They don’t (re)make them like they used to: Yugoslav covers of foreign hits through the ages

Although the now globally ubiquitous charges of “cultural appropriation”, have been a staple of inter-ethnic relations in the Balkans since times immemorial (especially when nations insist on their protochronism), they have never stopped the willingness of local musicians to draw from foreign music to create local hits which became treated as local folk songs. This phenomenon was best described in a 2003 Bulgarian documentary, “Whose … Continue reading They don’t (re)make them like they used to: Yugoslav covers of foreign hits through the ages

VIS Idoli and Subversion in the 1980s SFRY

Opinion on Yugoslav pop music among Serbia’s intellectual elite oscillates between breathless adoration (in 1990s, when it was a sign of being “educated” against the onslaught of the ovelry maligned folk and turbofolk) to disgust (currently liking EKV, let alone Bijelo Dugme,  is considered a sure sign of pseudointellectualism and/or smarm) and back to ironic appreciation (Zdravko Čolić and Bajaga). As Yugopop was the soundtrack … Continue reading VIS Idoli and Subversion in the 1980s SFRY

Ezra Koenig and the Incredible Buffness of Being

If there is something like a leitmotif to the last two Vampire Weekend albums it would be “I don’t want to live like this… but I don’t wanna die”. It first appeared in the middle of their relatively dark third album, Modern Vampires of the City, on the multi-layered, feverish “Finger Back” and then reappeared on the deceptively sunny, deeply political “Harmony Hall” the, lead … Continue reading Ezra Koenig and the Incredible Buffness of Being