Friday, May 25, 2007

Ain't No Rigga Like the One I Got

Last weekend, I went to the opening party of a new R 'n' B club, Zhara.

Few subcultures inspire as much ire as Russian hip-hoppers (ahem, riggas). Why though? Certainly these homeboys aren't any more ridiculous than, say, Burmese or Canadian homeboys. A character in Aburdistan even points out that Russians share plenty of similarities with their American brothas: they live in housing projects, they solve problems with drive-bys, their kids have asthma.

But all that's not really applicable though because hip hop is only popular with rich teenagers living on Rublyovka whose daddies are the ones killing people. No idea what their lungs look like.

That's M for Moscow, bitch!

Maybe the annoyance comes from the mindfuck of it all. Most riggas hate or at least fear blacks, but worship hip hop culture. And the country's biggest rap star, Timati, isn't black, he's Jewish/Tartar. Meh, he's tan — close enough.

The crowd in front of Zhara naturally parted when a real black man approached. He couldn't walk 50 meters in the city without being stopped by police, but was graciously waved in by the feis kontrol, operating under instructions to admit anyone with a tan. To give the club their air of authenticity.

The only explanation that I can come up with is that the Russian hip hop party is a carnival, that ritual staging of the violent decomposition of society, in which social hierachies are inverted. Exactly at this time is when you feel the weight and power of social totality most powerfully. The height of holism and individualism coalesce, etc. The carnival is necessary and cleansing. A societal douche, if you will.

Riggas are also douches. (Outed! Its true, I'm an avid, rabid La Russophobe reader.)

Zhara, 8a Tverskoi Bulvar, Metro: Chekhovskaya, Tel. 650-4556

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rave New World

What the hey, Moscow. Taking all the fun out of rave culture again. A Russian Love Psychedelic Trance party already meant beer & glowsticks in the woods — now we get neo-raver street fashion without any of the sex, drugs & oontz that makes dressing like a fool worthwhile? Ok fine, pass the hair gel.

Sure, New Rave — Neu Rave, sorry — originated in the UK underground, not Tulskaya, but that's not stopping new Moscow label White.Trash.For.Cash from biting its colorful DIY style. As I'm not a 14-year-old from New Cross, I don't understand what New Rave is about. But I'm told it involves neon art, 8-bit video games, MDMA, clocks passing through fire, The Klaxons (above) and people who look like The Klaxons (below). Kids are so weird.

White.Trash.For.Cash held a fashion show at Danilovsky Monastary last Friday. To my limited knowledge, they got all the basics right — skinny jeans, over-sized t-shirts, spandex — although, as usual, drugs were not invited to the party.

White.Trash.For.Cash — a victory for copying good. And quickly! Five out of ten British gutter punks will agree that Neu Rave does not yet suck.

The fashion show attracted hip people. Varshavskoye Shosse or Williamsburg? You tell me.

White Trash for Cash, 18 Perevedenovsky Per., Metro: Baumanskaya, Tel. 109-5609


Its ANDREA$ Time

Rai promoter Andreas (or ANDREA$, if you'll humor that eccentricity) had a birthday last weekend. We now know more about the life and opinions of this Caligulan dwarf than ever before.

ANDREA$ — carries a man purse.

ANDREA$ — snuggles pop stars (like Vlad Topalov).

ANDREA$ — wears a silk robe.

ANDREA$ — cannonballs.

ANDREA$ — juggles strippers in the water.

ANDREA$ — gets "gaysted."

No, don't try to understand it. Different plane of existence entirely. Your life is more like a Kyrgyz shit herder's than it is like his.

I don't know, I like Rai. All the preeeeteeee colors. Everything beautiful, and nothing hurts. A wonderful place to sink into oblivion.

Rai, 9 Bolotnaya Nab., Metro: Polyanka, Borovitskaya, Tel. 767-1474


Mo' for Your Money

Generally I don't like to pollute Moscow's premier amateur nightlife anthropology blog with business plugs, but in this case I'm bound by inguinal duty, having known Lochamer ever since 1996 when we were colleagues at Sibneftgazpromsoyuzcorporation's Vienna branch office, then later as bandmates in mid-2001 Moscow boobcore outfit I Hate Your Endomorphic Girlfriend. Back then she had a lez-mullet, and I was still going around as DJ Lazy V.

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