The Peculiar Rambo Amadeus

When I travel outside North America, I’m always pleasantly surprised by the new perspective that the foreign English-language media affords me. I’m referring here mostly to the BBC, but also to the International Herald Tribune and European versions of newspapers like The Wall Street Journal.

It was in the Journal (reading a fascinating article about smoking in Serbia–subscription required) that I first learned about the awesomely named Rambo Amadeus. He’s a Serbian-Montenegrin rock star of some renown. From Wikipedia:

His songs combine satirical lyrics on the nature of common people and silliness of local politics. He uses a mixture of musical styles (converging towards drum and bass in later works, but involving a lot of turbo-folk elements in earlier songs), and self-conscious ironic wit (for example, one of his aliases is “Rambo Amadeus Svjetski Mega Car” (RASMC) — “Rambo Amadeus World Mega Emperor”). His scene name itself is made from John Rambo and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Known also as a “charming king of jovial pop”, his concerts are never mere repetitions of recorded songs, but a mixture of musical improvisation and humor exploiting all aspects of human nature in a crude manner. Some fans compare his style and career path with those of Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart.

Here’s his official site where you can here some of his music and this page hosts a video interview, assuming you speak Serbian.

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