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Romantic Imprecision: Cherepiho, Siberia*, Mandarinaduck, & Clever Clover
In a world of bewildering media and deafening jingoism, the appeal of noiselessness can be considerable. Just as attractive - in the face of fiscal or civic pragmatism - is the meaning of nothing at all.
Difficult Songs: Grand Astoria, Best Pessimist, Brave Men Run, and Pony
As the socioeconomic and political situations grow more challenging in Russia and Ukraine, new rock recordings turn away from civic actuality - towards introspection and psychedelia.
The Outlook from Home: Jars, IWKC, Theodor Bastard, and Vihrea
A well-established Moscow hardcore outfit insists that now is the time to sing in Russian. Local political problems require a local response and register. Not everybody agrees, however.
New Names and Pain: Ploho, Srub, Zvezdi, Vhore, and Super Besse
In June a music event called "Pain Fest" will celebrate rock music from Serbia, Belarus, and - most importantly - Siberia. The bands from that part of Russia cultivate a link to the punk traditions of their home.
Show Me a Dinosaur, Lucidvox, Karovas Milkshake, and Reserve de Marche
Four Russian rock publications play upon aspects of a psychedelic heritage. They either draw directly from Western traditions or extend the meaning of psychedelia from its roots in the Soviet '70s.
The Experty.BY Awards and a Sense of Home in Belarusian Songwriting
A few days ago, the Belarusian magazine Experty.BY announced a series of awards, dedicated to the best domestic music of last year. A wide range of prizes were involved, defined in terms of format or genre.
No Ordinary Love: Brunettes Shoot Blondes, Jack Wood, and "Girls on Fire"
A new Moscow EP brings together four ensembles all fronted by women - in order to celebrate March 8th. More important than either love or romance, it seems, are a range of related social issues.
Everything and Everyone: BG, Fedorov/Volkov, Bungalow Bums, and MLMW
An air of social disappointment hangs over these recordings, made primarily in Saint Petersburg. As adult experience appears to offer little, the importance of prior cultural landmarks only starts to grow.
Kings of Infinite Space: Matushka, Vmgnovenijah, Parc Hotel, and Anderson
Fading faith in modern life or politics leads these ensembles to look elsewhere for superior values. Better ideas are found in shamanistic culture, experimental drugs, and other distant realms.
Moving to Titan: Ink Twins, S3P, Empty Field, and The Alex Kelman Band
One of the most enduring reference points for Russian musicians over the last two decades has been outer space. The approaching New Year does little to encourage hope - and so distant planets still appeal.
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