Jonny Wrate of Roads and Kingdoms Magazine writes the article for the year for me!
Many years ago, while living in Macedonia, my friends and I would discuss music, and two, Igor and Goran, turned me on to the fact that Mexican music was actually a big deal in the former Yugoslavia. It was the most amusing thing I had ever heard, as I grew up with a lot of boleros in my house (Los Panchos, Los Tres Ases, and others, for example). It blew my mind that such a scene would exist, but they were emphatic in telling me that such a creature DID indeed exist. They even showed me record covers like the one above, recorded by the ever-tacky, ever awesome Ljubomir Milić.
Wrate’s back story really does a nice job of filling in the history of a very unique time in my beloved Balkans which ties into the music I loved as a child.
I’m a bit late with this article, but it discusses a treasure trove of art which was forbidden in the Soviet Union. It turns out that these pieces were socked away in the Karakalpakstan province of Uzbekistan.
Russia bans books and movies from time to time. It takes a lot of cheek to compare banning a literary classic like Boris Pasternak’s ‘Dr. Zhivago‘ to trash like Pussy Riot, but this is what one learns to expect from the Huffington Post.
Still, the literary world would have been a poorer place had ‘Dr. Zhivago’ had never seen the light of day.
Read Petra Couvée’s article for HuffPo here.
Three articles regarding Pete Seeger’s demise – one pro, two contra, provide a good appraisal of the man’s life, work and views.
I loathed Seeger’s politics, his slavish devotion, until 1995, to Joseph Stalin’s murderous regime, and the fact that he stole ‘Wimoweh’ (see the story about Solomon Linda). Still, his own body of work will live on as part of Americana, and should be remembered as some of the finest songs to ever come out of the United States, as they are, indeed, timeless. One should never attempt to separate a man from his works, however, as the soul of each artist imbues his craft, whether we like it or not.