Monday, May 25, 2009

(----) in Russia Vol.20: On Location in St. Petersburg, again

You know you're in Petersburg when there's this kind of sky. Moscow has no such thing, only a gruel-colored layer of factory smog and car exhaust and the smoke of millions of daily cigarettes occasionally punctuated by what some people refer to as "the sun."

This dude's snoring kept me up all night long on the train.

Ad for a pet store. Might as well get the animal imagery out of the way early.

Ad for a maternity store.

Ad for an energy drink called Burn. This extremely creepy-looking individual, DJ Smash (just note how close those eyes are set together, not to mention how far back they are already set....[shiver]), is promoting the drink. If you look closely enough, you can see that someone has actually "smashed" the glass on this kiosk. Which is a meta-burn on many levels.

Ad for a strip club on the main street in Petersburg. I like how it doesn't pretend to contain any subtleties: "Simplified entrance for the foreigners." But they don't let you know how complicated the exit is...

Anticon Records' Themselves playing at a club in St. Petersburg. I've heard these guys' recordings and was impressed, but this show was pretty off the hook. Instead of running a sequencer or a cd of their backing tracks, they just brought all their samplers and played each sample individually like drummers. Note the life-size cutout of Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan posted up behind them. They brought him out at the beginning of their set and referred to him as their manager, then proceeded to try and make him drink.

My camera ran out of battery power 30 seconds in.

Someone has taken the airbrushed stencil aesthetic too far.

A post-wedding ceremony on the Neva river. It's some sort of tradition to have doves representing the happy couple, but it was really uncomfortable watching these doves squirm in this dude's hands as the newlyweds posed for photos.

So I was in Petersburg the weekend of Victory Day, the celebration of Russia's defeat of the Nazis in WWII. It's especially poignant for Petersburg, since Leningrad was under siege for over 900 days by the Nazis during the war. The day before the Victory Day Parade, the military decided to show off a little muscle in anticipation.

At the parade itself, the veterans brought the noise.

This little boy was pretty damn cute with his red star balloon.

The parade. If you make it all the way through, pay attention to how the music of the marching band fades into some creepy ice-cream-truck music from a vehicle that comes after the band.

At a Beatles-themed bar called Liverpool, this band, whose name I failed to get, kicked out some serious classic rock jams, not just Beatles, either.

Their singer's face tells a hard story. His voice, as you can see below, tells a harder one. Rikk says he thinks this guy sounds like David Lee Roth; I can see that, which makes this version of "A White Shade of Pale" better than the original for me.

When the band kicked into "Honky Tonk Women," this guy in the white shirt set the dance floor on fire, urging the rest of the crowd to join him. The bald thug in the leather jacket in front of me was not moved.


Nevsky Prospekt.

The moon over the Neva River.

Graffiti on the ground: "Who am I without you?"

There was a soccer game in the city, which meant that the metro was closed and no one could buy any alcohol or glass bottles of any kind anywhere near the stadium. It also meant that the riot police were out and about (the dudes in the blue camo).

Somehow, I always manage to find that one dog hanging out of a window, checking out the scene. And it always makes me think of Rikk.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

(----) in Russia Vol.19

You know you're in Russia when this dude is hosting a call-in music video program and he's supposed to be some sort of chick magnet.

A poster in a band rehearsal studio. This was right around the big swine flu scare-thing, so it seemed topical then. Now it's just kinda funny. The sign basically warns musicians and their guests to obey the rules of the practice place. The pig is supposed to be someone who has violated the rules, but some hooligans wrote over that part.

The lab.

So Brooklyn's VAZ played in Moscow. At the club lives this cat, who was almost frontin' but turned out to be pretty sweet.

Also at the club lives this cat's kittens, who were moved to an undisclosed, less abrasive location once VAZ started rumbling and the place filled up with smokers and drunk people.

The drummer from VAZ and the singer from Perth, who also played, communicating with the cat.

VAZ being interviewed by a Russian television station.

VAZ rocking.

God. Why? This summer, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Korn and these jokers are coming to Moscow. But then again, so is FAITH NO MORE!!!!!! So it's a tradeoff, I suppose.

This tunnel is on my way to work. Sometimes I walk to work, which takes about an hour. This thing was the most dangerous area in the winter because it was completely iced over, but now that spring is finally here, it's ok.

I would say that this guy is a serious babnik (ladies' man). It's not often you get to hold two different ladies' hands at the same time and not have them get offended.

There had to be at least one dog image in this post.



HOLY FUCKING AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! As Silk Nogg says, you can't put a baby in a suit.

Ok, next time:
1. Themselves (insane hip-hop group from Anticon Records) live in St. Petersburg.
2. Tanks rolling down a street.
3. A dog leaning out of a window.
4. Another Silk Nogg jam. It's time for the world, or rather, the 5 of you who read this, to finally hear some cuts from "The Forthcoming Album."

Friday, May 01, 2009

(----) in Russia Vol.18

You know you're in Russia when you're walking through a park at night on a balmy 50-degree evening (spring!!!!) and a huge fucking garbage truck decides to take a shortcut through said park.

Ad in a metro car. It reads: "Allergies: Your Nightmare?" My roommates and I debated the content. One camp (mine) thinks that the cat is begging forgiveness for causing your allergies by bringing you flowers and tangerines. Another camp thinks that the cat, the flowers and the oranges are like the perfect storm of allergies, as if a cat showing up at your door bearing flowers and fruit would be the worst of all possible allergy scenarios.

One snazzy-looking couple walking through the metro.

View from my window onto our courtyard. This is what happens to a winter's worth of cigarette butts when the snow finally melts. Some poor Central Asian dude (as if he doesn't have enough to worry about with the sporadic waves of skinhead violence in the city against Central Asian workers) has to spend his day sweeping them up in preparation for the spring's installment of smokers' trash.

Cologne, Germany's Popnoname playing at a club called Shanti.

One of Popnoname's live shtick things is to put on sleeveless hoodies (he had two different ones), zip them up over his face, and dance around while his laptop blasts a series of gloriously sappy Eurobeats.

One of the more annoying things about clubbin' in Moscow is the amount of photographers running around taking hundreds of pictures of the crowd at every show. I decided to retaliate by capturing the photographer as he tried to capture me at the Popnoname gig. You can see him wincing from my flash.

Keeping with the club theme, here's a shot of British DJ team Padded Cell playing at Solyanka.

This drunk dude was carrying a huge set of white balloons in the metro.

"Ladies, pt.3"

"Solitary beer"

"Ladies, pt.4"


In a clothing market. A few seconds earlier, this cart full of headless mannequin bodies had fallen over, forcing the people pushing it to have to gather up a bunch of torsos with really supple racks.

A few meters away, this man was also carrying mannequin torsos into this empty storefront.

Pedestrian right-of-way light.

A contender for
Or more fodder for ddooodpretation?