Tuesday, September 6, 2011


One thing that hasn't changed much around here is the music. On a walk earlier today, I heard what was probably a Serbian-language cover of Listen to Your Heart pumping out of a café-bar. This afternoon, Ceca took us to a less-known café above an Italian restaurant, only accessible by going in an undermarked alleyway and in a door behind a utilities compound. As I walked in, True Faith, one of my favorite songs was playing. It was immediately followed by a Lady Gaga song. This is pretty much true in all of the cafés I've been by so far-- they play lots of europop and europop-influenced music. The ambient music certainly adds to Novi Sad's European feel.

Walking around on Sunday, Yentli and I ran into a more stereotypical Eastern European band, with accordion, fiddle, et cetera. They sounded somewhat Klezmer-influenced, but I wasn't quite able to place it.

We discussed Novi Sad's night life and clubs with Aleksandra, one of Ceca's friends today. She told us that there were essentially two main types of clubs: electronica or turbofolk. Turbofolk is a sort of adaptation of Balkan folk tunes to dance and pop themes, including serious synthesizers and europop influence. It became popular in the early 1990s, and is considered anti-intellectual music. It's also sometimes considered nationalist, because some of the more popular singers are the girlfriends/wives/exes of war criminals and gangsters. But it's widely popular, especially since it's accessible to so may from the countryside.

I've tried a bit of turbofolk, and what I heard wasn't inspiring. It wasn't exceptionally bad, but it didn't really strike me as very interesting. And I can only take so much electronica. I'll probably sample both sorts of clubs here, but I'm more interested in the independent and local music around town. Aleksandra promised me that I'd be able to see a great variety of non-club music, from rock to hip-hop.

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