air-kissing the ground

| | Comments (1)

Hey, all. I'm back, safe, happy and not yet as sleepy as I ought by rights to be. Just sent an email to some friends about my music-related experiences on the second half of the trip; let's start with that, and I'll get to the other stuff shortly...

*CDs in Russia are virtually all bootlegs--even the ones sold in great big nicely-lit stores on Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg--and generally cost 60-70 rubles a disc, meaning around $2. The CDs themselves are professionally pressed rather than CD-Rs, but the artwork is usually color-photocopied, curiously. Some enterprising company has been pressing greatest-hits packages of a whole lot of bands with exactly the same design as ABBA's Forever Gold--the crown, the gold-on-gold artwork, etc. I would've bought Black Sabbath Forever Gold, but the guy at the underground CD stand claimed he didn't have change for a 500-ruble note.

*For about 10 rubles more per disc, one can get MP3 CDs, with eight or ten hours' worth of high-quality MP3s. I bought a few things I figured I probably couldn't get back home, including one with the first ten Nurse With Wound albums (yes, you read that right--this is in the equivalent of, say, Sam Goody). They had the entire Merzbox as a three-disc set, and I am now kicking myself for not having dropped seven bucks for it.

*Russian MTV is totally freaky: half "Jenny from the Bloc"-type imports from the U.S. and U.K., half horrible gangsta-folk--guys with short hair, Ocean's Eleven suits and acoustic guitars whose videos are all about shooting people and looking tough and rich. One was a live clip; the kids in the front row were pumping their fists like they were in the front row of a hip-hop show, but NOT IN TIME TO THE MUSIC. Or at the same time as each other. At all.

*In the Helsinki airport, at a somewhat more legitimate CD stand, I saw the Bangles' new album Doll Revolution, which I didn't even know was coming out. I thought "hey, wouldn't it be cool if that title meant they were covering Elvis Costello's 'Tear Off Your Own Head'?" Then I turned it over and saw that it did, so I bought it. On a first listen, that's the best song on it, but I'm just glad they're back.


...the first ten NWW albums on one CD...the future is here and it RULES

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas published on March 23, 2003 11:14 PM.

double vowels, double consonants was the previous entry in this blog.

the glory that was Rome is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.0