Duga nota (The Long Note) is a radio show aired every fourth 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). Other information regarding the project (either the book, or the radio show) can be found at the FB page Duga nota.
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 to 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. Only segments from the book read by Robert Šantek, Dubravk Bratoljić and Antonija Vrčić can be linger more then couple of minutes. 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 9 Šentilj (Border crossing): Black music is the basis of rock music, and the idioms of jazz, blues and rap form the backbone of a cultural upheaval that elevated both black and white music to the status of the most significant social movement of the twentieth century. The interweaving of blues, rock, rap and jazz has taken place in many location, at various unexpected moments that we will seek to illustrate throughout the ninth episode of the Long Note radio show. Black Sabbath’s music is deeply rooted in blues, a feature that was missed by most of the fans who haven’t followed them since their first album. Their interest in jazz from the time they played as Earth did last until their last album with Ozzy. We will illustrate what a tremendous impact that has had on younger musicians, both white and especially black, in a series of songs in which hip-hop, rap and DJ performers have paid tribute to this influence by sampling Black Sabbath songs. Unexpected role changes, such as the one in which African-American jazz singer Cassandra Wilson sings a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell called Black Crow, which is in the original recording played by white jazz virtuoso Jaco Pastorius on bass, and whose version of Paul McCartney and Beatles’ cover song Blackbird we will listen are but some examples of the racial inversions that characterize twentieth-century music culture. Finally, the Black Sabbath concerts I first saw with my friends as a sixteen-year-old and the one I saw with my sixteen-year-old son are a circle that closed at the Šentilj border crossing I used to cross as a communist country citizen afraid of police and customs controls, and the open Schengen border between EU member states symbolically symbolizes the role of rock in creating free societies in Europe.
Apple Music Playlist 9 Šentilj (Border Crossing) Join the FB page Duga nota.
Episode 8 The Bangs and the Split (Šiške i razdjeljak): The Bangs and The Split is an episode dedicated to prog music, which intrigued me enough to start listening to it as a kid. I simultaneously loved it and neglected it due to my interest in other music directions, primarily hard rock and psychedelia. A friend I met at Big Ben disco club was a big fan, and when he invited me home to listen to the albums of the prog bands he loved, I was pleased. Indeed, on this occasion, I learned a lot about bands and records that I had not listened to before. I remember the occasion primarily after one short episode in which I realized that members of the rock counterculture were not really different from people who belonged to conservative culture. Specifically, during our listening, the question arose as to why I was wearing my long hair with bangs, while apparently in the prog scene, in the opinion of a friend of mine, they needed to wear their hair to the partition. Although I remember this story on the realization that people who are considered liberal are potentially just as intolerant as conservative people, the music itself inspired me. I conceived this episode musically by playing a more radio program. I joked in preparation that it was a pop track, to which a friend who loved the prog replied that it was a perfect contradiction. Hopefully, listeners who know less about prog rock will therefore find it more accessible. Whichever way you turnb it, the heavenly beauty of this music will surprise you, especially if you think that prog is about nerdy macho overplaying and needlessly complex musical exressions.
Apple Music Playlist – Šiške i razdjeljak (The Bangs and The Split) Join the FB page Duga nota.
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 deeper cuts from that remarkable period.
Apple Music Playlist – Domaći u Čudnoj šumi (Home in Enchanted Forrest) Join the FB page Duga nota.
Episode 6 Sur, sura, sundari: Music-wise this is my model show, a blend of genres and geographical diversity of music shows how far music can take you. Sur, sura, sundari is sanskrit for music, women and wine. In rock music we used to refer to this same hendiatris as sex, drugs and rock and roll. All three are only 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!
Apple Music Playlist – Sur, sura, sundari (Music, Women, Wine) Join the FB page Duga nota.
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.
Apple Music Playlist – Suhi led (Dry Ice) Join the FB page Duga nota.
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.
Apple Music Playlist – Distorzija (Distortion) Join the FB page Duga nota.
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.
Apple Music Playlist – Bubnjevi, basevi, bombe (Drums, basses, bombs) Join the FB page Duga nota.
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.
Apple Music Playlist – Zoom Join the FB page Duga nota.
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.
Apple Music Playlist – Bluebook Join the FB page Duga nota.
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.
Join the FB page Duga nota.
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 as it is one of my favorite playlists:
Apple Music Playlist – 20:02