The gallows humor in much Russian songwriting today bears a grain of truth. Grim quips about social existence come from a genuine dissatisfaction; as a result, collegiality is valued highly.
A handful of new releases speak of an inherent "romance." Such phrasing may hardly be novel, but the reasons for which both private and public yearning stubbornly endure are very locally specific.
A sense of time's passage hangs over four releases from Russia and Lithuania this week. Lessons learned in the past make chutzpah and cockiness very unlikely. A certain wisdom takes their place.
The move from a regional center in Russia to Moscow or St. Petersburg can be very daunting. A number of lyrical releases compare those shifts to some related doubts about society in general.
As the V-ROX Festival gets underway in Vladivostok, rock bands from around Russia come together - in a city that's maximally distant from the capital. Issues of geography come quickly to the fore.
Some new, independent recordings from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus find significant inspiration in the recent past. In fact, the most beautiful, erstwhile ideals appeared long ago... and then slowly failed.
As several bands look at their future options, especially whilst forming side-projects, the possibility of "success" looms large. Not everybody, however, likes the look of perfection.
Four bands from Estonia, Ukraine, and Russia announce fresh material with a common worldview. In all cases, the philosophical value of silence transpires - the benefits of saying very little.
For many "provincial" bands, the appeal of some other, vague location is considerable. One step beyond a hope for somewhere else, however, is the allure of nowhere at all...
Bands from Yekaterinburg, Kazan, and Odessa with new material all speak of an unpredictable workplace. The need to network and change lineups, however, can also bring creative benefits.