Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gadjo’s New Year Video Jukebox

Mrs Dilo and I just got back home and now we’re off again*. And so – and also because we’re saying goodbye to one year and hello to another – here’s “Here I come, here I go”, by Serbo-Slovenian ljepotica-magnet Magnifico. It’s also the official anthem of all moustachioed, ersatz-Ray-Banned, aftershave-drenched East European manhood. But you can’t be an East European man just by following these style guidelines... no, you’ve got to do the dance as well!!

* to Sibiu, if you want to know, spiritual home of Romania’s ethnic German community, modern-day homeopathy and Romania’s silliest hat wearers - which is saying something :-) Happy new year to one and all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gadjo's Christmas Jukebox

Mrs Dilo and I are off tomorrow morning to my muvver country and will not have access to the Internet thang. I was commenting recently on Can Bass's blog how I liked the I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue lads' interpretation of Silent Night, to the tune of Tequila. I realised then that this festive season* tends to divide people into two camps. So, first up The Dickies with their endearingly faithful version of the carol. And then, for those of you not gathering around the manger, the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra with their alternative Christmas message - "We Need 5 Days Of Tequila" - which may be exactly what others of you are thinking. As Dave Allen used to say, may your God go with you!

* That's Hannakah and Winter Solstice too!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gadjo’s Video Jukebox #5

Yes, we’re back in the USSR (that’s the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic)! After the last post’s rather rough offerings, I'm trying here to repair the damage done to both this country's and my own reputations. First up, highly accomplished headline act Vopli Vidoplasova with a video that seems to be an affectionate tribute to Bollywood cinema:

Now music by the superfast folk-ska act Haydamaky - featuring Jim Carrey on drums, it would seem! - and Ukrainians enjoying themselves at a festival:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gadjo’s Video Jukebox #4

Gadjo’s Pickin’ Kiev Tonight*!! Yes, as promised. When I danced with the Balalaika Dance Group in London I found that Ukrainians have the butchest Soviet-bloc dances, and music to match. Then I happened upon The Ukrainians, a band from Leeds with some Uke ancestry and the willingness to have a laugh. They’ve done great versions of songs by The Smiths and The Sex Pistols - here, especially for Barry Teeth, is their version of Anarchy In The UK(raine) - and here's something more with the spirit of the Cossacks:

Then I discovered other great genuine Ukrainian bands. Bands fast and unintelligible enough to form the background music to many years studying at my computer terminal. First up it’s Perkalaba. On the map it looks like I could easily visit them from here in their Hutsul hideaway, but flying around the world would actually take less time. They named themselves after their local psychiatric hospital and act as dodgy as possible, as you would too if people had called your homeland "Little Russia" for 654 years!

* There’s a pun there somewhere; find it and you could win a weekend for one in Dnipropetrovsk.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dark Night of the Soul #2: My Birthday

I just had a birthday. Some people want a bike for their birthday, others a party dress or a My Little Pony. But my one wish, pure and simple, was to get through one day without being engaged in conversation about Romanian food. More a mission, really. And if you think this should be easy then you’ve never lived where I live. These are the diversionary tactics I tried:

(1) Talking about everybody’s 2nd favourite topic of conversation: members of their family.

(2) Wearing my full highland dress: a kind of “shock and awe” tactic.

(3) Pretending I was French, so I'd be expected to neither understand nor care - or, alternatively, so they’d talk about another nation’s cuisine... or food in general... or food as a metaphor for something else... anything, really.

(4) Getting drunk. (This, as usual, happened later after everybody else had left).

We'd invited many people to our house, good people, honest people, people I care about. But despite this I knew from the moment I woke up that I would fail. But this put no halter on my blind ambition, and I hereby bask in the glory of Heroic British Failuredom:

(1) “Hands off cocks on socks we’re charging the Russian guns! Yes, lovely boy, it’s called “The Valley Of Death”, you want me to draw you a map does you? Oh, I see you is crying: is it because I am standing on your hair?!” (etc)

(2) “Hey you, Oatsie Boy, pop outside there’s a good chap I think one of the sledge-marmosets has run orf. Don’t bother looking for your boots, I ate them last night with a rather nice Chianti that I bought with me.”

(3) “I, George Mallory, am going up Everest, but I'm not taking any oxygen with me ‘cos that’s for poofs, innit. Oh, and if see me fall over come up and turn me round so it looks like was coming down.”

(4) Across the Andes by Frog.

Heck, I was so bomb-happy at the end of the day that I took everybody out for dinner at a Romanian restaurant.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gadjo’s Video Jukebox #3

It’s Moscow Night here at Gadjo’s Jukebox! There seem to be quite a few bands from Russia with interesting style and fine musicianship who one can only hope are getting more international exposure now. Markscheider Kunst are actually from St. Petersburg, but you wouldn’t guess it what with their German name and their repertoire of afro/Brazilian/ska. It’s a mystery to me but I love it. And this track’s even got a funky animation to go with it:

And here's music by art-rockers Auktyon. I don’t understand the words but I reckon it’s a version of the play that William Shakespeare and Daniil Kharms would have written together: