Monday, October 10, 2005

Ljubljana Report: Tijana's Cunning Plan

Mopping up the discographic fallout from last month's trip to Slovenia, where at least the guy in the record shop trying to shift a reissued 80s Doris Dragovic CD was pleased to see me. The taxi driver whose wing mirror I inadvertently knocked off with my Enormous Handbag and a box of Bajadera wasn't.

I meant to kick off with a good word for Magnifico's Hir i kam, hir ai go, the Slovenian cousin of the Renault Mégane Shakin' That Ass ad. (Watch Magnifico shake his, if you like.) But a quick Google tells me that BBC London world music guru Charlie Gillett has got there before me. Apropos of nothing: Gillett's talent-spotting record includes Portuguese electro-fado group Madredeus, bottle-blonde Portuguese fado star Mariza, and countless other non-Portuguese non-fado musicians whose names don't even all begin with M.

Gratuitously mentioning turbo-schlager starlet Natalija Verboten is meant to be a ratings winner, and if it works for Slovenian tabloids, it might just help Illyrian Gazette. The Gazette loves her Rdeč ferari, although when it comes to last year's Eurovision pre-selection, Myfanwy and the Only Gays In Styria weren't any match for a certain Monika Pučelj: Warrior Princess. And Natalija's main up-front assets aren't anything the Gazette hasn't seen before in seven years of keeping up with Croatian showbiz.

Fatally for my chances of getting out on time in the morning, the TV in my hotel room was picking up both German Viva and Serbian TV Pink, an MTV Balkan in all but name. Discovery of the week was Macedonian Brigitte-Nielsen lookalike Tijana Dapčević, whose cunning plan to win Budva Festival in Montenegro was to dress up as a Partisan (of course, miniskirts were so practical for yomping through the forests of Bosnia in the 1940s), shove a little kid in a Pioneers outfit on stage with her, and sing a topical little number called Sve je isto samo Njega nema - a cliché which translates as Everything's the same, but He's not here. I'm particularly impressed by the ambulance-chasing line about legendary rock band Bijelo Dugme's reunion, which makes her almost as quick off the mark than I had to be to squeeze them into a paper on transnationalism in pop music back in June, and I trust Croatia's Alka Vuica, queen of intelligently Balkan Yugo-pop, is getting ready to sue.

Oh, there were also Tokio Hotel, but the Gazette doesn't talk about them...


At 3:55 am, October 17, 2005, Blogger Yakima_Gulag said...

I'm pretty convinced that Scottish pop-folk-rock along the lines of Capercaille, and Irish pop-folk-rock along the lines of the Wolf Tones and the Pogues really qualify as a form of turbofolk. Some of the sentiment of preserveing something old into modern times by the addition of electric stuff to old tunes and old songs is very similar, and it got its start about the same era.


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