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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.
Pirates of the Past: Mumiy Troll, Electroforez, Obitel Telema, and Serdceder
The new Mumiy Troll album is entitled "Pirate Copies." Although a clear reference to copyright abuse, that same phrase becomes a talking point for several recent publications and their collective view of the past.
An Odd Sense of Home: Weloveyouwinona, Xuman, Volchok, and KDIMB
One of the biggest - and most basic - choices faced by a Slavic band today is that of language. The same choice is often dictated by assumptions of better job options, either abroad or at 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.
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.
Travails: Pinkshinyultrablast, Loveburger, Slackers, and Vivienne Mort
Two new releases, both connected to Moscow life, declare the appeal of a slacker's worldview. A couple more, from Kiev and Saint Petersburg, have greater faith in the importance of hard work and daydreams.
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.
In Flight: Polska Radio One, Dzierzynski Bitz, Ext, and Crimson Butterfly
Several key reference points connect these projects. Some of them originate in Poland, while others take us to Ukraine. Bolder still, however, is the overarching desire of these performers to leave home altogether.
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