Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cold War Over

Hat tip to Sippican Cottage for turning me on to this group:


The Donald said...

Da! Maybe they play next the Georgia on My Mind, Пожалуйста?

I always wanted to learn to play the electric balalaika (my Dad brought me an acoustic one in the early '70s).

On a school trip in March '75, a friend and I (we were 14 at the time) sat in the club of our Leningrad/St. Petersburg hotel, listening to terrible Beatles' covers, while practicing junior diplomacy with some off-duty Sailors and their wives/girlfriends. Aided by a Russo/English dictionary and pink vodka (or White Zin), we were treated as princes.

We were both from Texas, and seeing our new friends' fascination with our attire, we gifted them with our bolo ties, and they reciprocated by giving us Red Army belt buckles and various commemorative stick pins.

And that, my friends, was the beginning of Glasnost.

OK, that might be a stretch. But we did our part, and the stuff about the hotel is true.

Penny Pincher said...

Harasho! I used to be in a Balkan folk band. We were also all rock musicians so we made up this song one night on stage called the Kiselec Blues, based on a song called "Para berit kiselec" The song is about a girl named Mara or Para who is growing kiselec (sorrel) and a guy comes up and starts bothering her, asking for some kiselec, but it's a euphemism for he wants to kiss her. We played several traditional tamburitsa instruments, also kaval, gajda, and rock instruments. We rocked. I studied Bulgarian folk singing and learned the Cyrillic alphabet for this, and had great fun. Our band leader would sometimes dress up in a skeleton leotard and tap dance.

You might also check out a band called Gogol Bordello. They are insane. Their song "Start Wearing Purple" is great.

Penny Pincher said...

Oh yeah, and there was a Russian punk band called Zvuki Mu that was produced by Brian Eno. They were also quite good.