First imagine the beat that accompanies a well dressed, well rehearsed, lathered up lounge singer. The beat is smooth but slightly reminiscent of elevator music and every song, no matter what its original form, comes in long drawn out stanzas. Now stop and take a minute to place the following words on top of these loungy beats…………….
Beautiful girls. All over the world. I can get chasin my time would be wastin. They got nothing on you baby. You shouldn’t worry casue they got nothing on you baby. Nothing on you baby.
Loungy harp beat……………transition and then…Tic toc on the clock. Trying to get a little tispy tonight I’m going to fight until you see the sunlight. Tick toc on the clock the party don’t stop. Got a care in the world…Whoo whoo who ohhh
There it is. My attempt to capture one subtle aspect of what I love about this place is to describe the way they manage to make a lounge song out of every single hit that comes their way. Every time I show up it seems I have briefly forgotten this playful pastime, but the minute I walk into a coffee shop or shopping center the sounds coming out of the speakers quickly remind me where I am – lounge singer heaven.
My thinking about why this is so is as follows: Due to tight sanctions and economic oppression, the community at large has plenty of troubles to worry about and plenty of threats to keep them quiet and under wraps; but, this country is also a place that simply refuses to be oppressed and has the sneaky savvy and brains to make it happen and to laugh at those in charge may they be politicians, millionaires or superstars. In some ways this is a place frozen in time and one can glean from the 80s style fashion and punchy humor that they have been exposed to little that has unfolded with regards to pop culture over the last three decades in the rest of the world. With that noted, this place may actually be ahead of the curve with regards to fashion and style (given 80s is once again retro) and are able to pull out the true gems as they come along and hold onto them much longer than the fast passed easily bored masses in the West. They get access to things in slow sneaky ways and need to savor every moment they are doing something they shouldn’t be – which quickly adds up to just about anything. For example, it is illegal to gather in groups of more than 4 people and suicide is a crime punishable by death and if you leave the country and say something against the ruling party and then come back you get a free taxi ride to the nearest prison. So there it is – my analysis of fashion, music and style in a place I have come to love deeply and a place that constantly makes me smile.
Very soon I will post something a little more serious.