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utorak, 26. studenoga 2013.

Surf-Rock Band "The Bambi Molesters" Keeping Croatia & Surfing Cool Since 1995

I'm not going to add too much here, all the info is straight off of the bands website. I've been familiar with them for some time and briefly touched upon them on my 67th-anniversary-of-the-bikini post. Their music was recently even featured in the last season of the award-winning American series “Breaking Bad. (Story Here) The surf-rock band, who were formed in 1995 and hail from the town of Sisak, have been a part of the Croatian music scene for 18 years now, as well as touring across Europe. I threw in some vids at the bottom.

(I had to throw in Malaguena first, because it sort of reminds me of what a hitman would be listening to on his earphones on the plane, or bus or car on his way to a hit, like in a Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez movie, you know....Opening credits. He's visualizing doing the hit, a quick paced montage is going on through his head that the viewer is in on while munching on their buttery popcorn with greasy fingers...quick paced colour and black and white close up images that show images of airport people in his semi-mirrored Ray-Bans. (reminiscent of the original Hawaii Five-O opening credits, the newer version is good too but it doesn't have Jack Lord in it, I mean c'mon, it's Jack Lord and his confident look of self-assurance and Clark Gable-esque "you just pissed on your own grave" ambiance). He's practically smelling the spent casings already and deciding which cafe to go to for his cappuccino afterwards, more black and white flashback images of him from the last time he was there, (some waitresses like a big tip slipped in their back jeans pocket when not expecting it),...while walking through the airport he's wondering should he wear jeans or some kind of slacks to the concert later that night?..a hot Lufthansa stewardess winks at him licking her lips, he smiles back, more stewardesses and more smiles, he's in a hurry though, woman arguing and yelling with her husband because he lost the tickets and his shirt has mustard stains, the kids are screaming, he walks to the front doors and starts hailing a cab to his place... did they remember to put the good orange juice in the fridge and where the fuck did he put her telephone number?..the zippo never fails making sure it's lit right the first time...and the smell always reminds him of the smell of spent casings (long sniff..aaaahhhhh)...damn cabs here, suns coming up, good thing I brought my shades, "no thanks lady, I already have accommodations reserved, thanks anyway" he says in the local language.....there's a good band playing at the club that night, then jeans it is..."driver watch out for that old guy crossing the street!"..."I'm not gonna even charge for this shitfuck kreten pusshead, it'll be a pleasure", (a grin on his face as he crosses a name off of a list on a piece of paper with a pen)....time to put on the shades again, the reflection of the flame lighting up his Marlboro cigarette in his Ray-Ban's, "yep, then jeans it is, I'll look up the stewardess later", view from the back of the cab another plane flies upwards into the golden sun and melts away........). Anyway, a bunch of related links to check out also. If you buy their cd your cool factor will automatically go up 10 points, the bands website with more info is

Genesis 6:13..."..and on the eighth day God said... Look Cool & Surf."



Formed in 1995 under the influence of sixties garage and surf classics, Croatia based instrumental combo THE BAMBI MOLESTERS won sympathies of rock critics and underground rock audience with their first album “Dumb Loud Hollow Twang”, released in 1997 by “Dirty Old Town”, a small independent label. The whole album, all 15 original songs were recorded during one unbelievable, only three hours long session. Produced by the legendary Californian surf DJ, Phil Dirt, the album soon went out of print.

Since then the band has regularly been playing all over Europe and their fiery and energetic live performances helped to build their reputation as one of the finest and most original contemporary surf bands. In 1999 the band signed a record deal with Dancing Bear Records to release their second album “Intensity!”. Both, “Intensity!” and “Dumb Loud Hollow Twang” gained positive reviews in music press and were nominated in various categories of Croatian national and independent music awards. During the following couple of years they played with The Cramps, Man or Astroman?, Chrome Cranks, Flaming Sideburns and many more…

The songs from both albums were regularly played on American (KFJC, KFAI, KXLU, WREK, WHUS) and British radio stations (BBC RADIO 1, John Peel). In 1999 they supported R.E.M. for the first time in Koper, Slovenia. In December 2001 The Bambi Molesters released their third album “Sonic Bullets: 13 From the Hip” (Dancing Bear, WMA, Big Beat). This album features Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M.‘s touring band), The Walkabouts frontman Chris Eckman, American singer/songwriter Terry Lee Hale and Speedo Martinez. The album gained excellent reviews in MOJO magazine, UNCUT magazine, Pitchforkmedia etc.

In February 2002 The Bambi Molesters played at the New Zealand festival. One of the six shows they did in Wellington was recorded live and broadcasted by the New Zealand national radio.

First eight months of the year 2003 were spent mostly on the road. They played Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, one of the shows being the Orange Blossom Special — Glitterhouse Records festival in Beverungen. In July The Bambi Molesters supported R.E.M. on three shows of their European tour (Locarno/CH, Wien/A, Wiesbaden/D).

Immediately after the touring stopped the band went to studio to re-record their first album, rearranging some of the songs, and adding bonus tracks. The so-called remake of their out-of-print album titled “Dumb Loud Hollow Twang – Deluxe” was released in December 2003. A bonus DVD featuring documentary about the band, “The Bambi Molesters Backstage Pass”, that includes footage shot 1999-2003 (covering band’s different shows as well as Bambi Molesters’ R.E.M. support act gigs) was exclusively added to this release.

In January 2004 The Bambi Molesters joined forces with Walkabouts’ frontman Chris Eckman and formed “The Strange”. The band worked with Phil Brown (engineer and co-producer) in the Slovenian studio Metro in Ljubljana where they recorded a collaboration album “Nights of Forgotten Films”, released in 2004. Upon release, in Summer 2004 a promo tour took place with special guest Scott McCaughey. Some of the recordings taken live during this tour can be heard on the second The Strange release, “Comin’ Undone” EP, released at the end of the same year.

In Spring and Autumn 2009 the band recorded new songs for the fourth studio album, “As the Dark Wave Swells”. Album was released at the begining of 2010. Highly acclaimed in the music press (Uncut, Q Magazine, Sunday Times, The Sun), the album reaffirmed The Bambi Molesters as one of the most interesting modern instrumental rock combos. Two years of live shows followed, many of them done in the accompaniment of additional musicians (keyboards and brass section) which instigated the idea of recording a live album and doing a concert movie.

This latest release, a double live album “A Night in Zagreb” was released in December 2011. It consists of a double CD & DVD featuring the band’s first concert movie, a music “film noir” account of the show done in March the same year, directed by Marc Littler.

 Malaguena - The Bambi Molesters - Live CD/DVD "A Night In Zagreb".

Theme From Slaying Beauty.

Playing at Trsat (Trsat Castle) in the city of Rijeka.

A selection of songs on the Croatian television program "Garaža".

A behind the scenes look at the band.

Playing a gig in their hometown of Sisak.

četvrtak, 14. studenoga 2013.

What's Up With Those Croatian Stuffed Peppers Anyway? (Punjene Paprike)...

Stuffed Peppers are a hearty dish, of mince meat and rice. Typically served with mashed potato or sometimes rice. (Stuffed Peppers are called "Punjene Paprike" in Croatian)

This is just a quick copy/paste from a website I came across recently. Someone asked me the other day that question again......"What is Croatian food like?"  Then I realized I haven't done a Croatian food related post in well over a year. So it's as good a time now as any. Croatian food can't get much more traditional than punjene paprike. (Pronounced: Poon-yen-eh Pop-rikeh)  Everybody's grandmother's great grandmother's cousins grandmother have been making this for ages, since Croatians first discovered fire and had pots and pans. Italians have spaghetti, Poles have perogies, Germans have bratwurst, Russians have their pelmeni, Swedes have their Swedish meatballs, etc and so on. This is the stuff I grew up on, and when you eat it you will automatically and instantly turn into a Croatian soccer/nogomet player. (It will make your dick strong and able to perform all night, then be able to lift weights in the morning using just your dick muscles, you'll be able to hammer nails with your dick all the while eating more heaping forkfuls of punjene paprike at the same time). I highly recommend it come the colder winter months because it hits the spot just right. When it hits about -30 outside then it's especially time to make punjene paprike, although when it's a hot 30 degrees in the shade, that's a good time too. (I have some good punjene paprike stories, here's a tip, don't go play soccer a half hour after eating a bunch of punjene paprike and lots of mashed potatoes)

"Punjenje Paprike" are very common, and popular, and like a lot of the great tasting traditional recipes, originally started out as peasant food, (This is the case with a lot of great recipes and dishes, using just readily available ingredients found nearby) you know people way back then on the farms and in villages weren't eating too bad at all. (These days people pay a good price for some authentic home-made style punjene paprike). The ingredients are plentiful and easy to grow or find and the recipe is not complicated at all, and the basic recipe has not changed in centuries. Croatia isn't a big country, but it's known for it's regional gastronomy, as well as topography. Stuffed peppers would be very common over the centuries in the countryside of the more northern continental parts, especially around the capital of Zagreb. Coastal areas will obviously eat more fish, shrimp, (škampi na buzara is popular) crab, mussels, oysters and basically various seafood, also more olives, rice and also pasta, and different local cheeses. (there's not many lobsters or shrimp in the rivers in more northern and eastern parts, referred ta as Pannonian or just Continental Croatia). Back then you would eat more of this kind of stuff, stews, stews, cušpajz, roasted meats (pečenka), gulaš, sausages, (lots of different kinds of sausages) ham, different kinds of cold cuts, various smoked meats, definitely more cabbage and potatoes, various other cheeses etc. Each region is also known for their local baked and pastry creations. Croatia has a long, at least a 1500 year history of maritime cuisine since first arriving to ancient Dalmatia, so naturally some of the dishes will be similar to Italian dishes, catching the same seafood from the same sea, same locally grown ingredients. Also, because we were a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire for centuries, there were gastronomical influences there as well, back and forth. Plenty of paprika, pork, lamb and beef used in the northern Slavonia region dishes. (For history buff types who had no clue that we've been eating shrimp and oysters for that long a time, see Here)

Anyway, the below version is pretty standard. Stuffed cabbage/cabbage rolls (sarma) are pretty standard too, and you can even use the same filling. For those you can choose plain cabbage leafs, or the pickled sour kind. I prefer the large sour cabbage leafs because I like them big and with a bit of zing to them. (Those puny store bought meat-like ingredient filled cabbage rolls with the frozen tomato soup on them make me laugh, all perfectly lined up and all looking exactly the same size, shape and colour) My parents would pickle and even make their own sour cabbage specifically for cabbage rolls/saukraut)  Mashed potatoes are pretty standard too with punjene paprike, but there are various ways to change it up, the flavourable sauce (or gravy if you prefer to call it) that is made during the cooking process is what really gives it flavour too. Another good side to go with the stuffed peppers are žganci, or commonly known today as palenta/pura. Throwing in some diced špek/slanina (smoked and cured ham/bacon) into the filling is sometimes done for the non-vegetarian types, or even some shredded cabbage. Heck, you can throw in some diced špek into the potatoes if you want, put some even in your salad or on your dessert if you want, I don't care. You can cheese them up after also. Wine is absolutely mandatory while eating punjene paprike. (Remember to keep a loaded weapon close by while cooking, when people try to come in because they can smell the punjene paprike, a few warning shots at their forehead and whizzing by their ears should be enough to make them change their mind to go home and make their own batch of peppery flavorable meaty goodness, delicious homemade punjene paprike is important than gold). Afterwards, I would recommend having some Knedle sa šljivama (plum dumplings) again, with more wine which is mandatory like I said. You haven't lived yet until you've had some of those that are freshly made and still warm. Now, some people aren't going to like punjene paprike. For instance, vegans are not going to be fans of stuffed peppers, but you can't please everyone, different people have different gastronomical preferences.(Tupac, Biggie and other dead rappers?...they were big anti-punjene paprike people...You know, if they would have ate more home made punjene paprike at home, they'd still probably be here, healthier,.. grillin' the booty bitches, poppin' the fashizzle on the caps at the club more often, dissin' the swaggerin' poopy fucko doop dawgs in the blingin' nikeys in tha southside...etc and so on)  Anyway, if you're not sure about attempting to make a big batch of stuffed peppers just quite yet, especially if you're not familiar around the kitchen and the ingredients, then I highly recommend doing some practice "Punjene Paprike" HERE. Here's more info about Croatian cuisine. Some previous food related posts below also.........

*Btw, Natasha Crnjac, (above) who learned how to cook from her Croatian father, just this past season was runner-up on the American television version series of "Masterchef" on  FOX network. I also updated this post after the fact with an interesting story at the bottom.....

Related previous posts recipe-for-croatian-cevapi-and-cheese-strukle










Stuffed Peppers (Punjene Paprike) Croatian Cooking



Today's expat adventures in cooking, is where I tell you to get stuffed… whoops I mean get stuffing. There are loads of stuffed vegetables that you’ll see dished up here in Croatia. Today you’re being served stuffed peppers or for my Aussie readers, stuffed capsicums.

You’ll find stuffed peppers on offer in Croatia as soon as the peppers are ripe 

In our case, the vegetable garden politely made some available for picking early July.

Every Croatian I know has their own variation on this recipe, and they of course all claim that their way is the best way to makes them. Also, I have come to notice of my years of being in a Croat family that, people have different ways of eating them. Here the the 3 ways that I have identified.


Scoop out the stuffing and leave behind the pepper. This to me is such a waste as the pepper becomes so soft and sweet during the cooking process.


You can slice the Pepper into sections as I do, taking turns to add some mashed potato and sauce with each mouthful.


The most popular way I have seen stuffed peppers eaten is to mash the entire plate, peppers, potatoes, sauce and all into a mushy mess. This way you can shovel the contents much more quickly into your mouth.

Supplementary information: stuffed peppers became especially popular since the 17th century because during the Ottoman Muslim jihads into Europe, (aka the Croatian-Ottoman wars and as part of the Habsburg-Ottoman wars), many areas near the front lines at times didn't have anything but peppers available sometimes. So the early 17th century Croatian soldier's food became more popular later in other places and the popularity of stuffed peppers was born. Different kinds of peppers can be used and the filling can also include rice, and whatever combination amounts preferred of beef, pork and spices. (some people can even have their own special secret recipes with extra ingredients/spices, such as bits of špek/smoked bacon or lamb, more or less meat or rice etc)

I first made stuffed peppers after my Mother-in-Law gave me a cookbook of Croatian Cooking for Christmas, and over the years I have added to and changed up the recipe to my taste.

If you’re going to make them, here are some tips in advance from my kitchen to yours:

These are even better to eat after a few hours or even the next day. I suggest you make these up on a Sunday and then you can enjoy them after a hard day at the office.

If you’re like me and love the flavour of smoked bones, throw some into the pot when you pour in the sauce. Ask your butcher to freshly mince your meat for you – you’ll really taste the difference.

Use a mix of yellow, red or green capsicums. It always looks so nice to see the different colours on the plate. Dig out from the back of your cupboard the largest saucepan you can find. If you don’t have one I suggest you borrow one from your neighbour. In return offer them a pepper and you’ll be friends for life. The wider the pot, the better. That way you won’t need to pile them on top of one another and they’ll be less likely to split and break.

Here is my recipe:

Take 8-10 medium sized peppers, and carefully cut out the top and set aside the as you’ll use this as a lid for the pepper later. Scoop out the insides be sure to remove all of the seeds and any stringy pieces. Wash the lids and peppers and allow them to dry upside down on paper towel while you make the stuffing.

To make the stuffing, add the following ingredients into a large bowl, and use your hands to lightly mix until combined. Make sure the bowl is big enough for you to be able to use your hands to mix it well without spilling it all over the floor (trust me, it happens).

  • 1kg of mince. I prefer 1/2 veal and 1/2 beef
  • A generous pinch of salt and as much pepper as you like
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked ground paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of hot ground paprika (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed dried herbs (optional)
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of soda water or a pinch of bicarbonate soda
  • 2 large cloves of chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup of freshly chopped parsley (I sometimes finely dice up the smaller stems too)
  • 200 grams of any finely diced speck. You can cut this back if you do not like too much of a smokey flavour.

Flip the peppers over and fill them with the stuffing until they are almost full. But do not over fill them. The rice expands during cooking and they’ll burst leaving you a hideous mess in your saucepan. Leave the lids off for the moment.

Arrange the stuffed peppers in the saucepan. It’s better if they are gently packed in so they don’t flip over and don’t squeeze them in so tight, as they’ll bust open when they expand. This may take you you several minutes to do, but trust me it is well worth it at the end when your peppers are not split open.

Add in 2 bay leaves and a stick of celery. No need to chop this, as it’s just for flavour. Set aside, while you make the sauce.

In a separate saucepan on medium heat add

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • And fry 1 finely diced medium onion

Once onions are transparent, add in

  • 2 tablespoons of flour and fry until light brown.

 Add into the pan

  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 litres of home made stock (or water) along with a
  • Pinch of Vegeta and add salt and pepper to your taste

Stir continuously, until the sauce comes to the boil. Turn off and slowly pour over your peppers. Be sure to pour the sauce over each pepper as well as around each one. The sauce should cover the peppers. If it doesn’t, and this can happen, just add in a little more stock or water. If you are adding in smoked bones, pop them in now.

Place the top of the pepper back on, it acts like a mini lid. If you didn’t keep it, it’s okay, nothing bad will happen.

Shake the saucepan just a little, you want to be sure that the sauce is evenly spread. Bring to the boil, and then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for approx 2 hours, occasionally shaking the saucepan. This is important to keep the sauce evenly spread and to stop the peppers from sticking and burning. Add in more water as they cook if you need.

Once ready, allow them to cool a little. They’ll taste better if you can resist temptation. Serve with mashed potato or rice – and if you don’t manage to eat them all in one sitting, you can keep these in the refrigerator for a few days. I can’t say how many days, as they never last that long in my house.

Here are some other wonderful Croatian cooking recipes you may like.

Another recipe with a similar filling but using zucchini instead. If he background music makes you want to play drums with your spoons while stirring, mixing and dicing, feel free to do so.

These are just typical touristy food related vids, but they give a sneak peak of some other traditional Croatian foods.

Croatian Food on the Menu for Eurocrats

Stuffed peppers a big hit in Brussels


European Union bureaucrats this week have been enjoying Croatian cuisine this week in the canteen of the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels…

So what was on the menu for Barroso, Van Rompuy and the rest of the EU staff?

Tuesday: Meat, cabbage

Wednesday: Stuffed peppers (Punjene paprike)

Thursday: Soup, seafood risotto, Fish and blitva (chard), pancakes with chocolate

The stuffed peppers were such a hit that the canteen ran out at 13:00, reports daily Vecernji list.

The Eurocrats in Brussels couldn't get enough of the peppery meaty goodness of them lip-smacking punjene paprike. (and the fucking bastards probably don't even have to even pay for them or they get large subsidies)

petak, 1. studenoga 2013.

Rijeka Timelapse Video By Goran Razic

Well, around here Hallowe'en has come and gone without so much as a boo. Practically deserted around here last night actually, nothing like when I was a kid. We'd be out between 6 and 10 pm and would already have about 2 or 3 full bags by 9 pm. (I did a quick Hallowe'en in Croatia post Here)   Anyway, the news around here lately is all abuzz about the Toronto Mayor smoking crack with his crackstituents story. It's everywhere here. (This related video really puts a tap in your foot too, makes you want to fo shizzle your grill while poppin' caps at the 7-11 hoe's, bling their booty, then go swaggerin' the dissin' ghetto bitchez at the south side in da hood, meet up with dawg and tha homeez to bust some rhymes at the Walmart parking lot then diss the grills at the club, dash a slice like yo wazzup homie g? ..we be goin to smokin' them cracks with the Mayor)  Anyway, it's all over the U.S. networks too, Daily Show, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon Conan O'Brien, David Letterman etc and so on. (Even that highly respected and highest echelon of journalistic investigative publishing...The Hollywood Reporter)  He's even made the news on the other side of the pond, in jolly ol' fish and chips eating Londontown, and even Croatia included. A genuine European table talk news item while passing the salt and pepper.  I've got plenty of these similar types of stories I could share, and it proves my point which I've mentioned before and it's just one of numerous examples that at times being a fucko lasts well after highschool around here in many cases. (Not surprisingly, his approval rating has gone up about 5% since the news first came out, which goes to show you that Toronto has lots of crackstituents I guess)

On that note and the topic of videos, I came across this piece by chance and was not even looking for anything. It's another one of those cool timelapse videos. I've done a few posts previously about Croatian locations and timelapse videos, there's some really cool and creative stuff out there. (post links below) Time consuming and tedious is an understatement with these types of videos, but the final effect is usually pretty cool. Like the other ones, this one from the city of Rijeka does not disappoint either. It's cool looking at some of the views and seeing the places I've been to. Great memories.It was awesome walking around, catching up with some people, and not bumping into crackstituents as mentioned earlier. (Trust me, It's really not a fo shizzle grill poppin' nigger/wigger or crackstituent infested city at all, not even 1 Walmart either, which means better shopping experiences. You know that whole drug den and crack hooker scenario in the alleyways and those "apartments" above the convenience store or laundry mats? those are non-existent) It partly shows why the famous French fashion house Lanvin decided to even design and name a high heel shoe after the city. (Post Here)  Some other previous Rijeka related posts at the very bottom also. If you've been to Rijeka before, then you will know what I mean and like this one as much as I do. Izvolite....

(The related miss-rijeka-2013-poses-playboy, timelapse-guca and timelapse-panorama-serbia-video might also be of interest)

Related posts: pulse-of-city-zagreb-timelapse-video




Rijeka in motion by Goran Razic (video)


Professional photographer Goran Razic set out on a project to promote Rijeka in a unique way. He decided to use his photographs and some video footage to create a stunning timelapse video to showcase the city’s culture, music, sports and landscape. His video called “Rijeka — City in Motion” contains about 40,000 images from 65 different locations from around the city, which were taken over the period of a year and half from April 2012 to October 2013.

Check out Razic’s timelapse video below and find him online here and on Facebook here.

I recommend viewing in the full screen option below, it's much better .

I thought this was interesting enough to throw in here too, a depiction of Rijeka made in 1689. One can see how the port city looked and has changed over the centuries, Trsat castle is shown overlooking the settlement below and featured in the video as well.

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And The Croatian City To Be A European Capital of Culture In 2020 Will Be...(Drum Roll).....Rijeka

Yep, I know it's still 2 years away and I already covered this topic last year when it was announced, but I added a few extra imag...