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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.
Hazy Sessions and Diffidence: Atariame and Lava Lite (FFM41 and 42)
A couple of Saint Petersburg projects find common philosophical ground in two areas. Both are saddened by the woeful potential of actuality - and then turn to their hometown for some time-honored forms of reverie.
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.
Subversive Sentiments: Torba-na-Kruche, Kurara, OPAL, and Scofferlane
Against the backdrop of a Russian tradition of politicized rock songs, four collectives in 2014 look for alternative values. They tend to be immaterial, in the best - and most romantic - sense of the word.
Lasting Influences: Glintshake, TSUFA, 5 Vymir, and Bungalow Bums
From Siberia to Moscow - and even Kiev - a series of new releases admit openly to the influence of Western music from prior decades. A dissatisfaction with the here and now prompts lasting retrospection.
Fleeting Youth: Vstrecha Ryby, Trud, Devushka Shkol'nika, and Jack Wood
The innocence of youth is treated with bittersweet retrospection in some new songs from Chelyabinsk, Tomsk, and Moscow. All of these artists imply that childhood's naivety and hope are unlikely to survive for long.
Friends and Distant Family: FPRF, Oligarkh, The HIK, and Gnoomes
Surrounded by a series of failing support systems, be they social or financial, four Russian ensembles turn to themes of family. In difficult times, thoughts of friends and colleagues grow more important.
Nowhere in Particular: Biblioteka, EIMIC, February, and Blackpaperplanes
Through their use of other languages, employment overseas, and various forms of Wanderlust, these four bands work hard to ignore domestic culture. Anywhere - and anything - looks better than home.
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