Thursday, March 09, 2006

Moja Štikla: In Front Of Europe

The proportion of the Croatian cultural scene instigated by Goran Bregović will go up again in a couple of weeks' time, when his opera Carmen with a Happy End opens in Rijeka. It won't, however, be starring his number one Croatian collaborator, despite some earlier reports. Instead, Vaska Jankovska (a vocalist on his Weddings and Funerals project) will take the title role; Severina, needless to say, has other commitments looming.

Split's daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija took longer than most to catch up with Seve, but compensates today with two articles heading its Reflektor supplement.

Among today's snippets are that the song's (second?) most infamous line 'Afrika paprika', it turns out, was apparently thought up as a joke by one of the Matić brothers during a recording session; that Severina didn't know she'd have to take part in the Eurovision semi-final until she was reminded by Petar Grašo's mother; and that she's prepared for some lively press conferences in Athens because 'when they put "Severina" into Google, it could give them absolutely everything.' (Maybe they should try it with Moja štikla, though.)

As for the continued debate over whether or not the song is turbofolk:

'When the attacks began [saying] that my song was turbo-folk, I thought "I can take it", because I've always been accused of evertthing. [...] When we went to borrow the costumes which the Lado boys were going to appear in, they wanted national costume from the Neretva, which I looked at and saw there were buttons which looked like Turkish, oriental decorations, which isn't strange - sailors brought that to our parts. I have to thank the Matić brothers from Čavoglave who sang on my song in the studio and gave it its real form, from which we went forward later. I'm glad that in the song there's linđo, ojkalica, rere and šijalica, and that Stjepan Večković played the ljerica sensationally. When Goran Bregović did the arrangement, he gave him instructions about how to play.'

Meanwhile, Arsen Oremović in Večernji list reflects on 'whether Severina's Štikla is turbofolk and what turbofolk is anyway':

'So Severina's song is without any doubt turbofolk, but here something Serbian is necessarily implied under that term, so the resistance of stars in Croatia to such labels is all the stronger. Far from turbofolk being [...] something of which one should be proud, something to be praised.

'Still, the fact that the people wants to legitimise itself in front of Europe with "Štikla" tells [us] that the audience's general taste is worse than 25 years ago, because then a certain Lepa Brena, despite a forceful campaign and lobbying by her record label, did not manage to march to victory at that year's Eurovision pre-selection with the folk
[narodnjačkim] hit "Bum, cile, bum". And today it's not really so impossible to imagine that even Lepa Brena would win Dora if she was extravagant enough to turn up there.'

Oremović also comments on how Eurovision itself:

'still has definite weight only in eastern European countries and the countries of the ex-USSR which like to prove how Europe has reached their borders too by using foreign forms like that. There various fripperies like Eurovision (everything with Euro in the title) become state priority number one.

'Such countries with their Severinas (or, if you like, with their Ruslanas) have shaped the Eurovision musical taste in which Štikla fits in more than well. And when it spreads across the internet that the Croatian singer has her own blue movie which can be seen at such-and-such web adresses, and that is undoubtedly waiting, we can at once begin getting ready for the next Eurovision somewhere in Croatia.

With plans suddenly reported to build a new conference hall in Opatija on the site of the present Summer Stage, it seems somebody is.

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At 5:16 pm, March 10, 2006, Blogger Werner Bossmann said...

The final thought in your post will keep me smiling for the rest of the night probably (there is always something good on your log). Tomorrow Evropesma is on Serbian national television (as you most certainly know). Please share your comments with us, afterwards.

At 5:50 pm, March 10, 2006, Blogger Catherine said...

I don't know if I'll get to see it! I hope so, though. I'm rather hoping Tijana Dapčević might win - partly because I've been told the song's a lot like Zemlja mojih snova, and partly to keep up the transnational theme with the ex-Yu Eurovision entries this year!

I've also heard a suggestion Severina might make a guest appearance in the show programme tomorrow, since she seems to be in Belgrade at the moment anyway...

BTW, as far as I can say this without being able to read Dutch, your United States of Albania post looks intriguing!

At 7:59 am, March 11, 2006, Blogger Werner Bossmann said...

Serbia chose Flamingosi feat. Luis and the song 'Ludi letnji ples' yesterday in a disaster they called Beovizija. It is a perfectly horrible song, borrowed from Yello, dated comic routine included. But there is hope: tonight they will throw together the winners of Montevizija and Beovizija for Evropesma, so Ana Nikolic and 'Romale Romali' can still win. Wasn't there something with a sex scandal as well? There you have your ex-YU theme. The post on our log is about a rap group from Pristina that has a song out called Albanian. There are links to a blog with a load of Albanian music videos, great fun.


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