In the era of the Internet and sites like Yelp (a site where users can leave reviews for locals) and social media, everyone can visit some place and become its critic. In that spirit, the author of this text appears in the role of “not so much a critic” as far as “a typical text by Bert Stein in which he talks about music, culture and the past, and through that prism, he makes a parallel with the present,” but that title is certainly boring and long, and therefore forget about it!
What did I actually want to tell you about? About the fact that in the last days I often go to the Rock Bar Krug, which for some reason (the four letters, the sign, the atmosphere, the music!? …) I often mistakenly call “Dors” (derived from Doors), a magical place known to the older alternatives of 90s of the past century in Skopje. Of course, those who follow my writings know that they are nostalgic after that era, so do not expect this to be different!
In the 90s in Skopje there were many places where alternative youth could be found like Baghdad-cafe, Dors, Dzadzo, 21, to New Age, ZZ, Music Garden, Energy, SF and others, today these places are rare, but also alternative people in Skopje are also rare. Perhaps partly because of the hypster movement in which tattoos became fashion, which in itself is paradoxical, because fashions are transient, and tattoos are permanent. Long hair in the 90s meant insurrection, disregard for things, differentiation and someone rarely decided to shave his scalp under the long hair, and when he did, he was an incarnation of Phil Anselmo from Panthera. Today, any “turbofolk” person (in terms of behavior and attitudes towards life, not necessarily in relation to the music he is listening to) can grow a beard, make a Man Bun and get tattooed. Today, children in elementary school (seen by the author of the text, even in the third grade), paint their hair blue, and in the 90s this meant reprimanding or being thrown away from high school. In my works, my adventures with professors and the director of the gymnasium “Josip Broz Tito” have already been recorded, just because I had long hair, and I will not write about that topic again. But times are changing and I would not like to sound like someone who is afraid of the changes. I am glad that we are up to date with the world trends, although it only applies to hairstyles, and I hope that through that our art, science or ecology will be influenced also. But let’s not turn in a circle (krug) and move to the point.
In the “Krug” (Circle) on the upper floor there is a beautiful long wooden table without legs, tilted to the walls, like I have always dreamed of having at home, and a some of my texts (like this one!) was created on it. I do not know why, but when I sit in a café, creativity flows out from me like an unstoppable river, and I just follow it, I let myself to the flow without resistance. Often I wonder what is motivating me to create when I am surrounded by sounds and movements, when in a life contrary to that, I search for loneliness, withdrawal and like to be left alone with my thoughts.
Yes, life requires harmony and balance, if we want to be creative and productive individuals for ourselves and for the society. But, it seems to me that I (we) need good music as a background or a kind of “soundtrack” of life. Without it, life would really be empty, and the music in “Circle” will take you to the grunge and punk rock of the 90’s through Nirvana, Green Day, GNR, The Cranberries, REM, Lenny Kravitz, but also back to rock sound the 80s with Joan Jett, AC/DC, U2 or 70’s and the psychedelic or hard-rock tones of The Doors, Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Queen and others. And while the solo guitar in Whola Lotta Love “cuts through” the air inside the café, outside the pollution in the Aerodrom is at its maximum. Nothing new, right. It seems to me that this is the normal state of affairs in our little country. It is our reality with which we live, whether we like it or not. Of course I’m talking about pollution, not about the good music.
“Circle” is a place for lovers of real music, wtih kind waiters, a macchiato for 60 denars (1 euro), custom made for the people’s pocket. For the rest I leave the “pop” cafés and their expensive coffees – I hope the word has not lost meaning in the past decades, and formerly meant “non-alternative”, “conformists”, “those who listen to popular music”. Besides the things listed, when you visit the “Circle”, the upper large table the irresistible, always present and as great as the Bible, “Course in General Chemistry” (1965) in Bulgarian will welcome you as well. But what is the relationship between chemistry and music? As chemistry, physics and biology teach us, circling things in nature is an important thing and without it there would be no living world, so in human society it is necessary to replace old things with new ones. Grunge, plaid shirts and tangled long hair with should be replaced with Man Buns and hypster tattoos, and that’s natural and necessary. But as fashion and music periodically go backwards to go forward, through the so-called retro styles, it is also necessary for young people to know about the different times, attitudes and the ways of living. We can call it a circle of things in culture if we want it to live and be fruitful. My mission as a writer is to do it through my works and I rejoice when there are places like “Circle” to remind us of the different music and atmosphere of clubs from the previous decades, because modern life sometimes blinds us with its speed and sometimes it’s necessary to stop, reduce the speed to 45, and look around us. And then we may become aware that the LP turns into “Circle”!
Dec 12, 2018