Mustafa Daka (The Brokedowns)
SPB:Are there any Albanian bands you’d recommend?
Daka: Unfortunately, Albania hasn't produced much in the way of rock, metal or thrash bands. There are a few that I'm like, "Yeah, these guys aren't so bad..." but that's kinda like when you go to Big Lots and you buy a turntable/cassette player in a box that looks like it was made in 1944 for $60 because everything else in there blows. I can't talk too much shit about their pop music since my distant cousin is like Albania's Christina Aguilera.
Anyway, I'm a sucker for traditional Albanian music. Look up "Vaske Curri." Great stuff. You have to listen to it. I don't know what I find soothing about the haunting, in-and-out-of-tune drawn out harmonies. Maybe it's because it reminds me of when I realized my people were unique and out of the ordinary or maybe it reminds me of my mom when she laughed at the way my dad's face looked when he was crying when he listened to this music. I get my sour crying face from my dad. It's an awful face. He's an emotional guy. I get that from him, too. When traditional Albanian music gets played, you got a maximum of 20 seconds before my dad breaks into "awful cry face." Minimum 5 seconds. Specifically the song, “Kenga per Laver Bariun,” which translates to "Shepard Song for Laver." Beautiful song. Might not be your thing, though. It's an acquired taste. I speak a little Albanian on the new Brokedowns album. It's more like Albanglish, though. Maybe I can convince the dudes to do a whole album of songs in Albanian. Then we can be added to the pile of mediocre Albanian bands nobody has ever heard of.