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AP PHOTOS: Underground music flourishes in Iran

Wednesday - 7/10/2013, 7:34am  ET

In this picture taken on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, female Iranian back vocalist Azadeh Ettehad and violinist Nastaran Ghaffari, both members of a band called "Accolade," perform in an unauthorized stage performance in Tehran, Iran. Headphone-wearing disc jockeys mixing beats. It’s an underground music scene that is flourishing in Iran, despite government restrictions. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Heavy metal guitarists jamming in basements. Headphone- wearing disc jockeys mixing beats. There's an underground music scene flourishing in Iran, despite government restrictions.

It isn't necessarily a sign of rebellion against Iran's theocratic government, however. Musicians, including a woman violinist who performs underground, say they enjoy the freedom their off-the- record existence provides.

Many musicians fled in the 1980s after Iran's Islamic Revolution. Today, though government minders have allowed some pop concerts to go on, musicians say all the hassles and restrictions make playing underground easier.

"Are we underground because we want to oppose the system? No," musician Danial Izadi said. "We wanted to do what we loved to do."

Here are some Associated Press photographs showing Iran's underground music scene.

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