Festivale de Football Day 6: Croatia

Marko Kaplan, The Bambi Molesters

Shock! Scandal! Horror! in Croatia, in this year's Eurovision. Gasp! as the siren-ly chanteuse Severina wins the Dora song selection contest! Thrill! as Severina defends herself against slanderous accusations! Feign interest! as you realise the major arguments revolve around purists complaining that the song actually features Serbian folk influences, not Croatian. I mean, how dare they!

This was really a big deal at this year's event, where Severina actually only slumped to 13th position. The fairly editorial Wikipedia article describes how "the song provoked a public outcry in Croatia, as many journalists and commentator with questionable musical pedigree claimed it resembled Serbian music, when in fact the song contains elements of traditional Dalmatian music styles."

So that's cleared that up. I'm none the wiser this end: I'm discovering most of this for the first time. You think that's controversial, try the one-time abstinence and moral high ground campaigner Severina's sex tape scandal of a couple of years ago (optimistically described as having 'worldwide coverage', by the wiki).

Severina - Moja štikla (translates as 'In High Heels', to go with her raunchier new image)

For the most part, it looks as though Croatia is something of a hanger-on to the hipper and slightly trendier Serbia (still to come, turbo-folk fans). With a New Wave scene seen as the country's critical peak hitting it's stride in 1979/80, it's been kind of downhill since then. Folk rock of the more traditional ilk (we're not talking Steeleye Span here, thank goodness) has it's place, as does europoppy house and protest-laden hip hop. Luminaries rarely cross over to outside of the Balkans, but those that threatened include the alt.rock Majke from Vinkovci, and rapper Edo Maajka, originally from Bosnia. Insert white-boy rapper jibe here, to my eye the guy looks the part for a kids' party magician.

Sadly, it looks that despite my flawless and consistent arguments for conflict creating great art will either fall down here or not be fulfilled for some time yet. The Balkan war, rather than creating a sense of righteous indignation in the heart of artists, created a sense of outright fear which was, at best, inconducive to great music. It seems the black man's CNN has seen most of the protests and the indignation - punk rock seems to be centred on the toilet-based and slightly gimmicky Let 3 and KUD Idijoti, the former of which seems to be attempting to beat down Rammstein in the obscenity stakes.

However. There's always a however, even for Costa Rica. Ever gone to see REM? Then there's the possibility that you'll have seen one of the band's regular support acts, the Bambi Molesters. Great, if unsubtle, name, great sound taking it's cues directly and shamelessly from the surf rock legends of the late 50's, the Link Wrays, the Dick Dales. They're a band on top of their game, but seemingly exist completely independently to any other musical goings on in their home country - no sex tapes here, certainly no Eurovision.

Bambi Molesters - Theme from Slaying Beauty

Buy Bambi Molesters here
Buy Croatian music here
PS: Eric from the ace Marathonpacks has a couple of related posts this morning - one quoting Dave Eggers' article on 'soccer' in the States, and one about Levon Levan, the Croatian Tom Jones, or The Croatian Sensation With No Explanation if you will. Be warned, scary .gif.

No comments: