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Amity: Wednesday Morning, Young Adults, Kate in the Box & Platya za 130
Two all-female Russian outfits sing of human relations with bittersweet humor. Placed together with other releases this week, their knowing smiles become an overarching social skepticism.
Polar Opposites: Harotnica, Electroforez, Obshezhitie, and Railkid Station
Two bands from Minsk and two from St. Petersburg give collective thought to issues of self-determination. In all four cases, there's an awareness that freedom and fate are tightly bound.
Live: Do-Re-Mi Orchestra, Zmitser, Exit Project, and Funky Bizness Gang
Four bands from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Yekaterinburg all speak to the importance of direct, live performance. Their reasons are artistic, financial, and philosophical.
Lithuania's Snapsounds Studio: AVaspo, InSearch, and Banda Dzeta
The Snapsounds studio in Lithuania is committed to the production of HD video that captures both the past and future of local bands. The mere existence of that service hints at a wealth of PR challenges for the artists themselves.
VIA Tatiana: Savoir Faire, Silk Dresses, and a Really Heavy Trombone
On occasion, especially on major holidays, it can seem today as if Russian television is overrun with nostalgia - and the songs thereof. The scale of this phenomenon is not difficult to explain. The juggernaut of nationwide media before the 1990s was able to unify multiple time zones with the same...
Markscheider Kunst: The Happy, Cuban Spirit of Nothing At All
Markscheider Kunst are a large, disorderly ska/reggae ensemble from St Petersburg. The last time we looked at the band was in June 2008, when they were releasing their sixth album. On that occasion we said: "Despite the disconcerting complexity of their name, Markscheider Kunst have been around...
Pakava It': Possibly Russia's Happiest Ensemble
Among the many concert films that have appeared in Russia over the last decade, arguably the most entertaining were from recently disbanded ska troupe, Leningrad.  Over and above the devil-may-care obscenities from frontman Shnur, the band members were often presented to the public in a way that...
The Logic of Chaos: Light Music, Heavy Tools
One of the oddest - and yet most gratifying experiences - in a running a site like this comes in moments when we stumble across unique talents, only to discover that they have no fans.  Suddenly the need to stand up and champion an overlooked ensemble is obvious.  We, as a result, gain pleasur...
"Stiliagi": The Soundtrack
In tough times, people get nostalgic.  As the Russian economy descends at an impressive rate, a hit musical has reached domestic screens: "Stiliagi."  The term, based on the Russian word for "style," might best be translated as "Teddy Boys," since the action takes place in 1955.   The promot...
Andrei Makarevich and the Creole Tango Orchestra: "Shtander"
In order to make sense of the new album by Andrei Makarevich, we need a picture like this. The CD's title, "Shtander," is a term from the '60s and '70s in the Soviet Union. Few people know it today. This image, from 1967, shows Soviet kids playing shtander, which - in its many forms - involves a s...
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