She Was So Pretty

Although it got off to a horrifying start, 2011 ended up treating us pretty well—good enough, in fact, that we're going to indulge in some uncharacteristic optimism. So in a few hours, with a glass of cheap champagne in hand and Dick Clark's slack, dead face on the television, we here at The Little Black Egg will resolve to wriggle like a fucking eel in 2012.

Now, I wanted to talk a little bit about the above 7", which after years of looking I finally scored for a reasonable price. I tend to shy away from collecting olden punk singles for the simple reasons that they are usually extraordinarily expensive, and I am not of the financial posture to drop over a hundred bucks on a piece of plastic. My copy of this thing is pretty ragged, however, and the previous owner appears to have added up a restaurant bill on the back in blue ballpoint pen; thusly, even a miser like me could throw down for it.

Pekinška Patka were one of the first punk bands in Serbia, and were fronted by a high school teacher named Nebojša Čonkić. Their early singles and first album are great—although like too many of their ilk, once money and recognition hit these guys they transformed into something else by their second album (in this case, palatable postpunks). Some people like their postpunk stuff, but as far as I'm concerned, the early singles and 1st LP are what count here. In their prime, Pekinška Patka were catchy playful without being annoying, and their songs are undeniably infectious—they're like the super-fun friend who everyone invites to their parties. Bila je Tako Lijepa was their third single, a cover of a smooth Euro crooner number rendered in frantic basso profundo glory by Čonkić, who has a ridiculous set of pipes. This masterpiece is backed with Buba Rumba, an ersatz-ska number with a weird spoken intro, multiple interjections of "olé," and a brief thrash breakdown. The whole affair is extraordinarily charming.

The thing I really like about this record—and the rest of the pre-81 Patka oeuvre—is how on it is for it's time and place. It's enough to wish that I was in a situation were someone was wondering aloud "Hey I wonder if first-wave Serbian punk was any good" so I could whip this puppy out and be like "Bang fucking bang, the mighty Pekinška Patka! Put this in your ear, son." No one, and I mean no one, did the thing they did any better.

This kind of perfection is part natural skill and craftiness, part cosmic alignment of interplanetary bodies, and while it can't be sustained we live in an age where anyone can get a copy of the document in one form or another. Everything goes downhill eventually, you know? If anything good remains, I think it's a victory over Vishnu in his many-armed universal form.