Duga nota (The Long Note) is a radio show aired every third Saturday from 9 to 11 PM at the Yammat.fm radio station in Zagreb, Croatia. The show is actually a musical rendition of the manuscript for the book Duga nota (The Long Note) I’ve written during 2018 and 2019, to be published in 2020. Every episode is a loose interpretation of the content of a single chapter in the book.
Below are the links to all of the Duga nota episodes aired at the Yammat.fm radio thus far. Yammat.fm uploads the shows to their channel at the MixCloud platform where they are directly searchable under its name (Duga nota) or by my own name (Mladen Vukmir).
I will be adding the links here below as the shows are made available by the radio station. I will be accompanying each link below with a link to the Apple music playlist I create in the preparations for each episode. For some of the shows there will be significantly more tracks in the playlist than aired so you can explore and enjoy more music. Those bonus tracks are the songs I have considered in preparing the shows, but could not be squeezed into the two hour format.
I will be also posting the summaries that I prepare for each episode as it is posted on the Stražarni lopov blog. The summaries are also partially available in the MixCloud descriptions posted by the radio station. This blog post is intended to reach the English speaking listeners, so all the summaries are translated into English.
Finally, although the radio show is conducted in Croatian language, Duga nota is first and foremost a music program and music dominates spoken segments by far. I therefore trust that all of you can enjoy it as it is played, regardless of the language. An American friend, keen on music, said after listening to the show: Mladen – Speaking honestly, that’s one of the best rock and roll radio programs I’ve ever heard – truly great selection of tunes – really wide range of stuff. Now if I only could understand Croatian.
Following are the MixCloud links to the episodes of the show:
Episode 7 Home in Enchanted Forrest (Domaći u Čudnoj šumi): Home in Enchanted Forest is an episode dedicated to the fifth chapter of the book Duga nota (Long Note), in which I reminisce on the time of my discovery of local rock music. Domaći are best translated as Domesticals (rather than Home) and are mythical literary creatures introduced by the writer Ivana Brlić Mažuranić in her fables, and Čudna šuma is an early song by YU Grupa which showed me how powerful local rock can be. As a deer that first saw reflection of its eyes in the placid surface of the lake, many kids, after exploding enthusiasm for world-wide, mostly English or American rock, shyly spotted local people, neighbors and fellow citizens playing rock music in the garages and clubs down the street. There were a lot of bands around the corner, and best of all, they sounded just as good as their idols. Even if they did not have such good equipment or have had as much experience as foreign bands, they compensated for it with being close and talking of recognizable problems and fantasies. The rock scene of the former federation where we grew up was unusually rich, inspired, and the scope of production was enormous. Let’s listen to some of the bigger hits and some of the deep cuts from that remarkable period. Apple music playlist – Domaći u Čudnoj Šumi (Home in Enchanted Forrest)
Sur, sura, sundari; music, women and wine; sex, drugs and rock and roll is a hendiatris describing human celebration of creative and bodily pleasures. Tonight we have played the music by the rock holy and unholy trinities, the apex of pyramid of the rock pantheon, while acknowledging that each and every rock fan will have their own trinity of the rock’s greatest. From Indian music to jazz rock, via folk, blues and rock this episode of Duga nota is all about music. Enjoy!
Episode 5 Dry Ice: Flashing reflectors, mightily loud PA, naked torsos and long hair sticky from sweat were to be glimpsed through the smoke. The very first concert I saw live in my life predetermined me to love rock music. The Suhi led chapter recalls the sheer power of stage presence which only a few in our generation were able to resist. This was a period of rock culture when the audience participated in the concerts together with the bands, and in which the live albums were recorded so as to capture this participation by the audiences. In the fifth episode of the Duga nota show we listen to the live albums from the period of the most intense period of the rock music influencing and determining the social currents. These happen to be the albums that have recorded some of the greatest moments of live rock music.
Episode 4 Distortion: Distorzija is a chapter of the Duga nota book in which I recall the first single records that had a strong effect in pulling me into rock music’s spell and have apparently predestined me for love of distorted sound. Today, I understand that the musicians, by using distortion thought us all that using deconstruction and destruction is the most pleasurable way to go about reconstructing social relations. This became clear from their own methods of sound destruction which achieved passion and novelty. The geography of rock saw a brief homage to the capital of distortion – Detroit.
Episode 3 Drums, basses, bombs: Bubnjevi, basevi, bombe is the first chapter of the Duga nota book. In the show’s third episode we listen to a fast-forward (hi)story of rock. From the very outset of the Twentieth century it was easily visible that, in difference to the European elite forms of pictorial and sculptural, musical and theater art, this new culture based on the African music is profoundly popular. These popular new music formats, spreading out New Orleans throughout the USA, and soon afterwards, in the American bombs footsteps in the Second World War, gave rise to a music powered culture that started spreading all over the World. This culture, however, remained strongly tied to its roots in popular culture and as such, has successfully reached many more people, most of them young members of the baby boom generation. In this show we only listen not only to the history of rock, we also explore its geography by visiting New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and rock music.
Episode 2 Zoom: The prologue of the Duga nota book called Zoom asks the question whether rock holds any future and, if so, what could it be? The second episode of the show, with music from Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave i Elton John, tries to triangulate the past, the present and the future of rock, seeking for an answer to this question. Along the way we discover that very often, the epic and imposing structure of rock stems out of the simplicity and very basic elements, so that the melodramatic grandeur often achieved is not that far removed from the humble simplicity of the blues that actually also encompasses it.
Episode 1 Bluebook: The first episode, entitled Bluebook took us back to the present of 1974. and 1975, when the kids plugged in almost two decades of the history of rock through heavy metal, prog i glam rock and started exploring the rock counterculture. We have also visited a hospital where we found ageing kids still hooked on rock music. A lot of memories surge back when we peek into our youth and some songs still hold a lot of meaning almost half a century after we herd them for the very first time. Bluebook is the episode retelling the introduction to the Duga nota book by music. First 2 minutes and 30 seconds are a spoken dedication to late Alen Balen who died on the eve of the show’s original launch date of March 30. This was pushed for a week in the wake of this tragedy and the show launched on April 6, 2019.
I hope this picture of myself and Bota (to my left, i.e. to your right) at Džamija approx. 1976, close to our high school, shows how much we were part of the rock culture. Not only it is visible here, it is almost palpable. I sewed the round yellow Woodstock patch onto my jeans jacket myself. The photo was taken by Leo Knežić and we are apparently watching someone playing guitar.
Finally, I have been invited as a guest DJ to a 20:02 program at the Yammat.fm radio before I have started preparing the Duga nota show. I did, however, already hold a similar approach and have selected some deep cuts from the contemporary rhythm and blues scene. I hope you will enjoy that too: