Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Planning Stage: Slovenia (Pt. 2 : Maribor, Celje, Piran, Portoroz)

I am in a good mood. I finally tracked down high-quality recordings of two great Estonian pop tunes not available to me for months: Urban Symphony's "Päikese poole" and Birgit Õigemeel's "Moonduja." My McAffee anti-virus software stopped one Trojan from infecting my system during this important rescue operation. These are the exciting risks I take tracking down European pop songs. I am the Chuck Norris of Estonian pop music downloading.

Birgit's "Moonduja" is an especially interesting song; a strange time-signature, icy synth stabs, and ethereal vocals weaving around chunky R&B beats. It's kinda spooky. This is the perfect song to have float out of your radio at three in the morning. Birgit came to fame by winning the first Estonian Idol competition in 2007, and this performance of REM's "Everybody Hurts" shows how she did that.

Two days ago I began writing about Slovenia, their clubs, and which clubs would make a good match for my blend of Eurotrash, turbofolk, and the odd song by Journey. I wrote last time that most clubs in Ljubljana seem to fall into one of two categories: the elitist venue and the alternative venue (the photo above is one I took just before New Year's in the waning days of 2005 at the none-more-arty Metelkova complex). Sadly, my DJ style puts me somewhere in the middle.

I found considerably more to be cheerful about looking at the nightlife in some other Slovenian towns. Of these places, Maribor, Slovenia's second...er..."largest" city seems the most promising.

Maribor has music coursing through its veins. It hosts some big music festivals each year. Their Lent Festival is the biggest music festival in Slovenia.

Clubs that appealed to me included:

KMŠ - A student disco that also hosts some big (in Slovenia) acts, including the excellent DJ Sylvain and Leeloojamais. I also see that KMŠ has a Ljubljana branch which may be worth investigating also.

ŠTUK - Another student disco, this one described by an "In Your Pocket" writer as "a place you come to for dirt cheap drinks and all night parties, not subtle ambiance and sophisticated discourse." In other words, I think there is trash to protect and serve in this establishment.

I had spent some time in Celje back in 2006, but the trash club scene does not appear to be much to speak of. YouTube videos suggest that there are some interesting places of the more turbofolkish variety there. These would be a pleasure to drop in on, but I don't think my DJ'ing would be particularly welcome.

Finally, I looked at some of the clubs in Piran and Portoroz. These places seem to boom during the warm weather months, but they strike me as having a cooler-than-me vibe to them. I tend to avoid places that advertise their "elite atmosphere." But advertising and reality usually diverge, and perhaps some of these places would be way more accommodating than I imagine.

So, I emailed KMŠ (also joined their Facebook group) and ŠTUK. This has made for a good day's work, though I suspect I am going to put in another day's work today as well. :-D

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