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.

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Visit their official site at:

and get a few free downloads/some band info here:

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!

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...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: (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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

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


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.

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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):

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

Have fun!