Griffin)
The debut album of Rain Machine, the solo project of TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone, will come out September 22nd on Anti- Records. As previously reported, the album will be "produced by Ian Brennan (Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Lucinda Williams, Jonathan Richman)." You can see the album art from the record, created by Malone himself, below.
TV on the Radio has a whole mess of performances scheduled this summer. Those include a ticketed Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park on August 11th with Gang Gang Dance opening.
Iran, another project Malone performs with (sometimes), has summer dates too. Those include a short set of dates in July, and a more extended trip opening for Fruit Bats in September. That tour hits Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 14th. Tickets for that are on sale. Before that there is a July 30th gig at Bowery Ballroom with Destroyer (solo). Tickets are on sale for that too.
Rain machine track-list, cover art and live video, and all Iran tour dates, below...
DOWNLOAD: Fruit Bats - My Unusual Friend (new MP3)
Fruit Bats, the other project of Eric Johnson of The Shins, will be release its fourth album, The Ruminant Band, on August 4th on Sub Pop. In support of that record, the Fruit Bats will tour North America in August and September. The current set of dates are listed below and now on PRESALE. More dates will also be announced soon.
The tour includes a Brooklyn show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday, September 14th. General sale for that show starts Wednesday, July 1st at noon. Openers for that show are Kevin Barker, and Iran, which is one of many bands Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio is a member of (though not always).
Anti- Records, home to other musical visionaries such as Tom Waits, Neko Case and Nick Cave, is thrilled to announce the signing of Rain Machine, a startling new musical venture from Kyp Malone. "It's thrilling to hear this side of Kyp," says Anti- president Andy Kaulkin. "The songs are emotionally raw and passionate yet still experimental and full of surprises."...Check out an MP3 from the new Fruit Bats record above, with album art, track list and tour dates, below...
...Produced by Ian Brennan (Ramblin Jack Elliott, Lucinda Williams, Jonathan Richman), Rain Machine's debut, set for release this fall, offers an enthralling mix of innovative song structure and sound entirely in service of Malone's emotive singing and evocative lyrics. Malone describes the Rain Machine sound as "a nearly full spectrum of frequencies audible to the human ear - a reflection of a variety of emotions and situations real and imagined, some rhythm and some rhyme."... [ANTI]
Have Swan Lake (the supergroup composed of Spencer Krug, Dan Bejar and Carey Mercer) ever played a live show? I don't think so. While we wait for that to happen, we at least have shows by some of the members' individual projects -- the projects that made Swan Lake interesting enough to care about in the first place.
Spencer Krug's band Sunset Rubdown plays Studio B in Brooklyn on June 12th (no general admission ticket info yet). The show is part of the Northside Festival, and part of a much larger tour with fellow Canadians Elfin Saddle.
Since arriving in Montreal in 2006, Elfin Saddle has been steadily gaining audience and acclaim for their original and emotive live performances. Having released Gigantic Mother/Wounded Child on Kill Devil Hills Records in early 2008, they are proud to be releasing their follow-up, Ringing For The Begin Again, on Constellation. A recent addition to their recordings and live performances is Nathan Gage (Shapes and Sizes, owner of Phonopolis record store in Montreal), rounding out their sound with thick drones and subtle bursts on double-bass and tuba. [Core band members] Emi and Jordan are currently working on an extensive stop-motion/time-lapse film, featuring the growth of plants and the animation of a large collection of scavenged objects. [PR]The MP3 on the top of this post is from Elfin Saddle's new Constellation album. All Elfin/Rubdown tour dates below.
Dan Bejar will be playing as Destroyer (solo) on a few May dates with Azita. He'll also be visiting NYC this summer for a solo show at Bowery Balllroom on July 30th with Iran. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale Friday at noon. All dates below..
by Black Bubblegum
What do Varg Vikernes and the band Iran have to do with each other? Read on....
Varg Vikernes in the slammer no more
The single most infamous man in all of metal is set to walk free.
It is never reassuring to hear that a man who calls himself Count Grishnackh is to be released from prison. And yet that is what is happening to the Norwegian black-metal icon Varg Vikernes, who murdered Mayhem's guitarist and set three churches on fire.The dark beginnings of Black Metal in Norway, church burnings, and murder of Mayhem's Euronymous have been examined many times over, most famously in the book Lords Of Chaos. The forthcoming film Until The Light Takes Us takes it a step further, as the filmmakers were able to interview the madman himself, as well as key members of seminal black metal crews Ulver, Darkthrone, Immortal, Satyricon, and others all while living in Norway between 2001 and 2003.
It was just 16 years ago that Vikernes was sitting in an Oslo court, smiling as he received a maximum sentence. Best known as the leader of Burzum - whose first album begins with a song called Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown - Vikernes was also a far-right political activist and, er, grim dude.
Though he was refused four times for parole - most recently in September 2008 - Vikernes is now set to walk free, he told Daglabet magazine....
For the past couple of years, Vikernes has been allowed to leave the prison and make visits to his family, according to Blabbermouth. His mother, wife, 18-month-old son and 16-year-old daughter all live in Tromsø near the prison. "I look forward the day that I [can] work on my farm, create music, write books and be with the wife and kids around the clock -- and live a normal life," he said.
Though Vikernes will no longer be bound by prison schedules, he will have to regularly report to a parole officer, intially for every two weeks and then once a month. Count Grishnackh plans to move to a small farm near Bø and says he no longer has any ties with far-right Norwegian groups. - [The Guardian]
Until the Light Takes Us is a feature length documentary chronicling the history, ideology and aesthetic of Norwegian black metal - a musical subculture infamous as much for a series of murders and church arsons as it is for its unique musical and visual aesthetics. This is the first (and only) film to truly shed light on a movement that has heretofore been shrouded in darkness and rumor and obscured by inaccurate and shallow depictions... Featuring: Gylve "Fenriz" Nagell, Varg Vikernes, Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg, Kjetil "Frost" Haraldstad, Ivar Bjornson, Abbath and Demonaz Doom Occulta, Kris "Garm" Rygg, Bjarne Melgaard, Harmony Korine, and more. The film, shot on 35 mm and dv, is directed and produced by Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites.If the name Aaron Aites looks a little familiar to you, it's because he also plays in a little band called Iran with Kyp of TV On The Radio. Iran is scheduled to play SXSW as well, having lined up a show at Club de Ville on 3/21 with Titus Andronicus, Violens, Ponytail, Colourmusic, and The Warlocks.
Until The Light Takes Us is screening at SXSW too - on March 19th at the Alamo Drafthouse with a question/answer session with Ewell and Aites. Tickets are on sale and a shuttle service is available to and from the theater.
Trailer, interviews with the filmmakers, and clips below...
words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
DOWNLOAD: Handsome Furs - I'm Confused (MP3)
The Handsome Furs played to an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd at the Mercury Lounge on Friday. Dancing and even trivia were on order as the Montreal, husband and wife duo of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry played in support of their upcoming record Face Control (Sub Pop). Boeckner explained that certain label and publicity folks were uneasy with the band selling copies of their new record in advance (it hits streets on March 10.) So, Boeckner and Perry held rounds of trivia between songs to win a copy of the new cd. Question: Who is Wayne Coyne's favorite Montreal band? Correct answer... Arcade Fire.
The Hundred in the Hands and a Kyp Malone-less Iran opened the show. More pictures below...
FMV photos by Jacob Blickenstaff
Fake Male Voice @ Glasslands
Last time we talked about Kyp Malone performing, it was with TV on the Radio on Saturday Night Live and the Colbert Report. Before that it it was with Iran in regards to their upcoming show at Mercury Lounge with Handsome Furs which sold right out.
This time it's about two shows anybody should have no trouble getting into. The first...
Saturday Feb 14th 8:00pm $8The second is Sunday night, February 15th, at Death By Audio. It's Iran's record release party. Dissolver is out (physically) on February 17th via Narnack Records. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is also on that bill, as are The Fakers and Pure Horsehair. Iran are also playing SXSW. TV on the Radio are also playing Coachella and Bonnaroo.
GlassLands Valentines Party: Live Music and Food! Presented by Kyp Malone
Performances by: The Wild Yaks, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, The 100 and the hands, Rain Machine (Kyp Malone) will open the show with a short set. DJ Megan Offner
All food made by chef Christine Buckley
Kyp's TVOTR bandmate Tunde performed as Fake Male Voice at Glasslands a few days ago with True Primes. More pictures from that show below...
Handsome Furs (the band featuring Dan from Wolf Parade) is playing a show with Iran (the band featuring Kyp from TV on the Radio) and The Hundred in the Hands (the band featuring Jason from the Boggs) at Mercury Lounge in NYC on Friday March 6th. Tickets for the small-Manhattan-venue show go on Am Ex presale Wednesday at noon, and regular sale on Friday.
Like the Handsome Furs, The Hundred in the Hands is a male/female duo. The female part of the latter is Eleanore Everdel whose credits include vocals on 'Lover's Day' off TV on the Radio's Dear Science, and vocals on Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's album Summer Of Fear. They (THITH) also have a show scheduled for this Friday, January 30th, at Union Pool in Brooklyn. One of their videos is below.
The new Handsome Furs date comes four days before the release of their new album on Sub Pop, and is currently their only NYC show. All dates below...
photos by Tim Griffin, words By Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: Iran - "Buddy" (MP3)
Iran @ CMJ 2008
Iran (WITH Kyp Malone) will play a show at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn, TONIGHT (12/18). Also on the bill: Fakers and Lone Wolf and Cub (Ryan Sawyer of Tall Firs and Stars Like Fleas - not the metal band). Presumably, Iran will, uh, run... through tracks from their upcoming record Dissolver, due on Feb 3, 2009 via Narnack.
Back to CMJ for a second....before 2 Live Crew played, a Kyp-less-and-still-named-after-a-'rogue-nation', Iran, played a renamed-The Soft Pack-less (they cancelled) and Lee "Scratch" Perry-less (he cancelled) Narnack Showcase this year, at Santos Party House, with the Sundelles, Vaz and Restavrant. Check out the overdue pics from that show above and below, and note - that's Doug Anson that sat in for Kyp. That probably won't happen again though, as we're told that Kyp plans on playing many more shows with the band, including as part of a 2009 tour out of NYC.
In related news, Kyp Malone's other band TV On The Radio, is garnering accolades-a-plenty including album of the year from The Onion AV Club, and from everyone's favorite weirdo Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. The Onion AV Club also cornered Santos Party House co-owner Andrew WK about his favorite record of the year.... Lee "Scratch" Perry's Repentance. Hmm... didn't he have something to do with that record?
In more related-to-Glasslands-tonight news, Tall Firs have teamed up with Awesome Color to play the Knitting Factory on Dec 19th (tickets here). Ryan Sawyer's other band, Stars Like Fleas, are recording a new record and have scheduled a show at Le Poisson Rouge on January 24th with Au (tickets here).
A whole bunch of pictures from the Narnack CMJ showcase, and tonight's Glasslands flyer, below...
by Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: Iran - "Buddy" (MP3 premiere)
Iran has nothing in common with The Muslims.... I mean, except for the fact that the two (bands) are playing the Narnack showcase together with Lee "Scratch" Perry during CMJ at Santos Party House on October 25th.
Who is Iran? Add one Aaron Aites, one TV On the Radio (Kyp Malone), a dash of The Mendoza Line (Peter Hoffman), and a little bit from Grand Mal (Aaron Romanello) and you have a band prepping their third currently-untitled album for Narnack Records.
Produced by David Andrew Sitek (another member of TV on the Radio and producer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Fever to Tell), the album is being recorded at Gigantic Studios in Tribeca and will be released through Narnack Records. ...Aites described the new album as "very hi-fi", and "more structured" and "fully fleshed out" than their previous two outings, Iran and The Moon Boys. He also said it's more lyric-based (in the vein of The Moon Boys), with material sounding "louder and grimmer." They're also planning a single release for "Buddy", but have no firm release date for that either.OK, no release date yet... but we do have the track, "Buddy", right now. Download it above.
In related news, Tunde Adebimpe (also of TV On The Radio) (and a movie star) & Kyp Malone are set to eat books with Department of Eagles, Paul Simon, Parkey Posey and Bobby Cannavale at Town Hall on Oct 7th. Tickets are still available.
No other Iran live dates that we know of at the moment.
by Black Bubblegum
DOWNLOAD: Lee "Scratch" Perry - "Pum Pum" (MP3)
Perry, scratching his chin. Photo by Andrew WK
For a 72-year-old man, he sure gets around. Lee "Scratch" Perry is playing that Oct 25th CMJ show at Santos Party House with Restavrant, Iran, Vaz, The Muslims, and The Sundelles as part of a Narnack Records CMJ showcase.
AND the (mad) man has lined up a second date the night before (Oct 24th) at Gramercy Theater. Tickets are on sale. Just to be clear, that's two NYC shows in two CMJ days for Lee "Scratch" Perry.
Perry recently released his latest album, Repentance, on Narnack in August with a lead single (download it above) and video entitled... ahem... "Pum Pum". The album is produced by Andrew WK (part owner of Santos Party House where the CMJ party is) and features Moby, Don Fleming, Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt) and.... Sasha Grey? Is that where the "Pum Pum" comes from?
More tour dates TBA soon. Videos below...
The National @ Austin City Limits 2007 (MORE)
The shows at Terminal 5 (opening night of the new venue) and at the Music Hall of Williamsburg are both now sold out, so the National added another show at the Music Hall on Saturday October 13th. Tickets should be on sale shortly.
In not-actually-related-but-maybe-a-good-"National"-pun-could-go-here news, what do you think of this idiot?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to speak before the United Nations on Tuesday, a day after he challenged a university audience to look into "who was truly involved" in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (I know, I know...)
In appearances Monday, the firebrand Iranian leader also defended his right to question established Holocaust history and denied there were gay Iranians.
When pressed about the harsh treatment of women, homosexuals and academics who challenge Iran's government, Ahmadinejad painted a rosy picture, saying, "Women in Iran enjoy the highest levels of freedom," he said. [CNN]