Monday, June 12, 2006

Two For The Price Of One

Anyone who had already had enough of Severina's Moja štikla ought to look away now: the song's first version, Moj sokole (My falcon), has been accepted for the Splitski festival competition and will appear in the second semi-final.

Moj sokole is better known as the first version of Moja štikla, produced before Goran Bregović became involved. It's still not quite clear why Sokole's patriotically-themed lyrics (mountains, wheat, olives, heroes, homeland: present and correct) were exchanged for Štikla's folk-music parody, except that they apparently didn't fit the rhythm once Bregović had done his thing.

According to Severina's manager, Tomislav Petrović:

'She'll appear in the second semi-final of Splitski festival, the song ought to be premiered on Croatian Radio, and we're not intending to make a video for the moment. Although this was the first attempt at Štikla, it's actually unbeliavable how different the arrangements are. Otherwise, Severina's working on her new album now, and soon she's off to Germany for the World Cup.'

There's no response, as yet, from any of Splitski festival's other 31 contestants (in fact, the festival organisers still haven't announced who they are), but one can easily imagine that some performers might not feel too welcoming towards a song with the greatest head start possible in publicity terms. (See: most editions of the Gazette this year to date.)

There's the question, too, of whether the whole of the audience will take Moj sokole as appropriate for Splitski festival's well-known Dalmatian character - although the song's musical origins in inner-Dalmatian folklore were frequently emphasised (and debated) during the Štikla case.

Meanwhile, very efficient readers should be able to hear the song played on Zlatko Turkalj-Turki's HR2 radio show (link via Seve Fan Club) - or, no doubt, at every opportunity in the Croatian media for the next month and a half.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Brena's Silver Jubilee

The Serbian tabloid Svet has two landmarks to celebrate this week: Ceca Ražnatović filming the first video from her comeback album Idealno loša, and Lepa Brena marking her '25-year reign as the queen of narodnjaci.'

Brena herself will be releasing a new album in the autumn to celebrate her silver jubilee, and a big tour is planned for next year. (To include Croatia? And she'd better not clash with Magazin's.)

According to Svet, the HTV entertainment show Špica is currently filming an item on Brena (no more details as yet), for whom, contrary to certain appearances last autumn, there evidently is some room on HTV. Svet itself carries a long interview with Brena this week: carried out by the Croatian journalist Darko Hudelist, it needless to say begins by asking Brena her thoughts on Severina's Moja štikla, which apparently reminds Hudelist (and he's not alone) of 'your early hits, for instance 'Sitnije, Cile, sitnije'.

(Brena's response? 'Well, now, 'Sitnije, Cile, sitnije' is Njegoš's 'Mountain Wreath' in comparison to 'štikla, cikla, nikla, pikla'...')

Brena goes on to reflect on her debut album with Milutin Popović Zahar (now a sharp critic of today's Serbian showbusiness), her inappropriate outfits for TV, her interrupted plans to launch her transnational career in Turkey, and her experiences during the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

Brena also stresses that she considers 'that showbusiness and politics can't [go] together in these territories of ours':

'--Isn't Ceca an example which proves the opposite?

--Everyone chooses their own way. I chose a way that lets both me and my children go to America, and Australia, and Canada, and Croatia, and Bosnia, and Macedonia

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