Monday, January 29, 2007

Hard Rock Domovina

Last year's winning Eurovision song Hard rock hallelujah has been given a somewhat tongue-in-cheek new lease of life by Croatian pop DJ Zlatko Turkalj - as a band-aid get-together encouraging listeners to choose domestic music. According to the text that rolls Star Wars-style over the introduction to the song's video:

'In an age of general globalisation we need to stay our own, to give more appreciation to what we Croats are musically recognisable for: from unrivalled klapa song, indomitable and inspirational tamburica, brilliant schlagers, high-quality pop [zabavne] music with a long tradiion, to rock, pop and dance which recently get more recognition in the [rest of the] world than at home.'

Turkalj's version of the song, premiered on his Turki party show as part of his Slušaj hrvatsko (Listen Croatian) campaign and titled To je tvoje (It's yours), involves cameos from various well-regarded Croatian singers, mainly at the respectable pop end of the pop-rock spectrum - so that's names like Mišo Kovač, Tereza Kesovija, Gabi Novak, Arsen Dedić, Tony Cetinski, Vanna, Nina Badrić, Boris Novković and Indira Vladić, rather than the patriotically-preoccupied singers who might have come up with the idea off their own bat. (To be fair, Miroslav Skoro figures in the To je tvoje line-up too, but that can generally be said for any band-aid.)

Indeed, it's perhaps a wonder that Marko Perković Thompson didn't take it into his head to make free with Hard rock hallelujah (Lordi being one of the rare acts who make more of an on-stage spectacle than him) - especially since he has previous rock-schlager form with his cover version of Abba's Super trouper five years ago. (Iza devet sela (Behind the nine villages) is a charming fable of 'vuci, vile i hajduci' (wolves, fairies and bandits) and why one should always turn right instead of left, even at the crossroads.)

Thompson has other business on his mind this week, though: his promotional visit to a Frankfurt record shop to sign copies of his Bilo jednom u Hrvatskoj (Once upon a time in Croatia) album was called off, possibly because of threats from diaspora Serbs, possibly because of fears that local teenagers from both diasporas might conduct a re-enactment of the brawl at the Australian Open, or possibly because organisers realised that the shop simply wouldn't be big enough to accommodate demand.

Still, it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good; he still found time for lunch with Mate Bulić.

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At 9:40 pm, February 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"hajduci" is very very different from "bandits"...

At 5:45 pm, February 22, 2007, Anonymous Dejan said...

"Listen to our own" is a terrible idea indeed. Don't get me wrong, I grew up listening to, among other bands, Azra, Haustor, Paraf, (all of these bands I consider "domestic") and I plan to go to KUD Idijoti's concert in Belgrade tomorrow, but judging culture by its nationality and not its quality won't do any good.

A good way to go is to promote domestic culture by giving people with inovative ideas venues and resources to show their art. While traditional folklore should also be preserved, new art should be supported to develop, evolve and reflect our age — even if its marked with globalization.

At 2:40 am, March 29, 2007, Blogger Yakima_Gulag said...

Well Thompson always is out to lunch!


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