Posts Tagged ‘indie’

ZABAVY PROSTOLYUDINA – old recordings.

February 19, 2009

Z.P. live 1997

Z.P. live 1997

ZABAVY PROSTOLYUDINA (very loosely translated as “commoner’s fun”) from Pskov are what I’d term a cult band.
They started playing sometime in the mid-nineties, mostly gigged around Russian North-West – with some gigs being truly great and some being truly awful. The only official release they did was a split tape with St. Petersburg’s TRIBAL in 2002 on Caravan Records. It contained some, but not all, material of the then-recent sessions at AnTrop Studios in St. Petersburg. There are also early recordings with the participation of MARKSCHEIDER KUNST guitarist Vladimir Matushkin, a three-song CDR demo done at Dobrolyot studio, perhaps assorted live materials. There’s an animated video that Misha Safronov lovingly done.
I’d first encountered them in Summer 1997 which was when I took the photo above – they blew me away, gave me a tape (which is sadly unlistenable now, being an MK-60), and I occasionally had the pleasure of keeping in touch with them.
The band has never widely popular, largely due to lack of gigs and releases, but there was a small core of enthusiasts who appreciated their poetic lyrics, idiosyncratic, angular mix of post punk, indie, Russian rock, jazzcore and alternative music (which unfortunately led to some misguided experiments with rap-metal), and the overall charisma. There are faithful who still believe that ZABAVY PROSTOLYUDINA will one day forget about their modesty and laziness and start gigging again, or that at least their old songs will be reissued one of these days. There were rumours to that effect last year – also of the band’s continued existence, but, well, perhaps with the recession the CD won’t materialise after all…
Misha Safronov’s animated video for “Spichechnykh Korobkov Grokhotom”
Early recordings
Demo part 1
Demo part 2


WE BLEED CHARISMA – Minimum Rock ‘N’ Roll demo.

January 17, 2009

St. Petersburg’s WE BLEED CHARISMA had an extremely short career cca. 2005. To my knowledge, they only ever played one gig, at Deep Sound Club at that, with GOODOK and KYSHTYM-23, a KING-KONGS side project. That was for a reason, only one of the members is a native of this fine city – singer Pavel Sasin (‘TIL I DIE, DOTTIE DANGER) aka DJ Pablo Diablo. Kostya Severniy the drummer was originally from Severodvinsk where he fronted pop punk band VYSHKA. He later drummed in CUT’N’RUN and is now in WIDOWLAND, as well as playing as a solo act which I personally find rather distasteful. French guitarist Seb is a member of SLEEP TALKER and CALL ME LORETTA. I dunno where the seppo sheila (the term used ironically) Naomi who was a keyboardist played before or after WBC, can anyone clue me in? They recorded nine songs, of which only a couple were properly mixed (and consequently released on a bunch of compilations in Russia and France). No cover, no nothing, can’t even find a band photo. It is still good. The degree to which English was mastered by this lot (who didn’t sing in Russian) is obvious from the name. Uploaded by Kostya.

Eduard Nesterenko died.

November 17, 2008

Eduard Nesterenko, 2002, photo by Sveta Belikova
The world seems to have an unlimited supply of bad news sometimes.
Eduard Nesterenko had died after a long illness on October 31st, 2008, at Mariinskaya Hospital in St. Petersburg. He started out as a singer / guitarist in new wave band Kofe in 1984. In December 1987 three of its ex-members formed a new post punk band, PETLYA NESTEROVA, which was Nesterenko’s best-known project. Their debut album, “Kto Zdes?”, featuring members of IGRY and KINO, is recommended most highly. He also played in Durnoye Vliyaniye for a year or so. While he wasn’t as active musically in the nineties and noughties, he kept a version of PETLYA NESTEROVA going and sometimes moonlighted with other bands, e.g. dub band SAMOSAD BEND features him on 2007’s Digun 2CD.
Nesterenko was buried on November 3 in St. Petersburg.

CHIKISS – press release.

February 22, 2008

Well, since I’ve translated the following press release for my pal Galya Chikiss’ solo project (and even got paid with a shot of Perra Mexicana), I might as well put it here:

Chikiss has formed in the Summer of 2005 in a quiet resort town of Primorsk. It’s near the Finnish border, on the coast of Gulf of Finland. Against the background of beautiful nature two Sashas – band’s guitarist and drummer – have for ten years been recording their sound waves. The band has taken a certain shape in St. Petersburg at the home studio of keyboard player and singer Galya Chikiss who had first appeared in Primorsk in January 2005 to meet some like-minded people. Thus a new period in the life of all three has started. First they jammed at a historical early 20th century Lutheran church right on the Gulf’s shore; the rehearsal studio was right under the spire. Then they moved to St. Petersburg. The joint creative process has led to the creation of Chikiss band and provided a lot of fresh ideas to the legendary Primorsk-based experimental band 188910 (named after the town’s postcode) with which it shares members. Chikiss is a colourful, beautiful and lively phenomenon in the Russian music scene. Not quite standard yet rather minimal lineup (voice, keyboards, rhythm section, guitar, reverberators), electronically specific sound of live instruments; varied scope of sounds – noise and ambient sketches alternate with dance rhythms and soul-warming outer space love lyrics. In Galya Chikiss’ songs everyone can find something, concrete or abstract, catch a moment, a feeling – a high, a loneliness, a crush, an angst; joyful euphoria and universal sadness. In the two years of existence the band has made a fair deal of progress. Chikiss took part in the St. Petersburg festivals Plug&Play, Izolenta, Zhivaya Elektronika, Sisto Party, SKIF, as well as Kazantip and Space Of Joy festivals in Crimea, Ukraine. They’ve played in all the leading St. Petersburg clubs and at friends’ parties regardless of the musical theme as they could fit pretty much anywhere. Currently the band features three people: Galya Chikiss (lead vocals, keyboards, music and lyrics), Alexander Belkov (rhythm section, reverberator, backing vocals) and Alexander Dubrovin (guitar, reverberator, backing vocals). All three of them harmonically combine in Chikiss and interact musically as a single organism.

CHIKISS “Untitled Vitamin” net release

PARNEY – Ya Khochu Kogo Khotet Nelzya.

January 30, 2008

This three-song CD-R demo by St. Petersburg band PARNEY has been perhaps the most pleasant local discovery for me in the last few weeks. Fronted by the avid Morrissey fan Dima Darin (come to think of it, the name sounds like that of someone from the Larry Parnes stable) and featuring guitar, backing vocals and vibes by WINE’s Alexei Winer, this is, like, guitar pop with all the right influences and the typically downbeat lyrics referencing unhappy lurve, Moloko club and listening to records.

1. Ya Khochu Kogo Khotet Nelzya (I Want The One That Can’t Be Wanted)

2. Vot Razvlecheniye (That’s Entertainment – by The Jam, lyrics translated by Darin, arranged by Parney)

3. Tretiy Raz Podryad (Third Time In A Row)


TRY THE BONE – Live at Zoccolo & Griboyedov.

January 11, 2008

TRY THE BONE are one of my favourite local bands. This video by the ever adorable Alex Volkov catches the last couple of minutes of their recent gig with NOLA at Zoccolo. The singer / guitarist Katya was sick so they played an all-instrumental set. Thankfully, the archives also hold a live recording of a few songs from Griboyedov club from Summer 2007, engineered by Den (PTVP, SVK, 188910). I really do hope that TRY THE BONE would overcome their shyness and do a studio recording.

TRY THE BONE – live at Griboyedov, Summer 2007:


NOLA – “Let There Shine” live in St. Petersburg Jan. 8, 2008.

January 9, 2008

Well, a big hearty thank you once again goes to Alex Volkov who filmed last night’s gig at Zoccolo club in St. Petersburg. It featured locals TRY THE BONE and ARTTESTER as well as a rare appearance by veteran Moscow indie band NOLA (at various times also known as ENOLA).