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.
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.
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.
All the way from Tallinn to Kazan, a selection of new recordings consider the value of escapism and/or imagination. A growing disappointment with the here and now only makes fantasy work harder.
The Russian music festival Stereoleto is about to start in Saint Petersburg. We examine some ideas behind the event's success and endurance. A link between diligence and dreams quickly emerges.
This year's Schilling Festival is about to start in Estonia. There's a special overlap between the festival's philosophy and the worldview of several Estonian bands taking part. Ideals and actuality coincide.
A couple of rock bands far from Moscow ponder the benefits of avoiding its cutthroat industry. No matter how that might sound like consolation for a failed career, other ensembles tend to agree.
Four new rock publications from Russian cities consider the likelihood of subversive song-writing in a culture where the weight of history seems great. Thoughts of sedition morph into acceptance.
In a range of new recordings from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Chelyabinsk, aimlessness comes to the fore. These young musicians have scant faith in social progress: "uselessness" becomes their goal.
The need for young musicians to hold down a couple of jobs can be trying. Related material complications lead, over time, to a celebration of immaterial values, such as wistfulness and a slacker ethos.