Steve McCabe reviews Dragan Stojanovic’s newfound wonderland of fantastic songs

Dragan Stojanovic, THE Dragan Stojanovic, is and will always be one of my very best friends but, as is the case with Bob Brannigan, I will always hate him for being a greater songwriter, in quality rather than quantity, and with the emphasis being on the songs polishedness and finishedness rather than the raw performancednedness which i try to embue into gigs and performances/recordings, to greater or lesser effect.

that is my gift, they have their own we are all our own magii and will face our own consequences come the time…

no matter, let us on with the show.
Jelly Roll (video)

This song made me weep when i first saw it, cry when i saw it for the second time, laugh on the third playing and hit out on the fourth – all for the same reason – jealousy that my buddy could write and record such a great song…!!!!


well as it happens i can accept that and is truly such a great song there’s nothing i ca do to diss itt!

Dragan’s screeching guitar solo in the lower third is page-esque in its extrvagence, vai-anesque in its pitchetudisness (a plentitude of perhaps but not necessarilyy dissonant notes) , king-ish in its subtlety of tone where required, yet still screamingly hendrix-ish where it really matters.

Wow i can’t believe pitchetudisness¬† made it thru the spellcheck ….

the video version is superior to the audio track though if u ask me..l.



Its not me
this is the epitomy of 70’s – nostalgic 80’s progressive playing, Mr Stojanovic fullfiiling the roles effortlessly of Carlos Alomar , Mic Ronson and Carlos Santana on the one song, seemingly without breaking a sweat. the voice , although suitably strained and therefore expressive, is passionate but could be improved a little with some projection (sonja please quit smoking and work your magic!) , but hey what would I know?
These Days

“You must know by now, we have nothing in common”

obviously written by a female, in fact by Dragans delectable sister Sonja, currently residing in an iron lung and not able to sing anything higher than a low ‘F’ because of her riddled smoke-infested (but still somehow ‘perky’) lungs

This song exhibits the jugoslavian gypsy themes of the stojanovics youth, before the cruel war which tore apart their villages and pitted brother against sister in an unjust war which brought about a great drought in songs, which had to be smuggled out in the heads or scraps of paper which allah could provide.

Smoking would indeed become an unavoidable theme in the Stojanovic’s life, with Sonja’s job at the cigarillo factory providing the staple income for the family (and de riguer entertainment for the troops and smugglers), but the price paid on her voice meaning she could not possibly sing the high parts of this song are a little sad when we consider what might have been…. but what could also be!!!

c’m on now sonja shake that whale!

Dyke Parties

This could be a great song simply for having the line “Memberess Members”¬† in it even if it weren’t refrained proliferously in the chorus… simply magic, effaces the dyke sensitivity-ness of the time and the staunch wellington feeling, that sympathetic yet hard-assed male immigrant attitude to a smallish but seemingly openly unprotected group of people in similar circumstances as regards protection under the law of the land.

Dyke Parties sums up the times and the world is the better for it, it probably played a large part in getting Helen Clark elected in NZ too.

2 thought on “Steve McCabe reviews Dragan Stojanovic’s newfound wonderland of fantastic songs”

  1. G Washingtoon

    Yr talking (nay dancing around the pt like Cassius) about Dragan and smoking, bot not even mentioning Peter or Paul or Mary, or the combination thereof, or frolics in the autumnal mist, so wtF***’s wrong? Is this a misguided late attempt at subtlety? Sacrifice everything for the Pun. It was there in the beginning. Unless you already did and I was sleeping.

    So Joanne said DS is heading south for what s/b winter as well. There’s gonna be no room for an audience so we’ll have to oharge each other to cover costs and we’re gonna need to hire another island at this rate. Continental landmass? What’s aunt Artica doing in Dec?

    Poster now up in the venue. Didn’t think to obtain pothographic evidence.

  2. G Washingtoon

    The above was written before I met Dragan, and was a stupid multi layered pun — let this second footnote in this one distant day long to be forgotten blog attest to the musical talent, modesty, humanity, camaraderie, dependability, and both front and sideman skills of Dragan. The man is worthy of far more than my cheap puns, and I can probably attest to being slightly less biased than others, never having met the legendary sister, or seen pictures, portrait or otherwise, and only know her by one very good song.

    Let the small matter of the fan-fuckingtastic T-shirt he wore on the 29th suffice, I would have made sure it was visible in every shot taken of the MONSTER gig, but when getting a mnemonic photograph by which to evoke his presence had to get him to remove the jacket he wore so that the 4 simple words showed. If the words are not holy writ then there were indeed multiple Jesii, and synchronous miracles, but even in that case the words and T-shirt will make a better obituary and gravestone for future generations than any other.

    If McCabe needs both a sideman and a person of whom to be rightly jealous ’tis the guitarist this page pays testament — sing Dyke Parties loud wherever parties, dykes, party dykes, or the other events chronicled in the true tale conjoin. Then remember that on the night when all others had sidemen he alone could enthrall a crowd of people, already more than slightly overthrilled and if not totally greenstoned then certainly jaded, on his own with a borrowed guitar.

    Now again — ‘Dyke Parties’, ‘Barney Rubble’
    Barney Party, Dyke Roubles
    Jelly Roll, Party Rubble,
    Jelly Dyke, Party Roll
    and permutations therof.

    Hear his songs, and like the great composer, cat-collector, hit-tan-run victim, and methnomusicologist McCabe weep that the Stojanovich songs come to him so effortlessly for he is in turn good to those songs.



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