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Tuesday, 23 November 2004

Sleepless in Slovenia.

Spent a couple of nights in Seattle catching up with long-lost, election-weary friends there. Enjoyed a few discussions about Florida, counting votes, the "democratic system" and the democratic future. As i've mentioned before, I like that town. I lived there for a few months earlier this year, and became quite fond of its quirks and people.

I was also lucky enough to attend a show called "Tanz mit Laibach", a show at Neumo's on Pike, or Pine... (I always get those two mixed up)... part of the State Of The Art: The New Slovene Avant Garde Festival that happened to be happening in Seattle this weekend. Laibach are a Slovenian heavy industrial band, who formed in the 80s, and now operate out of Ljubljana, in Slovenia. The group attracted controversy early in their career with their first show being banned before it was performed in the town where they were from, Trbovlje, because the piece was all about how contradictory political power was at the time. I know so little about the situation, I should probably stop there. However, my companion at the show is currently ensconsed in a Masters in International Studies, specialising in that region of eastern Europe. I was sorry that I couldn't read the notes she was taking as we watched from the balcony overlooking the stage.

And may I just say that the audience at this particular show was almost as interesting as the politics of the region and how sorry I was that I didn't take my damn camera. The choicest cut that I witnessed with my own eyes was a gentleman in a patent leather officer's cap reaching above the seething crowd to take a shot of the band in full flight. Let's just say that black, red, leather and corsets were the outfit du jour.

I found myself laughing out loud at the style of the anthemic numbers that Laibach performed. I was confused about whether their approach was intended to be ironic, or satirical, or both, or neither... it was infused with what I thought were obvious clich├ęs, like ladies looking sexy, inscrutable and dour playing drums in militaristic fashion aside the frontman, who sang throaty german lyrics to pretty hard core industrial rock, accompanied by projected images of male gymnasts and words like Totalitariansme and crosses and things. I hope its intention was to be slightly tongue-in-cheek. We weren't sure.

So, that was fun.
Posted at 1:13 am
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