Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fatmire Breçani | Fatmire Breçani

Freshly reupped here.

[Originally posted January 8, 2012.]

As I said in an earlier post, there are two kinds of shop keeps: Those who are thrilled to find someone besides their usual customers combing through their tapes and CDs and those who--

Every single guy who works in the Albanian bodega on Church Avenue a few blocks from my apartment is friendly, helpful and talkative--until you ask about the music on the wall behind them.

"Thees museek NOT for you."

[extreme sarcasm] "What you like? You speak Albanian, yes?" [/extreme sarcasm]

"I don't know thees music. You don't know? I don't know."

[extreme disgust] "Just tell me WHEECH one." [/extreme disgust]

"I cannot halp you."

Given the looks some of these guys would give me, you would think I was asking them which hand to use when wiping my ass with pages from the Koran. So, how, then, did I ever manage to amass my SuperPosse of Albanian pop CDs, given this gauntlet?

I'm not altogether sure. I know I faked it a couple of times:

"No--I really--[cough]--I especially like Dava [mumbles unpronounceable last name], do you have anything else by her?"

I even tried telling the truth now and then:

"I just--I LOVE music from around the WORLD ... including Albania."

I know nothing about Fatmire Breçani other than she has one of the most powerful voices I've ever heard. And I've put her song "Ani Rushe Ruxhes Kush O Ma Ka Pa" (the 4th track on the playlist above) on nearly every mix-tape CD I've ever made anyone.

I haven't, though, been back to the Albanian bodega since well before Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Maybe they've chilled out a bit since then?


peter said...

haha, i know just the place you mean! and i have had exactly the same experience.. any questions about jam, tea, sweets, etc. are answered with a smile, but ask about those cds and it's all over!
thanks for sharing, gary!

tim abdellah said...

Man, your Albanian posts are rocking my world! Many thanks, and happy new year!

Gary said...

Hey, comments from two of my music blog heroes.

Peter, thank you for basically assuring me that I'm not crazy. I forgot that you live in that general neighborhood. I'm now getting my Albanian stuff from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, which is closer to my place in Astoria than Church Ave, Brooklyn. Plus, the store owners are really nice there. I don't know what's ups with those guys on Church Ave.

Tim, I've got a lot more I'll upload soon, and glad you're liking this stuff. (Just don't tell the guys on Church Ave.)

Holly said...

Your story is hilarious, & the cd is great! Does anyone know anything about Ms. Breçani?

Gary said...

Wow, another music blog hero.

Holly, first, I've wanted to tell you, because of your URL, that I went to high school in Hollister, California. It's very weird to see everyone with their Hollister T-shirts everywhere in NYC. If they only knew what a dump Hollister is! (It was the city where The Wild Ones was filmed.)

Unfortunately, there's nothing about Fatmire on the web in English. Not that I could find, anyway. That said, when I first posted this last year, I started to get a bunch of hits for some reason, and looking at the searches that brought people here, it seemed as though she might have won some sort of international Grammy-type award for the year. But I was never able to find any info about that, despite all of the searches for her name + whatever that award was that led people to my blog.

øשlqæda said...

so boss. fanx a rot

Gary said...

Yet another music blog hero!

Wor relcome, Owl!

arctoeric said...


Your "Sisters Swim" comp. has changed my life. Really.

Can it really get better than Motrat Mustafa's "Mos Me Thuaj Mirdita", or Fatmire Breçani's "Ani rushe rexhen", or ...

or this:


So, a favor: Could you re-up Dava Gjergji? And if those Albanian shopkeepers (hostile or otherwise) have pointed you to other CDs I need to hear, post them? Pretty-please?


ps: I can't bear to call these singers "turbo folk". That stuff is banal, commercial, sex-obsessed dross. These Albanians are clearly doing something very different.

Fattoxxon said...

Magnificent. Thank you!!!

Mikey B. said...

Do you happen to own a copy of Fatmira Brecani's "Dasme e Madhe"? Other than randomly posted videos on Youtube I cannot find any other information about her discography on the internet.