Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Moment Russian LA Has Been Waiting For....

«Нам уже 25». Юбилей группы ДДТ
В текущем году группа «ДДТ» отмечает свое двадцатипятилетие. Получат подарок и поклонники коллектива: новый альбом «Пропавший без вести» и грандиозный концертный тур по всей стране.

Четверть века — срок символический. Для многих людей эти годы стали эпохой «ДДТ». «Наши песни любовь и голод,/ Под наши песни вставала весна», — пел Юрий Шевчук в одной из своих баллад. Слова стали девизом, музыка — образом жизни для тысяч людей.





Для Юрия Шевчука и его группы дата не главное. Главное — то, что этот концертный тур будет представлять новый альбом «ДДТ» «Пропавший без вести».
В нем 11 песен — 72 минуты музыки, над которыми музыканты работали почти два года. Альбом получился контрастным: жесткий рок соседствует с лирикой и философскими размышлениями, крик чередуется с шепотом. Каждая песня — честный разговор о жизни, о людях, о стране, о будущем, настоящем и прошлом. Словом, «Пропавший без вести» стал еще одним классическим альбомом группы. Юрий Шевчук сравнивает его с пластинкой «Мир № 0».

«Мы не собирались делать бескомпромиссный рок-альбом, делали то, что нам нравится. Я старался писать просто о сложном. В альбоме много музыки. Иногда тембр, музыкальный оттенок заменяет слова. Мы попытались в очередной раз показать, что русский рок — это не бардовская песня с приклеенными барабанами и гитарами», — говорит Шевчук.
Заглавная песня, которая дала название пластинке, — «Пропавший без вести». Она не только о тех, кто сгинул в войнах. «Человек выходит на улицу и пропадает в толпе, теряет свою личность. На нашей земле живет гораздо больше людей, пропавших без вести, чем нашедших себя. Это то, что не сыграно и не сказано раньше, это одиночество в толпе».

Очень важна музыкальная целостность звучания альбома, и в то же время каждая песня имеет свои нюансы, свой цвет, свою мелодику. «Мы попытались объединить очень разные по динамике звучания песни альбома звучанием ритм-секции: бас-гитара, ударные и компьютерные sample-петли. Эта музыкальная конструкция лежит в основе аранжировок почти всех песен», — Константин Шумайлов. Среди них есть композиции, рваные по своей структуре, жесткие по содержанию, динамичные, похожие на израненных солдат. Они сочетаются с «песнями-медсестрами», залечивающими эти раны.

В работе над альбомом можно увидеть ассоциации с живописью. Некоторые альбомы акварельные, а некоторые являют собой наскальную живопись, над которой пришлось изрядно потрудиться, прежде чем удалось вырубить долотом и молотком мамонтов с человеческими лицами. «Пропавший без вести» — это пещера, но не только лишь с мамонтами, в ней легко разглядеть и легкие, ненавязчивые акварельки. Смешанная техника, акватинта, холст, масло, да ещё немного декора и инсталляции.

Праздничный тур коллектива начался в июне концертом в Самаре; группа планирует совершить грандиозное турне по Евразии и Северной Америке. В рамках тура «ДДТ» будут выступать более чем в 40 городах России и ближнего зарубежья, в Израиле, странах Европы, США и Канаде.

24 июня в Санкт-Петербурге на стадионе «Петровский» в рамках юбилейного тура группа провела большой концерт. Почитателям творчества группы были представлены и новый альбом, и многие любимые песни, написанные за 25 лет. Шевчук редко хвалит людей, имеющих деньги, но в данном случае благодарен спонсорам, поскольку билеты на юбилейный концерт удалось сделать максимально доступными.

Новая программа ДДТ — это яркое, динамичное, зрелищное шоу высочайшего уровня. «Мы постараемся сделать настоящий европейский рок-концерт», — пообещал лидер группы.

Контакт: (BUY TICKETS!) 323-874-8211 Лена


http://www.rosconcert.com/action.php?id=4517
http://www.rosconcert.com/action.php?id=4517
http://www.rosconcert.com/action.php?id=4517


IF YOU DON'T READ RUSSIAN, IT BASICALLY TALKS ABOUT THE LEGENDARY GROUP DDT AND SHEVCHUK, AND ... THEY'RE COMING TO AMERICA! JAN. 18 2008!
GOTTA GO BUY TICKETS NOW!

Friday, November 9, 2007

SerGAY Lazarev Riffs Off Mika

He's singing dance pop...
In a falsetto...
Is it British/Lebanese sensation Mika?
NO! It's Russian pop star SerGAY Lazarev!
Seriously... the first song I heard from his solo debut was "Just Because You Walk Away (Dazhe Yesli Ti Uidesh)" which is a ballad, and sounds like something Premier Minister might have recorded in a "serious" moment.



But now, as you can probably guess from this picture, most of Lazarev's music is frothy dance pop. "Fake" is one of the worst songs I have ever heard in my life, yet I still listen to it for some reason. And I just came across "TV or Radio" on Zaycev and seriously thought a girl was singing it for the first few lines...then I thought...WAIT! This is that Sergey Lazarev guy! Then, I decided that it's not 1000% embarrassing--it sounds a little like Mika, but with more digitized voice alteration and manufactured beats. I can see it in the next cheesy movie soundtrack now....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This Is Becoming An Obsession!

You guessed it; it's Soso Pavliashvili again. This time, he has appeared on Russian TV in a program where singers from all over Europe get together with Russian-language pop stars and basically perform multi-lingual mashups of hit songs. Generally speaking, it sounds a little weird to me, but it's an oddly attractive idea...especially with an odd pair like this!



Notice how CC is sleepwalking through the concert. The German dance musician looks like she has a bad case of jet lag, or boredom. Or maybe she's lip-synching?

...But then, Soso walks on stage about halfway through and totally steals the show. Like I said, this is becoming an obsession for me. His videos are hilarious. He seems like he is in his own little world, and totally overdoing it -- But it's as entertaining as you can get! Notice how he is all over her, while singing the "Ya tvoi geroi" part, and she looks a little bit nervous...then there is that VERY AWKWARD hug at the end.

I need to get this DVD.

Shameless plug for the online store where I bought this interesting mashed up cultural CD, which includes a duet with Soso and French pop star In-Grid.

Can't...stop...listening...




...To this Mumiy Troll/Diskoteka Avariya collaboration, "Delfini!" (Downloads from this link, using Zaycev.net).



By now, you've probably guessed that I like Avariya. A LOT. I saw them in concert at Trafalgar Square for Staryy Novy God a few years back, and the high energy of their recorded songs does not even come close to their super live performances. Mumiy Troll is another one of my favorite bands -- I like them for the same reason I love Avariya; because they are not afraid to experiment with different styles of music. Most of their songs could be considered rock, (or as they say on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumiy_Troll, "Rockapops") but this one is a foray into dance (because it sounds produced by Avariya...) Anyway, it's worth a listen, and if I were any good with my DJ software I would make a killer remix. This track just begs to be remixed, in a good way.

To this classic Kino hit, "Gruppa Krovi." Download here. Most of you have probably heard it by now. Tsoy Zhiv!



To this Timbaland-produced track by Dima Bilan. You love him, or you hate him, or you love to hate him...but "Amnesia" is going to be a club smash hit. Download here.

In the picture, he's singing at Eurovision...gotta love the girl who randomly climbs out of the piano...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Multi-Culti Train Wreck!

I came across this video on YouTube and didn't know what to think. I know that Soso Pavliashvili isn't considered a very serious musician (besides that nationalistic Samshoblo song from Yurmala '89) but he's always an entertaining performer. This concert, though, defies description.... where did he get the idea to put River Dance into it?



From:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHlHmVqXOBs

Another little something I found. "Vspominaitye Gruzina" was released early this year, and this video also defies description. My friend saw it and asked, "What are they smoking in Georgia??" Well, Judge for yourself....and have a good laugh.


No english title - Awesome video clips here


...And Here is Samshoblo. (for contrast!) I found it a very moving performance, especially considering the historical context (and no I am not Georgian, I am Ukrainian American).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Finding t.A.T.u.

Believe it or not.
Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. (Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova) star in a movie that will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. They pretend to be lesbians and sing electro pop--I always thought this was a novelty act?
Another surprise--Mischa Barton (American actress of "The OC" fame) co-stars as a Russian girl who falls in love with an American girl she meets at -- where else? - a t.A.T.u concert.

Perez Hilton calls it the "Worst Movie of the Year." http://perezhilton.com/?p=7201#respond

I admit, I am a little skeptical too, but I'm going to see it. You can't judge too quickly.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97QN6QR4DmQ



^^ This is my friend and one half of t.A.T.u. His brother-in-law, who produces t.A.T.u.'s music videos in Los Angeles, is in the middle.

Восточные Сказки - Russian Pop Music and the Middle East

Sitting in one of my favorite hookah bars in L.A. last weekend, I recognized a song playing in the background. It was called "Temptation" and it was, like everything else the DJ at that club plays, Middle Eastern pop. But it sounded a lot like a Blestyashi song I heard on the radio, called "Восточные Сказки."

Found out later that Blestyashi had collaborated with Persian pop star Arash, whose "Boro Boro" album is available on the American iTunes store. I downloaded a couple of songs and it's good ol' hookah bar music. The title track, "Boro Boro," has been mashed up with Pomeha Sprava's hit "Gde Zhe Tvoi Bumer," and it ends up sounding pretty interesting. Below is Arash's collaboration with DJ Alligator, called "Music Is My Language."



Of course, all the Russian parties here in L.A. feature some non-russian pop, usually Tarkan. He's one of the most popular singers in Turkey and has released a hiphop / pop / club music album in English called "Come Closer." I recommend it if you like that kind of thing. Aparently he's been in a New York studio working on his second English language release, which does not have an official date but will come out on the Universal Latino label.

And many Russian stars besides Blestyashi are influenced by Middle Eastern (Arabskaya) music. "Now That's What I Call Arabia" is a top seller on St Petersburg Dom Knigi's online store (st-p.com) and Kirkorov has done a Turkish-influenced album, "Oy Mama Shika Dam," which caused a little controversy among Armenians (Kirkorov is in fact, half Armenian). The rapper Seryoga released an Oriental themed single, "Mel Sudbi," which was an extra feature on the Dnevnoy Dozor (Day Watch) DVD. Electro pop singer Zhasmin had a big hit last summer with "Indiiskoye Disko," which featured a looped bhangra rhythm against a typical upbeat Russian pop song. All are worth checking out for Russian pop fans, and there are many more examples of the influence that the Middle East has had on Russian popular music. One parody of this phenomenon is the Ruki Vverh song "Devushki Vostoka," which was released on their Konets Popsa/Tancuyut Vse album several years ago.

Below are some mp3 links if you're interested in the Arash/Blestyashi collaboration (this is actually a mashup with the original "Temptation") and the Boro Boro club song. If you have a favorite "Oriental song" of any genre, feel free to add it in a comment and link to a video or mp3 if you can!

Arash & Блестящие Feat Rebecca - Восточная Temptation (DJ Grey mix)

http://www.zaycev.net/download.php?ass=Arash+%26+%C1%EB%E5%F1%F2%FF%F9%E8%E5+Feat+Rebecca_-_%C2%EE%F1%F2%EE%F7%ED%E0%FF+Temptation+%28DJ+Grey+mix%29.mp3&id=75157

Помеха справа Feat Arash - Бора, бора, где бумер

http://www.zaycev.net/download.php?ass=%CF%EE%EC%E5%F5%E0+%F1%EF%F0%E0%E2%E0+Feat+Arash_-_%C1%EE%F0%E0%2C+%E1%EE%F0%E0%2C+%E3%E4%E5+%E1%F3%EC%E5%F0.mp3&id=18004

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Kirkorov Legacy - and Shavi Princi

Hello everyone! I promised I'd keep writing on my resurrected blog, because I've missed it, and I realize that people do actually read it and find it interesting. (Especially thanks to the author of (Post)Soviet Popular Music. Thanks to all my readers, and I hope to share my blog with an even wider audience in the future--but I know that it won't happen unless I spend more time updating it. So here goes, here's the longest post I've written in a while. It is a little random, but based on what I am listening to at the moment. Hope it doesn't disappoint. =)

All right, I will admit it--I do listen to Filipp Kirkorov. And I like a lot of his songs. Sure, he's easy to make fun of, and he probably has as many "haters" as he has fans in Russia and the surrounding countries. Living in a Russian neighborhood, I've experienced this--just after the "press conference" scandal several years back, in which he reacted, let's say, immaturely to a female journalist's questions. Well, she asked a question that I would like to know the answer to--why does Kirkorov release so many remakes? We know that he doesn't write his own music or lyrics, so it's easy to say he isn't really a musician--until you see one of his shows. Then, you realize that he is an Entertainer, a Performance Artist, whose whole life--from his flamboyant fashion sense to his turbulent marriage to Alla Pugacheva--is all about putting on a show. And that's the one thing that he does perfectly. So his music isn't 100% original, and it isn't as innovative as that of many of the other Russian bands that I write about, (for example, Leningrad, Lyubeh and Chicherina).



From talking to people who love Russian music and culture as much as I do, I've concluded that a lot of people dislike Kirkorov--or at least find him hard to take--because they think he takes himself seriously. And if you just view his music as funny, shmaltzy, happy but not serious, it will be a lot easier to like. (For me, that is. Of course it;s a matter of personal taste=])

I write this as I listen to a playlist I compiled of random Kirkorov songs, some old, some new.

Several are from the album "Ты, ты, ты..." (released in 1998). Listen at the link below, and you will probably notice that one of the highlights of the album, the upbeat and playful "Ирочки," sounds very similar musically to "Таганка" and has the same showy musicality as "Люстры старинного зала."

http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=26896&genreid=




But still, it's fun background music if you're, say, writing a blog post. And Kirkorov's new singles are also fun, in a different way, but with the same emotion and theatrical quality that is so characteristic of Kirkorov. One funny, upbeat song that I recommend is "Gigolo," which can be downloaded on zaycev.net.

All of this writing about Filipp Kirkorov brings me to discuss his father, the well-known Bulgarian singer Bedros Kirkorov (well, he was well-known in the 1960s and 70s, when his career reached a peak. His songs are much different from his son's; and not just because there are so few high-quality versions of Bedros's recordings available on the internet. The subject matter and collaborations are different, too. Filipp collaborates with rising stars like Zhasmin and the band in the picture below Fresh Art, and a collaboration with girl group Blestyashi is rumored to be in the works (when interviewed, Kirkorov said that he hoped this would revive his career, much as Valery Meladze's acclaimed collaboration with VIA Gra did.)



However, the older Kirkorov collaborated with the estrada luminaries of his time, and I was pleased to come across an mp3 of Bedros Kirkorov and the legendary Georgian singer Tamriko (Tamara) Gverdtsiteli singing the well-known Georgian song, "Suliko." It's recorded from a live performance, so the quality is not great, but it is definitely worth listening to if you are interested in older Soviet or Georgian music.

http://www.zaycev.net/download.php?ass=%D2%E0%EC%E0%F0%E0+%C3%E2%E5%F0%E4%F6%E8%F2%E5%EB%E8+%26+%C1%E5%E4%F0%EE%F1+%CA%E8%F0%EA%EE%F0%EE%E2_-_%D1%F3%EB%E8%EA%EE.mp3&id=131295



This is Tamara, in case you're wondering.

and here is a picture of Bedros Kirkorov from http://www.tden.ru/f/articles/014438/illu_1.jpg



I think Filipp takes after his mother, but he has his father's eyes =))

....And another song I feel like blogging about tonight connects very tenuously to Kirkorov...actually it doesn't connect. It is Georgian, like "Suliko," so I thought of it. It's by two of the most famous rap artists in Georgia--Shavi Princi and Babe. You can listen and download on music.inet.ge, the internet's largest collection of Georgian music.

http://music.inet.ge/mp3.php?f=%2Fmnt%2Fdata%2Fmedia%2Fmusic%2Fgeorgian%2FShavi%20Princi%2FShavi%20Princi%20ft%20Babe%20-%20Gaichalicheb.mp3&a=Shavi%20Princi%20ft%20Babe

It's a fun song, in a different way than Kirkorov's are fun. It is a party song, it has a hip-hop beat that you hear a lot lately in Russian pop music. But it's still fully Georgian, in a non traditional way. For more information on the emerging Georgian hip hop scene, check out the eurasianet article I linked to below:

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav120806.shtml




In the picture above, Shavi Princi (center with brown coat), whose name means Black Prince in Georgian, and Babe (center with white coat), whose real name is Mari Topuria, pose with the students from their Tbilisi hip-hop dance class. The two, who are also rap artists and self-taught dancers, met in a dance studio and recently recorded a song together. (picture coutesy of Sophia Mizante for EurasiaNet)

As always, thanks for reading and feel free to comment and share links with me!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

After a Hiatus...

What a spring.
What a summer.
What a long time to spend NOT UPDATING THIS BLOG.

....I figured since nobody comments on it, what is the point?

....but then I decided that I could just do it for myself. Write it, and they will come.

That being said, share with your friends who like Russian Music!

*Updates to come, I swear*

Sunday, February 25, 2007

This is one of those days when I wish I lived in Boston.

...Because it's Leningrad's 10th anniversary tour! And for some reason, they're not stopping in L.A. But if you live in Boston, near a place called Club Lido (and if you're over 18 with an ID) I urge you to go to their show on March 30. You can't attend their stadium shows in Moscow anymore, because the mayor has banned them due to the "nenormativnaya lexica." Ooops. Anyway, their music is fun to listen to--it's kind of a chanson-rock hybrid, with some songs being more punk or ska--and standard lyrics. Dachniki, mobilniki, pivo, sigareti. The New York Times called them "the most profoundly Russian stuff ever." And if you've heard their latest album, "Khleb," you know what I mean. It's available for download from the American iTunes store (finally!) and I recommend it.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Visit their official site at: http://www.leningradspb.ru/

and get a few free downloads/some band info here: http://www.russmus.net/band.jsp?band=Leningrad

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sorry, Taisiya and Kolya....

But I can't. I can't do it! I CAN'T PAY $306 for TWO TICKETS TO YOUR SHOW at the KODAK THEATER in L.A. on MARCH 25!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

http://www.rosconcert.com/action.php?id=4052

...not that I wouldn't go if I could. Because I would go. I've heard "Ti Daleko" na russkogo radio so many times that I might as well hear it live...I just don't want to hear it from a crappy, overpriced balcony seat that's miles from the stage. I want to be able to see all of Taisiya's pearl necklaces! And their matching hairdos--frosted tips! On second thought, those shouldn't be hard to miss. I could see them from the balcony, and probably from across the street.

Haven't heard their songs before? They're...pop...if you're interested: http://www.zaycev.net/pages/109/10962.shtml (mp3 there for free!)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Voyage of Discovery--Liubeh

....Nikolay Rastorguyev turns 50 on February 21. So this post goes out to him.

For a little more than a year, I have been obsessed with Liubeh. Sure, I've always known about them; I've always been able to recognize their soft-rock songs like "Berozi" and "Poyut Gitara." But I only started "discovering" this band--for me, that means getting into them in a big way, buying all of their albums, and blogging about them--one night in Paris in December 2005. I was at a restaurant in the Latin Quarter and the guy one table behind me looked oddly familiar--he was Nikolay Rastorguyev, lead vocalist of Liubeh! That wasn't my first chance encounter (ie, non-concert meeting) with a Russian celebrity--I saw Andrey Danilko (Verka Serduchka, minus the makeup and drag outfits) at a grocery in London, Philip Kirkorov and his entourage (including Anastasia Stotskaya) at a Tomy Roma's joint near L.A., the two guys from Ruki Vverh at a pizza place in Hollywood (that was while they were on their 10 Let tour), Dima Bilan at a department store in London, and Soso Pavliashvili at the beach near Los Angeles.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Anyway, sorry for going off on that tangent--after I saw Nikolay, I became obsessed with the band. I am in awe of Igor Matvienko's production and songwriting talent, and I LOVE the song "Davai Za." In its portrayal of the human cost of war--telling the story of a young soldier's life cut short as his friends try to comfort him--it is depressing, moving, affecting, particularly with all the war and unrest in our world today. It shows that patriotic war does not always have to be glamorized...the line about "new wars replacing the old," actually, the whole stanza, really haunts me.

In an old album, I found a picture
Grandpa, what a man, commander of Red Army
Signed "For son to remember, Berlin 1945"
Passed century flashbacks
The smell of unmawed grass in the dawn,
Moans of scorched earth from bombardements
Pair of old soldier's boots
New wars will replace the old.


Download the mp3 here.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The entire "Davay Za" Album, released in 2002, is my second favorite ("Kombat," from 1996, has to be my ultimate favorite--tied with the "Brat" soundtrack--of all Russian rock music.) The highlights of the 11-track "Davay Za," in my opinion, are "Berozi" (the opening track--stellar vocals and lyrics, which the band is famous for) and "Okhota." You can buy or stream the album (Windows Media is what I use) here.

Required Viewing:

The band's official website.

Russmus's "About the Band" summary includes a complete discography, a brief description, selected videos, mp3 downloads, lyrics (thank you!) and guitar tabs.
http://www.russmus.net/band.jsp?band=Lyube

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Classic (Russian) Popsa

I was downloading random songs today out of boredom, and I discovered a very good one by a band called Nensi. The song is "Dim sigareti s mentholom" -- it's slow rock, not really like anything I've heard before but I'll compare it to Chaif anyway. Chaif/Splin/Bi-2 fans should like this...Just thought I'd post the link in case you're curious.

http://www.zaycev.net/download.php?id=5228&ass=%CD%E5%ED%F1%E8_-_%C4%FB%EC+%F1%E8%E3%E0%F0%E5%F2+%F1+%EC%E5%ED%F2%EE%EB%EE%EC.mp3

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sorry, I Just Have To Rant. (But Not Anymore!)

Why?

The Taisiya Povaliy and Nikolay Baskov American tour has been advertised all over Rosconcert and the Russian-language newspapers for the past six months. Ditto for Dima Bilan. There have been rumors about Valery Meladze's California tour since LAST SUMMER. (It's in May, San Fran and L.A., if you'd like to know.) So WHY did Rosconcert JUST post the announcement that Mumiy Troll will be appearing at the Roxy in West Hollywood THIS THURSDAY, Feb. 8????? Way to wait until the last minute, people. Now there's no way I can go. How did this happen, anyway? Who is promoting these tours, and where have MT's people been for the past couple of months? I feel like I should have known about this in advance.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

They're performing with a group called Ringside.

This calls for drastic action. Screw all prior plans; I'm driving down to Hollywood tomorrow night to see if I can score some secret tickets from the guy at Melodiya. That's worked exactly once in my life, but the Chicherina show was totally worth it.

Da svidanya...for now.

************************************************************************************

Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007

Well, I can't believe it, but I made it to the show! The tickets were all sold out at Melodiya and Teatralnaya Kassa, where I can usually get them, but I bought a ticket outside the night of. The price was incredibly jacked-up, but worth every cent. Mumiy Troll's recordings are great, but nothing can compare to a live show. It's easy to see why they're so popular in Russia; all of them have a great rapport with the audience and really interact with everyone. They even took a couple of requests...unfortunately their set wasn't that long :( ...but still, it was a great show!

Important Notice to Everyone Who Lives in San Fran (or around there):

THERE'S ANOTHER SURPRISE MUMIY TROLL SHOW ON VALENTINES DAY!!!
It's at The Club Mighty in San Francisco, which is 21+. Tickets are $40 at the door (but ONLY $30 presale) and you can get them at http://gastroli.irochka.com/.

Have fun!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Collaboration Challenge - February 2007 (updated)

In honor of the new month, I decided to cover an aspect of Russian music that seems to be EVERYWHERE. In every genre, with every artist, helping or hurting every career, song or album. That aspect is, of course, collaborations. You know, I've noticed that some of them are predictable--Leonid Agutin and Angelica Varum, Filipp Kirkorov and Alla Pugacheva, etc. And some are completely random--Verka Serduchka and Glukoza's "Zhenikha Hotela" is the best example I can think of. Some stay within the same genre (Bi-2 and Splin, even though their styles are distinct, are both rock bands and their song "Fellini" is an excellent soft-rock song). Others cross genres or even languages--a good example of this is the unexpetedly awesome collaboration between German industrial-rock/metal act Rammstein and Russian pop duet Tatu.

So here's how this works. I will post a list of collaborations from several different genres, along with links to the mp3s. You can listen and give me feedback if you'd like. I am always open to suggestions!

Pop/Estrada:

1. Agutin and Prensyakov-Aeroporti
2. Filipp Kirkorov and Alla Pugacheva-Kholodna V Gorode
3. Gluk'Oza and Verka Serduchka-Zhenikha Hotela
4. Diskoteka Avariya and Janna Friske-Malinki
5. Valery Meladze and VIA Gra-Inostranets

Rock: (or Pop/Rock)

1. Splin and Bi-2-Fellini
2. Leningrad/Diodi and Zemfira-PC http://m2-1.base.zaycev.net/5af243e4c8ef6f585fe2b0f700bc04b1/204/20462/diodi_and_zemfira_ramazanova_-_pc.mp3
3. Bi-2 and Chaif-Dostuchatsya Do Nebes
4. Mumiy Troll and Yana Kay-Medveditsa
5. Чугунный скороход Feat. Кино - Перемен (Антон Ньюмарк Mix): Yes, I know this isn't really a collaboration but a remix. I like it anyway because "Mi Zhdem Peremen" is one of the best Kino songs ever. http://m2-1.base.zaycev.net/0ada5ddbc4f1d0a6dd1892b9583aa376/180/18069/chugunniy_skorohod_feat._kino_-_peremen_anton_niumark_mix.mp3
6. Bi-2 and Chicherina-Veter Peremen

Hip-Hop or Rap:

1. El Rico and Patrool-Dikiy Tanets
2. Timati and Karina Cox (from VIA Slivki)-Ya i Ti
*NEED MORE SUGGESTIONS*

....can't think of any more....

Crossover:

1. Faktor-2 and Arash-Bora Bora Gde Boomer
2. Tatu and Rammstein-Moscow
3. Leningrad and Diskoteka Avariya-Gde Zhe Vashi Ruki?
4. VIA Gra and THMK-Nyet Nichevo Khuzhe

Sorry, my internet connection is VERY bad and slow right now; I will get all the mp3 links and pics later. By tomorrow night I hope. Then, I'll take suggestions, votes, comments, whatever. This "collaboration challenge" will go on until the end of Feb. and I hope to discover a few new songs by the end (and see what you guys think about the collaborations.)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Some Useful Websites

Russian Music on the Net-an outstanding overview of Russian music. There are music downloads, guitar tabs, translated and original lyics and informative articles about bands. Also, the forum is a great place to visit if you have a question about Russian music, need help finding a song/artist, or simply want to discuss anything to do with Russia or Russian music (especially rock).

There's even a store:

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Stars Radio-American-based site with info on Russian pop, rap and some rock. News stories are always helpful. Streaming radio and some mp3s (but they don't update a lot). Most of the artists they feature are up-and-coming, and if you like De Maar and music like his, you've found the right place.

RussianDVD-a huge selection of Russian DvDs, CDs and Videos on this Brooklyn-based site is available for purchase.

Music on INet-A comprehensive Georgian site with many mp3s available. However, it can be hard to navigate if you don't read Georgian.

TopHit-I only go here for news and charts. It's possible to download clips of many popular songs (and very new ones at that) in mp3 format, but the quality is quite low and they are usually only about a minute long. However, the sections on Russian music news are great, and the SMS/download/airplay charts are also useful, especially if you dont live in Russia but you want to see what is popular at the moment.

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Zvuki-A classic and dependable site for news, concert and artist info and some mp3s. Recommendations are good, as are the "InterWWWiews" with artists.

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Zaycev-mp3s/forums. Huge (and ever-growing) selection of Russian, European, American, international mp3s. If you can't find what you're looking for here, you'll probably have to buy it on Amazon.

Top Downloads-mp3s, files and programs zaycev-style. Offers some songs you can't find on Zaycev, and vice versa.

Shmidt.net-you can find some of the most popular Russian and European mp3 files here, but the downloads take awhile (at least on my computer :P).

More to come...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Moment of Silence for Murat Nasirov

Tragically, the 37-year-old popular singer ended his own life at home in Moscow on January 19, 2007.

Сотрудники милиции, начавшие расследование по факту самоубийства популярного исполнителя Мурата Насырова, восстановили со слов очевидцев последние минуты его жизни, сообщили "Интерфаксу" источники в оперативно-следственной группе.


По словам собеседника агентства, "19 января Насыров встретил вернувшуюся в Москву свою гражданскую супругу Наталью Бойко. Вместе они приехали в одну из квартир дома 15 по улице Вучетича, где проживали. В этот момент в квартире уже находилась мама гражданской жены певца, Грета Бойко, 1947 года рождения, и двое их детей - Аким, 2000 года рождения, и Лия, 1996 года рождения".

Как впоследствии вспоминала Грета Бойко, "с самого утра Насыров повел себя не вполне адекватно. Он постоянно быстро ходил по квартире, кому-то звонил по телефону, то вставал, то садился, подходил к окну. В дальнейшем он продолжал себя вести неспокойно", отметил источник.
"На машине он отвез свою супругу к месту, где у нее была назначена встреча, потом вернулся домой и закрылся в своей студии, оборудованной прямо в квартире. Там он пытался петь. Потом, в районе 22:30, вышел, взял свой портрет, разбудил детей и переоделся в концертный костюм. Он постоянно порывался выйти на балкон, однако Грета Бойко не позволяла ему это сделать. Он выскочил на лестничную площадку и позвонил в квартиру соседей, с которыми они дружили семьями. Соседям он стал кричать, что ему было видение бога и недавно погибшего гитариста группы "A'Studio", - рассказал он.

Затем, по словам очевидцев, "певец вышел на балкон своей квартиры, повесил на шею фотоаппарат, взял в руки свой портрет и выбросился с пятого этажа. Это произошло в 22:30".
В 22:59 прибывший на место происшествия по вызову родственников наряд "скорой помощи" констатировал смерть от травм, не совместимых с жизнью, ставших следствием падения с высоты", - сказал источник.
Что стало причиной самоубийства, устанавливается. Ведущие расследование оперативники убеждены, что "в данном случае ни о каком криминале не может быть и речи, это банальное самоубийство".
По словам источника, известно, что некоторое время назад Мурат Насыров находился на излечении в одной из психиатрических клиник, специализирующихся, в том числе, и на лечении наркозависимости. В этой клинике он находился под чужим именем. Впрочем, пока официально эту информацию никто не подтвердил.

Murat Nasirov, Kazakh-Russian pop star

В милиции утверждают, что погибший находился в состоянии наркотического опьянения. "На руках и на шее у него были обнаружены следы инъекций", - уточнил источник.
В то же время директор певца Александр Скурихин заявил ИТАР- ТАСС, что Мурат Насыров никогда не употреблял наркотики. При этом он высказал мнение, что гибель музыканта - несчастный случай.

"В его квартире низкие подоконники, в это время шел дождь, Насыров поскользнулся и упал вниз", - сказал Скурихин. Он рассчитывает, что следствие разберется в обстоятельствах случившегося. "Но то, что это самоубийство - сомнительно", - считает директор певца.

Скурихин также сообщил, что Мурат Насыров будет похоронен в Алма-Ате, но дата похорон пока еще не определена.

Мурату Насырову было 37 лет. Популярность к нему пришла в начале 90-х годов, а его песня "Мальчик хочет в Тамбов" стала хитом.

See this article:

(http://www.stars-radio.com/ru/news/news379.html)

If you don't read Russian, this basically describes what happened in the hours before his (presumed) suicide. Apparently, Nasirov was hallucinating before he jumped off the balcony of his appartment. His manager, however, maintains that Nasirov slipped and fell, while Nasyrov's wife claims that he slipped while trying to fix the satellite on the TV. I have been following this story for awhile, and I recently read an article on Pravda in which a girl from Moscow claimed that she and some friends were drinking in a club with Murat the night he died. He was apparently in a good mood, not depressed or anything. And here's where it gets complicated--Murat's friend Felix allegedly poured them drinks, some kind of a cocktail, with drugs dissolved in them. The girl was having hallucinations after she drank the cocktail, and she fell asleep, while Murat went home and acted very restless. Sources close to Nasyrov maintain that he never took drugs and barely drank, which is why some suspect foul play in his death. LSD was found in the autopsy, so I suspect that he drank it (unknowingly?) in the cocktail. No matter what happened, though, he was a talented man and artist; his death is a tragedy and my heart goes out to his wife and kids....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Seryoga in LA! (Updated)

"Can you say you’ve been to the biggest event in the history of Russian nightlife? You will, after you experience what we have in store for you in January of 2007. For the first time in the US, the number one ultra superstar of modern time (that would be famous MC Seryoga) is going to rock Los Angeles in a performance of a lifetime!"

All right, all right. It's
RosConcert.com hyperbole. But still, if I can get to the Key Club in Weho Friday night (9.00 pm to 2.00 am FYI), I'll post concert pics and a review in this entry later.

And if you live in either L.A. or San Fran and harbor any desire whatsoever to see a top-of-the-line Russian rap show, go for it! And comment here later!

A little background info: You might have heard Seryoga's biggest hits, "King Ring," "Cherniy Boomer" and most recently "1,000,000$ U.S." on Russian radio stations (particularly Russkogo Radio, which seems to repeat its playlist quite often). He's a Russian rapper. Draw your own conclusions.

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...some guy at a Russian restaurant gave me this flier last weekend. Enjoy!


****************UPDATE***********************

"The biggest event in the history of Russian nightlife?" Lamest night ever. Seryoga didn't even show up--nice going, Russian Invasion! I concede that it's not really their fault--there were "visa complications" or something. However, they promised to bring him to the US (for real, possibly?) in April.

But what they should have done was get a couple of the gogo dancers to start rapping. Most people were too drunk to know the difference. ;)

Georgian Music

Here's to an awesome Georgian song--the remix of "Suliko" by Nino Katamadze. Thanks to BP and Irakli Bolkvadze's website, where I recommend you download the contemporary version of the national anthem as well:

http://www.irakli.ru/english/songs.html

http://www.irakli.ru/music/Suliko_Nino.mp3

Georgian rapper West

I was reading an interesting article about the emergence of a distinctly Georgian style of rap and hip-hop on Eurasianet.org; there is a nice photo-essay with it and a few interviews in which Shavi Prinsi and other rappers contrast their style with American rap music.

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav120806.shtml#

Also, I've found that www.inet.ge, a great site (especially if you read Georgian) has introduced me to a number of up-and-coming Georgian bands. If you want to hear contemporary and traditional Georgian music and you don't know where to begin, try the feature on the site that selects 100 random songs for you to stream. It's fast, easy and a comprehensive introduction to this nation's music. My favorites so far are folk-rockers Soft Eject and alt-rock-electro group Young Georgian Lolitaz. Both bands mostly release English-language songs, with thoughtful lyrics, refreshingly unique music (and hot accents!).

Visit the site below to hear some of YGL's best songs. I recommend most of their "Lemon Juice" album, particularly the eerily electronic "Room" and the alt-rock ballad "Hollywood." Indie music hasn't sounded this indie in a LONG time.

http://music.inet.ge/main.php?lang=en&artist=Young%26nbsp%3BGeorgian%26nbsp%3BLolitaz&aid=404

Finally, I'll recommend a great pseudo-"Georgian" song (in Russian actually, and recorded by engineer-turned-ruspop-phenom Valery Meladze and Soso Pavliashvili, who ALMOST shares a surname with notable classical composer Paliashvili--look him up) from the old Soviet-Georgian movie "Minimo" (the one about the pilot in Moscow.) You might have heard it:

"Chito Gurito, chito margarito..."

I'll try & find the mp3.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Press Conference Mania!! (Video)

Old news, I know--but I was shopping in Little Russia yesterday and spotted a CD of--get this--REMIXES of the infamous Kirkorov Press Conference Outburst in Rostov-Na-Donu. Didn't buy it, lol, but it was amusing...anyway, to commemorate this event, I've posted an incomparable parody of Philip, Alla and Masha. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know I'm a little late. Well, almost 3 weeks late--I even missed Stariy Noviy God last weekend. Several places in and around L.A. had spectacular Russian New Year's parties; I went to a rave at the SportsCenter downtown instead. But just for a little Russification, I've decided to post my essential songs for a Russian New Year's party. Save 'em for next year or just listen to them once in awhile so you don't forget those resolutions.
1. Noviy God-Leningrad. You knew this would be here; it's a ska-punk classic from a band that is beyond awesome. Spasibo, Shnur!

2. Novogodnaya Pesnya-Blestyashi. Exactly what you'd expect from the likes of Olga Orlova and the girls: sweet, low-key pop.


3. Novogodnaya-Soso Pavliashvili. Every New Year's party needs some Georgian wine.

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4. Novogodnaya (Menya Pryot)-MC Vspishkin & Nikiforovna. You've got to admire an act that can a) get people on the dance floor and b) spoof Otpeti Mosheniki, Leonid Agutin and almost any other Russian star you can name while doing so.


5. New Year-Dima Bilan. Sweet vocals over a trip-hop mix of "Jingle Bells." And a catchy chorus about traditions every Russian will recognize: chocolate and Stariy Pesni o Glavnom, anyone?


6. Novi God-Reflex. Love them or hate them, this song is exactly what you'd expect from the girl group. Well, until the rap breakdown offers some relief to the repetitiveness...


7. Veseli Novogodniye-Verka Serduchka. You can hear the lisp and the Ukrainian accent--Verka's back for another New Year's party! Wickedly catchy and hilarious. Also try Yolki.

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8. S Legkim Parom-Lazurniy Bereg. More than 3 decades after the eponymous New Year's movie was first shown, modern Russian bands are still spoofing it and re-recording the popular songs. LB is no exception, but their raucous take on "Ironiya Sudbiy" is definitely worth a listen. Techno act Triplex also does a take of this.


9. Novi God-Mikhail Krug. Classic chanson from the Russian Tupac. Well, he's definitely not Tupac music-wise. I think that nickname is more of an, um, gang reference.


10. Novi God-Star Factory contestants. Oh, admit it. You secretly like the show. Or not. Either way, listen to this for an ultra-collaboration.


11. S Novim Godom, Kroshka!-Mumiy Troll I just downloaded this at the recommendation of B.P. Apparently this list has too much pop on it, and I'm not going to dispute that...there IS a lot of pop, besides Krug and Leningrad. Plus, I like Mumiy Troll and this is a GREAT song!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! S NOVIM GODOM!

Friday, January 19, 2007

New CD!

Well, I went on a Bored Spending Rampage on Amazon.com (great for cheap Russian CDs) last weekend and ordered several albums I've been looking for. One of them came today--thanks for the fast delivery, Marinasbooks! It's a 2003 release by Soso Pavliashvili called "Zhdet Tebya Gruzin" with the eponymous song on it and a whole bunch of fast Russian songs with African/Latin influence. There are a couple of hot collaborations ("Argo" with Diana Gurtskaya is notable, and "Rita Rita Margarita" with A. Ukipnika is also good for dancing at your Russian-Mexican Theme Parties. What? You've never heard of a Russian-Mexican Theme Party? Well, think about it.) This CD completes my collection of Soso's songs, as it is the only one that can't be downloaded in full mp3 format from his official website.



And, well, even if you hate the music, the cover art alone is spectacular. Soso is dressed in a gauche striped suit holding a glass of wine that's bigger than his head.

First REAL post.


Preved! No studying this weekend--midterms are over and I'm FREE again. So I figured I'd spend a little time getting this blog off to a good start. Anyway, I've noticed several interesting phenomena this week in the Russian music scene:

1. Philipp Kirkorov seems to be making a comeback. His new songs "Poleteli" and "Kolodna V Gorode" (a duet with--guess who?--ex-wife Alla Pugacheva!) are near the top of the SMS/radio play/download charts. And "Poleteli" has been up there for awhile. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. You're welcome to think I'm crazy, but I think Philipp has genuine vocal talent and a great, unique stage presence. I can't say I support some of his personal outbursts *cough*pressconference*cough* but I still like to listen to his music. And I think his new videos (like the one for "Obichnaya Istoria") are looking more professional than ever. Youtube it! That is, compared to some like "Pupsik" (Also on youtube) which is good for a few laughs.

But Filka may be in the first stages of a Donald-Rosie-esque feud with Nikolay Baskov, which is a shame since I've always entertained secret hopes of seeing those two on tour together. If you read Russian, read this interview! Filka even expresses pride in his own oft-criticized fashion sense!
http://www.tophit.ru/interviewshowdetale.shtml?id=92

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Speaking of Filka and fashion, he recently met his idol Roberto Cavalli in Moscow. Could a new clothing line, with sparkly vests, thigh-high leather boots and ninety-pound flowered headdresses, be in the works? And one more Filka-fashion observation--in his New Years show, Philipp donned Cher's trademark gold headdress. Is this some Armenian national costume that I'm not aware of?

2. Pop group Vintage may be hot right now, with the song "Mama Mia" topping the airplay charts for Moscow, but I don't see what the big deal is (well, besides the band's sexiness. See this picture: . Alas, welcome to a certain brand of Russian pop...Sounds a lot like MakSim of "Otpuskayu" fame. Too repetitive for me.

3. Soso Pavliashvili, Georgian estradocelebrity extraordinaire, is...surprise, surprise....cashing in on his ancestry again! By making fun of it, a la the "Zhdet Tebya Gruzin" video! For a clip of last month's catchy "Remember the Georgian," look no further than yours truly. Courtesy of my Bible: Tophit.ru.

4. Not to be unpatriotic or anything, but your American bloggerista Devushka Avariya has a new favorite national anthem. "Hymn of Russia." Well, at least Lyube's guitar-heavy cover of it. One word--flawless.

5. "Klass, detka, klass" (or "Heiss, baby, heiss") is quicly ascending to the coveted number-one spot on my iPod's 25 Most Played list. Why? Why is this repetitive, midtempo, trip-hop-like Faktor-2 song so...well, klass? Actually, why has Faktor-2 become my single biggest Russian hip-pop obsession ever since I heard the hilarious, well-mixed "Khochu Na TV" on 2006's collaboration CD "Muzikalniy Vozopad?" Well, here's the basic premise of "TV": I want to be famous, give awards to Kylie Minogue, dance like Usher and rap like Eminem, but I'm stuck in my Moscow apartment with my slightly drunk neighbor dancing on my table because I don't speak English. However, I know a couple of words of American, so after every word I sing, I will say M*****F***er. If I'm lucky, that will get me a record deal. Or at least somebody will write me cheesy songs to learn English to, like Dima Bilan's "Never Let You Go."

6. Not to insult Bilan or anything. I love him as much as any girl in Brighton Beach does, and I'm even considering spending $70 for a concert ticket on RosConcert.com. But, let's face it, "Nevozmozhno Vozmozhno" (the Russian version of "Lady Flame") is WAY overplayed. He's turning into the Russian version of James Blunt, only significantly hotter. But I do like this amateur mix of "Lady Flame" and "Nevozmozhno." Download it if you're sick of waiting for Dima's songwriters to hurry up and get some new songs finished.

7. Anyone remember the 80s VIA band, Plamya? Well, if you don't, here's a refresher: Bi-2's cover of the classic Plamya song "Sneg Kruzhitsa." Awesome guitar and cool vocals about whirling snow. Crack open the pepper vodka--what could be more quintessentially Russian than that?

8. ....And last but not least, the legendary Alla Pugacheva has recorded an amazing new track, "U Lubvi Tvoi Resnici," available on the Soyuz 49 that's currently outselling everything else on www.RussianDVD.com. Some people think that she's destroyed her voice from any number of factors--drinking, smoking, aging, being married to Philipp Kirkorov and three (or is it 4 now?) other men--but the fact remains, "Lala" Pugacheva has sold hundreds of millions of albums (with the black market in Russia, there's really no way to tell exactly how many) for a good reason. She can sing. IMHO, better than shrill daughter Christina Orbakaitye. But judge for yourself....

The Five (New)

1. Poleteli-Philipp Kirkorov
http://m1-1.base.zaycev.net/75d4bd9c75c64dcde056c6ab89922455/179/17954/filipp_kirkorov_-_poleteli.mp3

2. Mama Mia-Vintage http://m1-1.base.zaycev.net/1863f6385f15939243b4dc227992de74/477/47798/vintazh_-_mama_miya.mp3

3. Vspominaitye Gruzina-Soso Pavliashvili http://www.tophit.ru/prev/6973_prev.mp3

4. Nevozmozhno/Flame Mix-Dima Bilan http://m1-1.base.zaycev.net/e1f4c7e970831d98c6999787ff7c6a8f/731/73167/d._bilan_-_nevozmozhnoe_and_flame_(beast_mix).mp3

5. U Lubvi Tvoi Recnici-Alla Pugacheva http://m3-1.base.zaycev.net/20efe2f979ef0bbe9509256ae868bb5d/608/60878/alla_pugacheva_-_u_liubvi_tvoi_resnici.mp3

The Other Five (Random Selections)

1. Gimn Rossii-Liube http://m2-1.base.zaycev.net/11fc06dafd9d5c569b7756fc26dc6444/348/34801/liube_-_gimn_rossii.mp3

2. Ostalas Odna-Faktor-2 http://m1-1.base.zaycev.net/6f11f53a226d6151bc9088abfcad1824/396/39645/faktor_2_-_ti_ostalas_odna.mp3

3. Sneg Kruzhitsa (Plamya cover)-Bi-2 http://www.russmus.net/mp3%20samples/bi2-sneg.zip

4. Vse Snachala-Christina Orbakaitye http://www.newrussianworld.com/info/adm/mp3/nrw_887.mp3

5. Veter Volni-Nikolay Baskov http://m3-1.base.zaycev.net/2d2b04222920575b98f38b27d6ca1a51/297/29751/nikolay_baskov_-_veter_volniy.mp3

Feel free to comment on any of these songs, or even request a new one for the next update (or more info about an artist, or
whatever.)

Pleased to meet you.

Preved Medvedi! I'm Devushka Avariya, and I came to a startling realization as I was cleaning/getting organized this morning. I counted my CDs for the first time in about a year, and I realized, with some alarm, that I own about 140 Russian pop, dance, rock and hip-hop CDs. I figure that if I have this much knowledge (or opinions...?) on a specific topic, I should hop on the bandwagon and--hold your breath--START A BLOG. So here goes.

My taste in Russian, European and Georgian music spans decades--for instance, I listen to everything from old Pugacheva to new BandEros and Timati. Rock too--Bi-2, Splin, Leningrad and Zemfira. I attend live shows in America; I scan TopHit, MTVRu Charts, Zaycev.net,mp3.Shmidt.net, Zvuki, RussianDVD and roughly sixty million other websites almost daily to check for updates in the ever-changing Russian music scene. If you're interested, I'll post links to some of my favorite new mp3s every week, available for FREE downloading. These won't necessarily be new--but many of them will. I will post two top-five lists per week: one containing my favorite recently released hits; one with some randomly interesting songs that you might like to hear. I can also post concert reviews: for instance, Dima Bilan and Serega are both coming to America within the next month, and I'll try to make both shows. If I can somehow score tickets to Baskov and Povali, I'll definitely review them as well.

Whether you're a Russian music aficionado or you're just interested in hearing some of it, click around and enjoy!