How did you get your break? My first break, after playing the local Balkan stuff in the hood, you know, was playing a klezmer gig. That was what broke me. That was with Harold Seletzky. He brought me to a whole other world. Up  until then I was stuck in Ridgewood. Harold Seletzky is no longer around, but he was a ...

Much has been made of the similarities between Balkan Beats and punk rock. There are, admittedly, a few parallels. Serbian kafana behavior, whereby drunken bećari (revelers on a spree) smash glasses, furniture and sometimes other people, is in some sense essentially punk in attitude. And there is a certain live-for-the-moment outlook in much Balkan Gypsy music that also parallels the ...

Robert Soko: We are about to compose a book in the next year or two. Something similar to “Please Kill Me”. Robert Rigney: The Balkan version. Robert Soko: Yes, the Balkan version. Let’s say thirty years of Balkan mayhem.  Billy Gould: Cool. Robert Soko: And we are trying to get in touch with everyone who has something to say, on a bigger scale and ...

Gino Srđan Jevđević is the lead singer and founder of Kultur Shock, a multicultural Balkan-style rock band that blends certain Bosnian oriental melodies and folk elements with a hard-rock and punk sensibility. Kultur Shock, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, and has 11 albums under its belt, is commonly described as a Seattle based “Gypsy punk band”. The label essentially ...