Ring my Belgrade – Ben Blackwell chronicle’s his band’s trek through Serbia and Croatia.
As I watched the crowd sing along and go apeshit, the main thing going through my head was this: “How do our records get over here?”
Aleksander explained that there are no independent record distributors in the former Yugoslavia. They get indie records through mail-order from the United States or Europe (very rare) or Internet downloads and CD-R’s (the more popular choices). In post-Communist countries, it’s hard for someone to justify paying 10 Euros (about $13 U.S.) for a CD that they can get for free. If that “illegal” alternative wasn’t an option, there wouldn’t have been 300 people bouncing uncontrollably and begging for encores.
Put that in your crackpipe and smoke it, RIAA!