Not your ordinary bouzouki music

040310_rgcdgreece.jpgWhen you think of Greek music its hard to get past the bouzouki licks popularized in movies like Zorba the Greek in the late sixties. Yet the diverse cultural forces of east and west that collide in Greece have spawned a very wide range of unique Greek musical styles that were rarely heard outside the country and the Greek diaspora. They include mainland demotika, nisiotika island music, popular laika, folksy entechna and the blues-like rembetika as well as pop and rock styles that incorporate traditional elements.

The Rough Guide to Music of Greece is a good starting point to sample this wide range of Greek music. This compilation CD will reward adventurous listeners with a 21 songs from some of the best-known Greek musical artists including Stelios Kazantzidis, Sotiria Bellou, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Mikis Theodoakis and Glykeria (listen to an MP3 clip from Glykeria's Piga Se Magisses).

This disc is also an enhanced CD that can be viewed on PC and Mac computers and includes information on Greek music and travel from the Rough Guide books. Here is a snippet from the Rough Guide to World Music on the music of Greece that's included on the Rough Guide to Music of Greece:

Greek music, like most aspects of the country, is a fortuitous mix of east and west. The older songs of the folk (or dhimotiká) tradition are invariably in Eastern-flavoured minor scales, with antecedents both in Byzantine religious chant or secular song, and in Turkish and Iranian music through the centuries of Ottoman rule. The flavour of the Orient is even more immediately evident in the blues-like rembétika music, which had its heyday in the 1920s and '30s, and has been revived at various intervals since.

The discography from The Rough Guide to World Music for the music of Greece is also available online.

Posted on March 10, 2004 in Entertainment, Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Celebrity Olympics

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is the first high-profile celebrity to accept an invitation to be a torchbearer of the Olympic Flame in the final stage of its international relay around five continents. In her acceptance letter to organizers Jolie wrote that "I would consider it an honour to run with the Olympic torch as a gesture of hope for refugees and to express my active support for sport and world peace" and noted that "the preferred time for me to run would be 1800 or 1900 hours."

Jolie starred as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider action movies, the second of which was partially filmed on the Greek island of Santorini. In the fall she will be seen in Oliver Stone's swords-and-sandals epic Alexander.

Posted on March 5, 2004 in Entertainment, Olympics | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Let the games begin

040301_archeryps2From the left-hand doesn't know what the right-hand is doing department. A two year old ban on computer gaming in internet cafes continues to be enforced by police in Greece, despite it being thrown out out as unconstitutional in a string of court decisions. One net cafe owner, whose establishment was raided twice by police in January, wonders why had to spend a night "in jail with a drug dealer". Maybe its because their customers are both known as users. More from Yahoo! News

On a related video gaming note, Sony has announced that the Athens 2004 Playstation 2 game is due for release in July 2004.

Posted on March 1, 2004 in Entertainment | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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