Serbian culture refers to the culture of Serbia and ethnic Serbs. For centuries straddling the boundaries between East and West, Serbia had been divided among the Eastern and Western halves of the Roman Empire; then between the Kingdom of Hungary, the Frankish Kingdom and Byzantium; and then between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire, as well the Republic of Venice in the south. (!)
These overlapping influences have resulted in cultural varieties throughout Serbia: its north leans to the profile of Central Europe, while the south is characteristic of the wider Balkans and even the Mediterranean. Serbs were initially governing the Byzantine frontiers and were later through their sworn alliance gave independence, baptized by Greek missionaries and adopted the Cyrillic script.
The Byzantine influence on Serbia was profound, firstly through the introduction of Eastern Christianity (Orthodoxy) in the Early Middle Ages. The Serbian Orthodox Church has had an enduring status with the many Serbian monasteries constituting the most valuable cultural monuments left from Serbia in the Middle Ages.
Following Serbia‘s autonomy after the Serbian revolution and eventual independence, the culture of Serbia was restrengthened within its people!
Let’s go to our artist:
Born as Dragana Šarićon2nd October 1962, Belgrade. Singer and composer Šarić had contact with music since her early years, as her father, Milenko Šarić, was a jazz musician. She started in the late ’70s in the band Tarkus, in 1979 her first studio recordings: as a guest (backing) vocalist on the Igra Staklenih Perli album Vrt Vetlosti; YU Grupa album Samo Napred..! and also KIM Band’s 1981 release.
In 1981, with the guitarist Goran Vejvoda and the bass guitarist Ivan Vdović, she formed the short-lasting band Annoda Rouge. Soon after, Šarić under the (worldwide known) name Bebi Dol, released her (brilliant) solo debut, Oriental music-inspired single ‘Mustafa’, which she composed together with Saša Habić.
The song featured the recording of Slobodan Konjović‘s voice, he was at the time, Studio B musical editor, and participated the whole production. Mustafa was voted the best pop song in Yugoslavia in 1981 and was re-released, two years later, on her debut album, Ruže I Krv, to great critical acclaim and popular success!
Her next album, Ritam Srca, was released more than a decade later, in 1995, even though she regularly performed as a pop and jazz singer (for three years she lived in Cairo, singing in Sheraton hotels), recording and appearing as a guest artist on the albums of other artists. The second pause in her work came in the late ’90s and her album, Ljuta Sam, was released only in 2002 (with electronic tinges).
Her last releases, Čovek Rado Izvan Sebe Živi, in 2006 and Veče U Pozorištuin 2007, were mainly based on American covers, the last a live album. She also made a famous presentation on Eurovision 1991, with one of its mega-hits, Brazil.
Let’s go to our album:
An excellent vocalist gifted with a soaring voice, ultra-eccentric musical talent and altogether this young lady comes in some adorable, nutty package that we had not seen before or since. Here she was catapulted into the national scene, if not exactly to the stars because this single was way too underground for the mainstream audience.
Mustafa sounds one of those rare songs that simply stand the test of time and it has an original message to the protagonist: forget all those European ladies with flower pots on their heads, who make love shamelessly (!). Na Planeti Uzdaha is her own take on famous Edvard Grieg piece where the chorus of vailing and out-of-this-world voices (multi-recorded Bebi Dol herself) sing her atmospheric siren song!
Thanks to our friends from Jugo Rock Feverand many others through the net, we’re able to discover and admire this fabulous music scene developed since communist times. Here are some fine acts, from the 70’s: Smak, YU Grupa, Galija and Korni Grupa (hard and prog). And incredible acts from the ’80s: Idoli, Šarlo Akrobata, Električni Orgazam and Disciplina Kičme (new wave and synth-pop).
I cannot stop listening to this obscure little gem, Bebi Doll’s performance is quite something, all abroad the Trans-European rail network and Бон Воиаге!
It is amazing how in just one year, the amount of live footagefrom JAGATARA appeared on youtube, either as excerpts or full audio/video performances of this amazing band that still remains unknown to most of the Western public.
However, all this novelty occurs only in the musical field, with regard to information, interviews or photos we still rely on the detailed post made last year and seek help from Japanese readers to translate the material available on the official website!
Let’s go to our album:
After a bombastic and controversial start at the beginning of the ’80s, Edo Akemi (lead frontman, lyricist, composer) suffers a nervous breakdown during the tour and ends up in a hospital at the end of 1983. The band goes through a gap of almost three years.
In the interim, they released a live album in 1985 (君 と 踊 り あ か そ う 日 の 出 を 見 る ま で), the band’s fourth record and make occasional presentations on Japanese TV, always with medical guidance. Akemi’s recovery occurs in Shikoku.
From June 1986, a more willing and energetic Akemi returns to Tokyo and start to work with the band on new material. They return to perform live at the end of the year and begin to record Hadaka No Osama. On 21/03/1987 the fifth LP is released with positive reviews and remarkable evolution of the band.
The year 1987 is marked by memorable shows of up to four hours (!), long tours, and the launch of their third Home Video, entitled Hey! Goggle Tour!
In future entries, we will cover their other albums, now, enjoy a rare clip from one of their great successes, Tango. And appreciate what I believe be their best album!
The Brazilian music scene from the 70s was not very favorable to Rock, much seen with reservations by the Generals of the time; Brazil was still a country devoted entirely to the MPB (phonographically speaking), even with names like Rita Lee and Raul Seixas, rock did not have a dedicated ground for the public, marginalized, without many projections in the mass media and also without a show-business structure that favored them. But with the turn of the decade, it began to assert itself and during 1981/82, the beginning of a new generation no longer restricted to the MPB arose. More open to the world musical context, as the ideal of the punk movement (do-it-yourself) and the colorful entertaining bands from the New Wave.
Youngsters who were born under the years of lead, dreamed of a freer style of music, by the time psychedelia and progressive rock with their remote themes and 15 minutes trips, little or nothing dialogue with the backdrop of the beach, sun, and Rio’s sea. Note that in São Paulo (concrete jungle) those same longings became the Vanguarda Paulista and the birth of the punk movement, not as accessible as their brothers in Rio (these and other developments will be addressed in future posts).
The precursors of so-called BRock were the Cariocas from Gang 90, and his debut at the MPB-Shell festival in August 1981 with the song Perdidos na Selva. From there, three factors contributed to the formation and dissemination of a new musical explosion with its apex culminating in the realization of the first Rock in Rio in January 1985.
They are: the foundation of Circo Voador (a playhouse) in January 82 in Ipanema, the premiere of Fluminense FM (Maldita), first radio to play (solely) rock in national territory, and the organization of the first punk festival, Começo do Fim do Mundo on November 82, at the newly inaugurated SESC Pompeia.
Some BRock bands: Gang 90, Blitz, Paralamas do Sucesso, Barão Vermelho, KidAbelha, Lobão, Lulu Santos, Legião Urbana, Ira!…
Let’s go to our history:
The political opening exhaustively repeated by the militaries as slow, gradual and safe, began at the end of the 70s, under strong repression of the right sectors that were contrary to the process initiated by the Amnesty Law in 1979. Numerous bombings throughout 1980 and 1981 attempted to cause a climate of political and social instability, culminating with the Rio Centro case: a bomb exploded in a parking lot inside a Puma car, killing the sergeant Guilherme Ferreira do Rosario and seriously injuring the captain Wilson Luís Chaves Machado, both linked to DOI-CODI (sic).
The bomb exploded while being handled, and prepared to be detonated near the Rio Centro lightbox in order to cut power and generate panic among the regulars of the show which was held in celebration of Labor Day, more than 20,000 people participating along with numerous music artists!
On occasion, the government blamed the radical left for the attacks. This hypothesis had no support at the time and has been debunked, including a confession, proved that the attack was an attempt of more radical sectors of government (the CIE and SNI) to convince more moderate sectors that were required a new wave of repression in order to paralyze the slow political openness that was in progress. (!)
Let’s go to our album:
After a trip to the U.S. in the early 80s, Kodiak Bachine decides to start a band inspired by punk and new waves groups that had watched and heard. With a new look, Kodiak has teamed up with guitarists Miguel Barella(Voluntários da Pátria) and Eduardo Amarante(Zero). Beyond them were part Lyses Pupo (bass) and drummer Elias Glik. The quintet had a strong line with the Talking Heads, B-52’s, Kraftwerk, Blondie, Devo, Gary Numan, and Brian Eno. The seminal group pioneer in Brazil’s new-wave movement incorporated elements of electronic music and minimalist, making extensive use of icons and scenery that aided in the spread of brand new musical ideas and concepts in the emerging Electro-Pop of the 80s.
Kodiak sang, he said, in eletrotranzlyric, a dialect of his own invention that mixed Portuguese, English, German, and extraterrestrial languages. (!) After the release of the first single, the band performed three shows in 1982, the first on 25 September at Ilhas do Sul theater. Soon it became a cult among youngsters in São Paulo, taking a loyal following of admirers who filled the places where the band performed. With only five shows in one year, they left a lasting impression on the scene. With no label support or sponsorship, the band was hampered and cannot make more shows.
The Agentss recorded only two compacts being the first, in 1981, an independent production, released in 1982. The second was released by WEA label with musical production by Pena Schmidt in 1983. The group broke up amicably at the end of 1983 for philosophical reasons, Miguel Barella formed Voluntários da Pátria, Eduardo Amarante and Thomas Susemihl formedAzul 29 (also a pioneer in Electro-Pop). Later, Eduardo joined Guilherme Isnard and formed Zero, while Kodiak went solo.
This is one of those bands where you wonder why you haven’t known them before (?!), their leader Kodiak Bachine, is one of the most underrated keyboardists, a specialist in short bands but with great importance in the Brazilian context. With its futuristic synths and a vanguard proposal for the time, the band, unfortunately, did not achieve much publicity, being limited to São Paulo. A curious fact from the second compact is its cover, the first produced entirely on a computer, being photographed and reproduced because there was no way to print the same!
As it is only 4 songs, let’s give a chance to all of them, but let me advance you something, the title track Agentss is something beyond the expectations, being modern and exciting even to this day. With satyrical and humorous lyrics about radiation, robots, and computers this domestically unknown band goes way off our traditional psychedelia so far, get ready for AGENTSS. நல்லபயணம்!
Some more BRock bands: Inocentes, Capital Inicial, Titãs, RPM, Violeta de Outono, Plebe Rube, Camisa de Vênus, Ultraje A Rigor, Cólera…
Japan. Today, we’ve got a point outside the curve of someone’s discography, nothing less than Asakawa Maki (Maki Asakawa, January 27, 1942 – January 17, 2010) the major female precursor for folk, rock and pop audiences in the country. Her hoarse and deep voice, hypnotic eyes and persona, all black styleandthe (always) cigarette in tow, managed to capture national and foreign fame throughout an extensive famous career. Much based on folk-rock, blues, and some jazz, these previous albums and characters will entry along with our galaxy. A rare live presentation it is available (for now at least) and can be seen here, check it out!
Today we’ll start with a twist overview. Different from its first releases and acclaimed developments through the ’70s, Cat Nap has its unique blends from Jazz, Rock, Funk, Reggae, Ska, Post-Punk and Pop in a solid experience direct from the early ’80s. (!)
Let’s go to their history:
Jazz and blues vocalist, lyricist, composer, and orchestrator Maki Asakawa was born in 1942 in IshikawaPrefecture. After a short stint working at the town office in her small village, she headed for Tokyo to pursue music. She started by playing at U.S. military bases and cabarets, where she refined her style, which was largely informed by Billie Holiday and Mahalia Jackson. Asakawa released her first Ep, Tokyo Banka, on the Victor imprint in 1967. In 1968, Maki got her big break when she appeared for three days running at the Shinjuku underground theater known as Sasoriza, a project of underground playwright and controversial movie director Shuji Terayama. Shortly thereafter, she signed with Toshiba (currently EMI Music Japan), making her official major-label debut in July 1969 single’s: Yo Ga Aketara / Kamome.
Since then, Maki Asakawa has consistently released music and appeared live, garnering praise for her unique interpretation of jazz, blues, and avant-garde, she has also collaborated with Yosuke Yamashita and Akira Sakata, and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto among many other legends!
Sadly, she died of acute heart failure in her hotel room in Nagoya on a Sunday night and later pronounced dead. She was 67. (RIP)
Years Active: 1967 ~ 2010
Let’s go to our album:
At the time of its release (October 21, 1982), Cat Nap received this type of commentary from the Japanese press:
‘A splendid work, with new horizons that Maki challenged, colored by improvisation, honed melody and stand out performance.’
Fact. Along with its trumpeter, composer and partner Toshinori Kondo, Maki sails free among a beautiful kaleidoscope of modern sound; once again (as JAGATARA), the 80’saesthetics that prevailed through, were as revolutionary as those from previous decades. This is a very uptempo one with incredible experimental moments.
The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Shinkyoku B, a monster groove-reggae with crazy harmonics, fuzz and sexy vocals from our bluesy queen. A perfect song for a tropical panorama, good energies, friends and a cold drink! And Machine(an instrumental one), probably the pinnacle of the album. With its own avant-garde atmosphere, mimicking the functioning of some real machine, speaking of a Pop artist, this is quite something! We got dissonant woodwinds, atonal guitar solos, multiple sound effects and a constant pace beat that last until the final second! Crazy, crazy, crazy. 良い旅!
A1 暗い眼をした女優 (Kurai Me Wo Shita Joyuu)
A2 忘れたよ (Wasureta Yo)
A3 こころ隠して (Kokoro Kakushite)
A4 むかし (Mukashi)
B1 新曲“Ｂ” (Shinkyoku B)
B2 夕暮れのまんなか (Yuugure No Manaka)
B3 マシン (Machine)
B4 今なら (Ima Nara)
Maki Asakawa: Vocal
Toshinori Kondo: Trumpet, Percussion
Toshiyuki Honda: Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, Flute
Shigeharu Mukai: Trombone
Kiyoshi Sugimoto: Guitar
Kazuo Tobita: Guitar
Tamio Kawabata: Bass
Hiro Tsunoda: Drums
Yoshino Kimutsugi: Recording & Mixing Engineer
Tatsuya Sakamoto: Second Engineer
Nonaka Lily: Front Cover Art
Recorded at July 19, 20 and 21 1982 at Take One Studio.
All lyrics: 浅川マキ (Maki Asakawa) except B-2 by 山内テツ (Tetsu Yamauchi)
Seattle, 1988. Before the worldwide mass exposure created on the so-called grunge scene and its characters, a genre that suddenly was self-proclaimed the soundtrack of Generation X (sic), there was a short-lived band who certainly opened the gates of stardom to all, this band was Mother Love Bone!
The first one to draw national media attention to the region, a contract with a major record company (PolyGram), putting the early Seattle scene definitely on the map. Alongside with Soundgarden, Melvins, Mudhoney, Nirvana and Alice in Chains, this prominent quintet had only a two-year living, with a full length (posthumous) album and an Ep. With no more than 20 shows held, one west-side mini-tour, two videoclips and a lot of hype around them, MLB was a comet of love.
Led by a flamboyant Andrew Patrick Wood(January 8, 1966 – March 19th, 1990), who previously created with its first band Malfunkshun, an alter-ego stage persona called, L’andrew the Love Child, a response to the Satan worship metal cliché, Love Rock 333 (their sound) was the title that Andy glimpse, much based on its personal rock faves: Kiss, Queen, Elton John, and Marc Bolan. Andy’s exuberant personality, outlandish clothes, and funny lyrics helped bring attention to the band.
But the path the band was predestined to follow was subtly interrupted by Andy’s od on March 19th, 1990. He had historical problems with cocaine and heroin since 1985(its first rehab), after the tour opening for The Dogs D’Amour, on mid’s 89, he checked himself into rehab and passed the last four months of the year sober. Their full-length album was recorded during this time. With the turn of the decade, high expectations on Apple began to arise, as its three remixes and a certain pressure.
A righteous future was broken when its fiancée Xana la Fuente, found him on a comatose state lying on the bed of their apartment. After three days in Harborview Hospital, living on life support, Andy was diagnosed with hemorrhage aneurysm; together with it’s family and band members, with A Night At The Opera playing, holding hands around the bed, they decided to plug out the life support and let him go.
Six months later the basis for Pearl Jam was formed and started to rehearse. Temple of The Dog was recorded on the end of the year, with two songs made directly to Andy (Say Hello 2 Heaven and Reach Down) it was Chris Cornell’s last homage to his friend, they also lived together for six months. Both Ten and TOTD releases happened in early 1991 and hits the musical charts in different ways, yet Seattle’s scene had already been paved by Andy, the love child. (RIP)
Let’s go to their history:
We will let Malfunkshun and Andy’s complete story to a dedicated post on the future, however, there is a very nice documentary about them directed by Scot Barbour.
By 1987, Andrew was living in Seattle and hanging out with Jeff Ament(bass) and Stone Gossard(guitar), members of Green River. It wasn’t long before the three of them were writing together, and as time went by they became closer. In late 87, early 88, Lords of the Wasteland started playing occasional shows, with the inclusion of Bruce Fairweather(guitar), though the repertoire was composed of covers.
By the time of their last show, Andy, anxious for success, left Malfunkshun and started to dedicate all his time for the new band. Stupid names like Dum Dum Boys or Daddy Long Legs were suggested, but it was from Andy’s mind that the band would be recognized: Mother Love Bone.
Regan Hagar (Malfunkshun’s drummer) was replaced by Greg Gilmore(10 Minute Warning) and the band changed their name, after a week of persuasion. They got into the studio as soon as possible and recorded 10 songs including, Holly Roller, Stargazer, Lady Godiva Blues and Capricorn Sister. The demo was received by Kelly Curtis (later the manager of Pearl Jam). Kelly made it possible for the band to record another demo, this one was sent to Geffen records who paid for them to make a third demo. With songs like Bone China, Crown of Thorns and Captain Hi-Top.
The demos made it out to a bunch of different companies, so the band waited through the summer and it paid off; they got a lot of calls from labels that heard the demo and they finally decided to signed with Polygram. They even got there on label on the company, Stardog Label. This process took place during February / August 1988.
They returned home and signed Kelly Curtis as their manager. In early 1989 starts the process to their debut album Shine.The band went on tour for the album and then took a few months to break, by September they were recording their next album.
In 1990 they had played around Seattle and gained much respect from local bands like Soundgarden and Melvins. The band had finished making their upcoming album Apple when Andy checked himself into a rehab program to deal with his addiction.
They were set to make their debut, when Wood died of a heroin od on March 16th.
Temple of the Dog was formed in Andy’s memory. The band included Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Soundgarden’sMatt Cameron, and Chris Cornell, and the new guyEddie Vedder! After Temple of the Dog, Stone and Jeff got together with Eddie, Mike McCready, and Dave Krusen to form Pearl Jam. Bruce Fairweather joined Love Battery and Greg played with Blind Horse and Endino’s Earthworm.
Let’s go to our record:
Andy Wood, Jeff Ament, and Stone Gossard passed through the early’80s in Seattle with punk, hard, glam, arena rock bands, gigs, friends, shows and a whole scene of musicians. They’re one of the founders from the so-called grunge scene and it’s here that this record gets something special and reveals us another side. It doesn’t resemble anything from the heaviness or angst-filled lyrics and moods like Soundgarden, Melvins, Mudhoney, NirvanaorAlice in Chains.
With a heavy-tenor(like Robert Plant) sung by Andy, its lyrics, persona and a sharp band, they got all bases from the American Hard / Glam, with some mellow ballads on piano and funky uptempo. These ego imaginary dreamy lyrics ruled the short production of the band, yet they made also some mordacious, happy humor criticism, especially about catholicism, freedom of love, and the myth of commercial rockstar.
This is a small 5-track release, there are some proto-grunge, hard rock, funk, an epic ballad, and a blues. The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Crown of Thorns, their most famous song, much covered by Pearl Jam, got an 8-minute piece, here with Chloe Dancerintroduction, the touching preamble reveals us some brute biographical lyrics based on choices, love, death, and addiction. An almost forgot classic from a modern rock!
Cameron Crowe’s film about love on the early ’90s, Singles, was set in Seattle. On the very beginning of the film, we’re shown to a wall with Mother Love Bone name’s on it, still, Andy’s death interrupted any chance of a sequel or international recognition.
And Capricorn Sister: One of the first made, a nice blues with an over the top performance by Andy, remembering us those old blues singers from the South. This song also appears on Apple, but Shine’s version is much better, on the very final there’s a little funny hidden-track, Zanzibar, check it!
The Ep was recorded in November 1988, during ten days (or five?). Lastly, there is a revealing excerpt of Scot Barbour’s interview about Andy’s final moments:
Scot: ‘Andy was allergic to everything, well not everything. But a lot of different prescription drugs & foods. In fact, that’s the REAL theory of how Andy REALLY died. Andy actually survived the heroin overdose and it looked like he was going to pull it off and live. When he was in a coma he was given a few different drugs to help him come back from the coma. The back of his brain swelled up so badly that the top his spinal cord actually protruded his brain causing him to be brain dead.
That is when they decided to take him off Life Support. The belief is that his brain swelling was the result of an allergic reaction to at least one of the drugs that were administered to him during that time. Coincidentally, the patient records for the last 24 hours of Andy’s life are missing and have yet to be located. And Virginia Mason (?) Hospital in downtown Seattle has made no statement. (!)
He wasn’t into drugs as much as people are lead to believe. Andy had just gotten out of rehab recently. And the heroin dose he overdosed on was extremely small. Another very coincidental thing was the Hospital had reported four other heroin od’s that evening Andy was brought to the hospital, it was definitely a ‘bad batch’ that had hit the streets and wound up in Andy’s arm.’ (!) Drum Bun!
1 Thru Fade Away
2 Mindshaker Meltdown
3 Half Ass Monkey Boy
4 Chloe Dancer / Crown of Thorns
5 Capricorn Sister / Zanzibar
Released: March 20, 1989
Bass: Jeff Ament
Drums: Greg Gilmore
Guitar: Bruce Fairweather, Stone Gossard
Photography: Charles Peterson
Producer: Mark Dearnley
Vocals, Piano, Lyrics: Andrew Wood
Recorded at London Bridge Studios, Seattle. //// Mixed at London Bridge Studio, Seattle.