Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Attempts to reach AZIS: 'unsuccessful'
In November 2005, Bulgarian asteroid spotters found a new one and promptly named it for AZIS, a roaringly androgynous 'gypsy singer' that has captivated, and antagonized, Bulgarian audiences this decade. This evening, as Bulgaria tips off its Martenitsa celebration*, FBO Admin squirmed its way into Sofia's VIAD Club -- through a hierarchy of black-suited security (one, quite unprompted, told FBO Admin's future: 'you well have a very good year, though the summer may be a bit rocky'), a manager in a acid-washed leather jacket, and a gold-chain balding goon. FBO Admin, with assistance of Mr Assen of Sofia, waited from midnight to 1.05am for Azis to arrive to discuss failed bands, and ways to garner press for them. The manager confided, 'Azis is a very strange man... it's totally up to him if you can get an interview.'
Azis' music chalga, or 'folk pop' music, is known for borrowed melodies -- often Indian-sounding by way of Serbia and Turkey -- and also for its dumb lyrics (tonight's sample: 'we win, we lose... either way we get drunk, we're Bulgarians!'). Many many Bulgarians have bitterly complained about it with FBO Admin, yet it remains the nation's most popular music. Tonight's warm-up performance played for a 20% capacity audience, in a pillared basement club with adjoining brothel named 'AMAZONE.' Around the five-inch high stage women strolled in 'belly dancer' outfits, while the leopard-skin attired singer and totally bored bass player slouching on a chair joined an ambitious synth player. It was hard to tell who did/didn't work for the club, as scantily clad women beckoned would-be clients into Amazone, and men in ties walked briskly on the marble entry tiles as purple strobes flashed. Heavily synthesized beats raged, and more heels clicked marble, and it became clear to FBO Admin and Mr Assen of Sofia that Azis' appearance was getting later and later, and likelihood of FBO contact smaller and smaller. Concession to defeat was made at 1.05am. Apologies to FBO Members and FBO fans.
In other news, FBO Admin conscripted a new Sofia band, tentatively entitled OHIO SUKKERS to 'write lyrics,' 'make a photo,' and 'plan a stage show (perhaps with puppets).' One member promised to have something by March 10 to debut on the FBO website.
Mobile HQ: Sofia, Bulgaria
* In March, Bulgarians exchange bits of red-and-white yarn, often made into figures, to friends and family, who must wear them until they see a stork and then tie it onto a tree. Stork shortages around Bulgaria are creating intense anxiety this March.
Posted by Robert Reid at 1:50 AM