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.

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