Not Everybody Loves ‘Smyrneiko Minore’
As we told you on Saturday, longtime CP reporter Jason Cherkis profiled Baltimore vinyl purveyor Ian Nagoski in this week's Washington Post Magazine. I'll admit that I stopped reading the story for a few minutes to check out "Smyrneiko Minore," the song by Greek singer Marika Papagika that changed Nagoski's life. My initial reaction? It's spare and strange, yet beautiful. But if you look at the comments on the YouTube page for the video above, you see some positives ("Such piercing, haunting simplicity and directness") and comments like this:
I too am sorely disappointed. Yes, Papagika's voice has a lot of pain and emotion in it, but she does sound like an irritating peasant vendor on this track; and the lack of melody does little to help with her vocals. Talk about anti-climatic.
Apparently Ian Nagoski described it as tear- stained" but this didn't bring a tear to my eyes in the slightest. What a let- down...
I just don't get it. ... was expecting something more lyrical, operatic. Maybe it was the hollowness of those primitive recordings, but she sounds like some fishwife wailing in a market bazaar...
What, exactly, were people expecting? Caruso?