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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.