No, this isn’t Ron Jeremy

It’s Ferenc Santa, Jr., the virtuoso lead violinist and Artistic Director for the Hungarian National Gypsy Orchestra, who blew through Ljubljana Saturday afternoon for a concert on the central Preseren Square. A fantastic concert – a foot-stompin’ and hip-swayin’ good time had by all.

Founded in the mid-1990s, the orchestra’s far-reaching repertoire includes classical compositions to traditional Roma music, and quite a few things in between. There are quite of few performances on the web. A good place to start is on the Slovenian blog GLASBAtorij, which has video and recordings of a rehearsal posted just prior to the orchestra’s visit here a year ago. I’ve got about a dozen more pics here.

Saturday’s concert was part of a full evening slate to celebrate Radio Student‘s 41st anniversary. Happy birthday y’all!

Hungarian National Gypsy Orchestra 04, originally uploaded by pirano.

November pic(k)s

Thrilled I finally got to watch, listen to and dance along with Youssou N’Dour last month! This was taken at the Salle des Etoiles in Monaco, probably my favorite pic shot in November. Here he was singing this. A few more shots of the Senegalese legend are here.

The rest of my nearly-dandy dozen from the month, shot in Monaco, Milan, Venice and Ljubljana, are here.

Previous pic(k)s of the month: [Oct 09] [Sep 09] [Aug 09] [Jul 09] [Jun 09] [May 09] [Apr 09] [Mar 09] [Feb 09] [Jan 09] [2008]

Youssou N’Dour 09, originally uploaded by pirano.

Happy birthday Prešeren!

France Prešeren, Slovenia’s most famous poet and writer, would have been 209 today. Above is a pair enjoying a mid-afternoon snooze last Spring in the square in Ljubljana which bears his name. Words and phrases he molded form Slovenia’s national anthem, a sing-along most consider a drinking song.

So, in the name of Prešeren, who lived to be  just a few years older than Elvis, let’s praise and remember good song writing.

Ljubljana 0154, originally uploaded by pirano.

Nineteen Eighty-Four turns 25

For the first time in a long while, I listened to the Eurythmics soundtrack for the film 1984 last night, and it struck me how much it really sounded like 1984. The beats and rhythms, the synthesizers the electric drums.

Released 25 years ago this month, a squabble (or misunderstanding) with director Michael Radford kept 98 percent of the music out of the film. And it’s too bad since this was probably the Eurythmics’ best album. I caught the tour the following summer when they passed through Cleveland. The opener was Sex Crimes with Annie Lennox beautifully screaming “sex sssex sex” as she walked out of a giant zipper that was stretched across the front of the stage.

Below is I Did It Just the Same, which refers to Winston Smith’s sex crime. Also check out Julia, Doubleplusgood, and Room 101.