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Friday, 30 December 2011

A Croatian Opera Lesson From....."Let 3".







Let 3 (Gotta get me one of those fake mustaches one of these days)



Sources: www.muzika.hr

Related sources: everything-you-wanted-to-know-about

www.rirock.com

www.ufo.com.hr

www.zlatnakoogla.com

www.jutarnji.hr

www.slobodnadalmacija.hr

www.nacional.hr

www.groupie.hr

vijesti.gorila.hr

www.tportal.hr

wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_3

http://www.myspace.com/let3

www.last.fm/music/Let+3




Ok, this one is gonna be a good post, some history mixed with modern music.  My next on was going to be about the New Years celebrations in different cities in Croatia, like a previous one I did HERE.   But this one is going to touch upon a few subjects.  I was just thinking how I would love to be at this Let3 tonight in Zagreb, where they will be playing at the 'Tvornica Kulture'.  (Heard on the news here they're having some typical politically correct, multi-faith, free hat and whistle, ho-hum musical acts that I've never heard of playing downtown tonight.  I have a strong feeling they're going to sound something like THIS.)....:/





Their CD "Jedina" (Only One) from 2000.





Now, if youre not Croatian, then I know you've never heard of this band. If you are of Croatian background, living on this side of the pond especially, chances are that only a few have heard of them either. (Again, depending on which city/area you live in.)   But in Croatia, and other neighbouring countries,  they have developed a cult following over the years that has made them extremely popular, especially with the young people. There's something about the lyrics, that if you don't understand Croatian, you just wont get it.   Might as well go back to your local mix station with messages brought to you by the makers of ..whatever, or just go hang around a fucko mall food court. Let3 are definitely not the kind of act to bring your grandparents to see.  That's a given. But then again, I've come across some very unusual, eccentric grandparents in my time.






An interesting article that goes along with this photo from www.jutarnji.hr





Surprisingly to some though,  they've won a number of awards over the years, including  Best album of the year, Best performance of the year, Best video of the year, Band of the year, to name just a few. So I guess they must be doing something right. I went excitedly to a couple concerts around here that were supposed to be awesome, really hyped up, but they were yawnfests.  As a single guy, I think this is the band I'd pay to see on a New Years Eve in Croatia. These guys are already legends, and I'm sure down the road will be remembered as one of the best, original, and entertaining  acts to come out of the Croatian music scene. One is always guaranteed to have a memorable time for the price of their ticket. Very memorable.






There was talk in the past about a UK tour, but it didn't get off the ground and the tour was cancelled. There were protests that there is no room in the UK for crazy acting people.



There was talk of Let3 touring in Calgary, Canada, however most of the coffee shop crowd was more interested in Justin Beiber's leaked penis photos, the new mint chocolate chip muffins and that new line of polo shirts with the embroidered horsies on it.



 The downtown Calgary gang though was more interested about the new mall food court rumoured to be refurbished soon with the all you can eat egg foo yung store, and the penis on that new guy who worked at the nearby samba dancing lesson school as well. 



When rumors surfaced of a possible summer Mid-East and Afghanistan tour in 2002, protestors immediately went out to let their disapproval be shown in the streets.



Just rumours of a possible 90 minute set in Jerusalem was enough to ruffle many peoples feathers and almost caused a riot.  Here the bands manager was being pelted with stones and week old bagels.



In 2008 Let3 had plans to do a mini U.S. tour. Here protestors in Salt Lake City were demanding an end to tour plans, dubbing Let3 as agents of Beelzebub and in cahoots with that dagnabit infernal Johnny Depp.



An American Televangelist movement led by Peter Popoff (seen above) promised that for a faith seed gift he would use divine power to have a swarm of bee's attack Let3 causing blistering plague-like boils and have the bees chase them back to hell, as well as send dogs to chase them shooting bees out of their mouths to sting them even more. Each donator was also promised a free prayer cloth with the likeness of St. Esmachiah of Ramath-gilead on it, a photo to hang in the bedroom and phone numbers to the best local hookers.



Protestors in other U.S. cities were letting it be known that they were just plain fucking angry.



Their CD "El Dorado" from 1991.





Best way to describe them in my opinion, is that they are like a hybrid of a Croatian Monty Python comedy act meets Rammstein meets Red Hot Chilli Peppers meets Turbonegro meets zany Croatian Kids In The Hall comedy act, but stepped up a notch or 2. That's about the best I can do to describe them.  Over the years they have gone through different looks, incorporating different elements into their music and stage presentation, holding shocking and controversial concerts, releasing controversial videos and CD covers, sexuallly explicit lyrics, concerts and politically tounge in cheek political innuendos. They've even performed on stage with other more popular mainstream Croatian pop singers on national television. But the fans just keep on coming to their shows no matter what.  Getting a ticket to one of their shows is sometimes like gold because you never know what zaniness Let3 will come up with next.





 Some of the artwork from the CD booklet for "Bombardiranje Srbije i Čačka" (Bombardment of Serbia and Čačak) with the city of Dubrovnik in the background for sarcastic effect. (For those not in the know, Dubrovnik was actually shelled by Serb led Yugoslav troops and Serb paramilitaries after the declaration of Slovenian and Croatian independence, it's an example of irony ) The left side features a Serb and Albanian kissing each other. (But as everyone knows Serbs and Albanians are protoganists in the centuries long Kosovo drama even to this day. Very provocative as Serbs are usually boasting about how they can kill all their Albanians and beat up any Albanian person etc)  The first single of the album was "Rado ide Srbin u vojnike (Pička)..English- "Gladly will the Serb enlist in the army (Cunt)  The portrayals of the Albanian and especially Serb however in no way supports the wearing of Srb garb or Srb pointy/horned toe opanci or their ethnic cleansing and other extremist foreign policies.




To paraphrase Forrest Gump.."a Let3 concert is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get"  (No gerbils or quadrupeds have ever been harmed during the filming of any of their videos)





They frequently use sexuality to outrage the public. They often perform naked except for muzzles on their penises. The video for their first single "Rado ide Srbin u vojnike (Pička)" (trans. Gladly will the Serb enlist (Cunt) a play on Josif Runjanin's song "Rado Srbin ide u vojnike") for the 2005 album Bombardiranje Srbije i Čačka ( Bombardment of Serbia and Čačak) features extras dressed in Serbian and Albanian national costume - masturbating)  Mostly they sing a lot of songs dealing with issues or subjects a lot of their fans can relate to, real life stuff, but all their songs are sung in Croatian.  They're not really interested in going on world tours or hitting Top 40 charts around the world.  That's not why they formed the band years ago.  There's lots of stuff about them in Croatian media and music circles, but you will have to learn Croatian to read them.  However, you can find them on iTunes, Myspace, LastFM and other places.  I wanted to buy some of their cd's, but they were sold out, so I bought one of their Live DVD's when I was in Rijeka this past summer.  Next best thing to being at one of their shows.....





"Živa Pička" (Live Cunt) For English only speakers this title and some of the songs may at first glance seem misogynistic, but they're not. Let 3 have a large female fan base also.






But it's not all out of ordinary costumes, fake moustaches and zaniness. Let3 over the years have taken part in numerous humanitarian projects.  Here is just one poster for a concert they took part in with proceeds going to help children with cerebral palsy.





There's too much to get into here with regards to their entire history and discography, so I'll just add some basic information from Wikipedia and a few of their videos.  Getting back to the Let3/history part for a moment, this first video is hilarious, and a history lesson as well.  (Here's a history lesson for Croatians worldwide. Yes, you are going to get a Croatian history lesson about opera that you may otherwise not have known, surprisingly all  thanks to Let3)   The video is based on a comic opera by Croatian composer and writer Jakov Gotovac.





 Postal stamp from Croatia commemorating the life of the composer/writer Jakov Gotovac. He is also known for composing another opera concerning the life of Croatian heroine Mila Gojsalić





Let3 mustaches on some other well known faces.























An opera that many have heard at Croatian events and music festivals on this side of the pond I'm sure. As part of an entire opera orchestra, or part of a Kolo dance event, but may never have known really much about the music, the name of the piece, who wrote it, what it's about.  The opera "Ero s onoga svijeta" (Ero the Joker) is just one of his opera's that is written around Croatian folk themes.  He also wrote opera's themed around the Croatian King Petar Svacic and Mila Gojsalic, a famous Croatian heroine.  However "Eros s onoga svijeta" has been a particularly popular favorite of the Croatian National Theatre in Croatia, as well as  performed in other theatres and countries abroad.  Here's a kolo folk dance version of the opera from the coastal city of Split last year. I'm sure the main catchy chorus may ring a bell with some Croatians out there....






This is an orchestral version of the opera song from Croatian television.



Now, here is Let 3's video of the same opera song, from their album "Bombardiranje Srbije i Čačka" (Bombardment of Serbia and Čačak, Serbia is the first and only country to be bombed by NATO btw))  At the time a provocative release with tounge in cheek humour regarding Serbia.  Complete with a couple of the members even prankingly dressed in Serb and Albanian national costume. (Serbs are also not on best of terms with Albanians)  The footage of  the gigantic Serbian poinry/horned toe opanci shoe is hilarious. I mean look at it, he's actually riding a big huge ridiculous looking curly toed opanci. lol) More information about the serbian pointy curly toe shoes at serbsareslavesshoes.blogspot.ca







So there you have it folks.  A  little opera/history lesson compliments from the most least likely of sources, the Croatian act "Let3".  Their songs, videos, eccentricity and energy may partly explain the groups popularity even outside of Croatia.  Like I said, I'm sure their name will go down in music history as one of the most original and entertaining acts to come out of Croatia.  The rest of these few videos I added are just of the band from various times over the years.






Let 3 - "Omađijaj me" from 2010 dressed as then Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor.



 
"Dijete u vremenu" (Child In Time) live performance on Slovenian Television



 The comical "Professor Jakov" video (featuring palacinke) from 2001.


Let 3 - Riječke Pičke (Rijeka's Cunts/Vaginas/Jewel Boxes of Rijeka)  A complimentary song themed about...well...self explanatory. This footage is from their live DVD "Živa Pička" which was performed in their hometown of Rijeka.  This one is popular with the female fans from Rijeka believe it or not. Like I said before, one has to understand the lyrics and realize it's a complimentary song. For the uncensored version click HERE.


 






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