Friday, July 13, 2007


Last month, Kak na Kanarakh (Like the Canarys), Park Kultury's sexy summer pool club, was on the cover of Time Out's "25 Best Verandas in Moscow" issue. On Wednesday, it was shut down by municipal authorities, probably for good, for not having the right zoning permits. Because you can't have a club that close to the river. Fair enough — who'd really want to eat and drink out by the Moskva? But never mind every other riverside establishment in the city...

Watch out! There's water behind you.

In fact, KNK did not grease the right palms greasy enough to earn the official legal status of "club." Two weeks ago, on their website, they began putting forth serious "we're not a club" damage control, based on Afisha's review of the place as a hot nightlife spot. Their arguments include:
  • There's no feis-kontrol; the tables are just usually occupied, which is why people are turned away.
  • Mr. Sergeyev and Mr. Magdi are not promoters, they are just people with pools. It's not their fault if people get drunk and party at their pools.
  • "'Pre-party' and 'after-party,' in their Moscow understanding, as Mix and A Priori call themselves, KNK was not, is not and never will be. People don't dance at KNK, but spend time sitting, lying and swimming."
Not a club. Not a club. Not a club.

Didn't work, though. Pool's been drained; Afisha's pulled their article from their website; KNK has been "disappeared." Expect a similar fate for Solyanka, the hottest indie club that doesn't exist yet, on account of not having a permit. Somebody save Solyanka!

Environmental watchdog Oleg Mitvol personally closing KNK. Dick!


Kak na Kankarakh, Pushkinskaya Naberezhnaya, Metro: Park Kultury, Tel. 223-1758,
Solyanka, 11/6 Solyanka Ul., Metro: Kitai Gorod,

Kha, Kha, Kha!

"Comedy Club" is Russia's "Def Comedy Jam." It airs late night, is dominated by minority comics (Armenian) and is crazy popular with the kids. After years of impenetrable Soviet anekdoty, its potty jokes, boob-honking and impersonations of homosexuals are a breath of fresh air. Nothing gets out of Comedy Club's eagle-eye crosshairs: it was CC's Pavel "Snezhok" Volya who flirted with guest Pamela Anderson's chest at the ill-fated MTV Movie Awards.

Now the Comedy Club has a club. Teknika Molodezhi (Techniques of Youth) opened on June 15 by Belorusskaya metro station with the help of some veteran club-people: Vanya Henson (Parliament Plyazh) and Inna Tundra (30/7, Too Drunk to Fuck, Just Another Bar) and "Denis" from Garazh. The cafe-club's theme is "return to youth": comics on the walls, '80s/'90s music and, according to CC, couches "cozy enough to pukat' (fart) in!" Soon they're opening a Playstation 3 zone.

Despite the club's avowed anti-glamurny stance, they pulled in a pretty high-living crowd on opening night (the kind, at least, with the ability to laugh at itself). Wacky is not something that Muscovites wear well. But they tried. The tides are turning. Let the good times roll. It's the Roaring Naughts!

Sweet Jesus! The fuck is her head?


Teknika Molodezhi, 3rd Yamskogo Polya, Metro: Belorusskaya, Tel. 363-2811

Moscow: Canned!

Grab a can, young man. Graffiti artists convened at Luzhniki Stadium at the end of June for spray-off "Moscow 2057." The theme was “My Moscow;” crews had five hours or so to come up with a design that expressed how the felt about the city they’ll inherit in 50 years.

Bracketing the ominous have-fun-or-else influence and nationalism of the Department of Family and Youth Policy of the City of Moscow, it was good, innocent fun for the whole family. Also it validated something I realized when they started selling spray cans at indie bookstore Respublica: being “street” has grown in currency.

The event was co-sponsored x-treme sports store Nye-Olympiiskiye Igry and new street art magazine Iron Curtain. Expect big things from this publication: Their marketing campaign is aimed at the hordes of restless youth all over Russia with a penchant for petty vandalism. Better that hoods in St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Ufa and Samara are expending the energy creatively than, say, on beating half-Mexicans.

Visual Artifacts shows that, against all odds, there’s actually a growing set of funny and subversive stencil artists and taggers in Moscow.

Aw, cute. I spend most of the day walking around blinded by bloodlust, then she goes and does something like this and I think, we’re going to be OK, me and Moscow.