Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

November 27, 2012

Casablanca: Looking for the spirit of Rick's Cafe

(Continued)

Many of the clientele are artists and musicians themselves. More than a few are involved in the February 20 pro-democracy movement, Morocco's version of the Arab Spring, which organized demonstrations calling for political reform across the country last year.

Mohammed Merhari, who started B-Rock two years ago, tries to get different acts every night, from rock bands to electronic music to video art installations to reggae. As in Bogart's cafe, between musical acts, there's talk of politics.

"You have young people from the left or the far left and others who aren't political at all and so there is the chance to hear and see debates among these people," said Merhari.

B-Rock's owner, however, cautions against coming to his club looking to recreate Hollywood's Casablanca.

"We don't do much jazz, we don't have a piano and we don't live in black and white," he said, with a touch of Rick's gruff humor from the movie. "This place is for young people who live in the 21st century . we live in color."

___

Associated Press reporter Aziz El Yaakoubi contributed to this piece.

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