Monday, December 19, 2011
Nina Paley’s started background research for her Exodus project (aka Seder-Masochism). One aspect of her research has been to immerse herself in recordings of the theme song from Exodus, a hit movie from 1960 about a shipload of Holocaust survivors after World War II. The theme song became a hit in an instrumental version by duo-pianists Ferrante and Teicher and was covered in many other instrumental versions. Pop star Pat Boone wrote lyrics and vocal versions multiplied like rabbits, many of which are available on YouTube.
Paley singled out one version for special mention on her Facebook page, a version by one Alenka Pinterič, which she introduced with this sentence: “But I just came across this one, which is...special. Like, Trolololo special. It has viral potential.” That reads like Paley had her tongue in her cheek. And when you hear it, well . . . . The thing is, a day later she reposted that same version, remarking that it “is the only version of “Exodus” that gets BETTER every time you play it.” No tongue in cheek. In comments she says: “What makes it great is her palpable joy and confidence.” She’s right. I’m not sure that “great” is the word, but “palpable joy and confidence,” yes. Here it is:
And this is just one of hundreds of karaoke performances Ms. Pinterič has placed online. I’ve listened to, say, 10 to 20 of them, and don’t know quite to make of them, or of her.
Some are better than others, which is true for all artists. Her version of “Help” (the Beatles tune) was pretty bad, but she did much better on “Georgia on My Mind” (Ray Charles arrangement) than I’d have expected. When she sings “Boom Boom,” well, her accent’s off; but she does get into it. There’s something that’s quite convincing about these performances, way more convincing that, for example, Pat Boone’s covers of Little Richard songs. If Pat Boone had an inner Little Richard, he certainly didn’t let on. But Pinterič does seem to have an inner Ray Charles and an inner John Lee Hooker, and she’s giving them access to her voice.
She’s got sincerity to burn, a sentimental streak, and questionable judgment about what material works for her. She’s obviously been at it for awhile and she’s got some chops. But she’s obviously enjoying whatever she’s singing and she’s got resources of emotional expressiveness that many, most? singers do not have or, at any rate, do not use.
She’s got an IMDb entry that says she was born in 1948 in Maribor, Slovenia, and she’s got a Facebook page that indicates that she currently lives in Maribor. A little googling turned up this duet she does with one Helena Blagne, whom I presume is Slovenian as well:
Taken together with her IMDb entry, sketchy though it is, this suggest that Pinteričs is an entertainer of some significance in Slovenia.
How many Alenka Pinteričs are there in the world, and on YouTube?