Tag Archives: boris grebenshikov

Boris Grebenshikov

My recent post about the Polish Beatles reminded me of my favorite Eastern Bloc rocker, Boris Grebenshikov.  OK, I don’t actually know if he’s my favorite, but I have never really fallen out of love with his unsuccessful attempt to crack the US market, “Radio Silence.”  He used to be in a band called Aquarium, which I remember the Soviet participants in the International Math Olympiad being really into in 1988.  They wrote “Aquarium” in Sharpie on our T-shirts so we’d know what was going on in Leningrad.

I’ve posted this song on the blog once before, but that was four years ago, so here it is again.  Bonus:  young David Letterman.

 

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Mountain Goats have sold out the High Noon

Nothing ever sells out here. I’m proud of Madison. And looking forward to the start of the show.

Update. Home from the show.  A few notes.

  • JD is an interesting guitar player but a boring piano player.
  • I don’t think I’ve seen him play with a full band since, I dunno, 2004?  I like the rocking-out full-band Mountain Goats better than the hushed one-guy-with-guitar Mountain Goats.  But best of all I like the rocking-out one-guy-with-guitar Mountain Goats.
  • So I have a theory that the correct way to listen to Mountain Goats music is not to play the record, or to see him perform, but to play the songs on guitar in your room by yourself.  Given this you’d think I’d approve of the many people singing along at this show, but I did not.  It was annoying.
  • John Darnielle and Persi Diaconis do the same oversized “I’ve won this crowd over” grin.
  • Opener was Final Fantasy, kind of like Andrew Bird if instead of one guy he was two guys.  Violin guy Owen Pallett backed up JD for a sort of great pizzicatified “Going to Bristol,” the only old number on the setlist.
  • Songs I thought I might hear and was sad not to hear:  “Palmcorder Yajna,” “The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton.”  Songs I knew I wouldn’t hear:  “Sinaloan Milk Snake Song.”  “Deianara Crush.”  “The Monkey Song.” “Going to Marrakesh.”
  • Looking through the Wikipedia Mountain Goats pages I’m amused to find my own name, credited with translating the Swedish phrases in the liner notes to Sweden.  I didn’t translate them but I did get them translated, by the Swedish guy who ran the Calla Lily Cafe, where Cathy O’Neil and I used to study Milne’s article on abelian varieties every morning when we were in grad school.
  • I was going to link to a Mountain Goats track here, but something he played made me think of another song I really love: “Radio Silence,” the single from Soviet rock god Boris Grebenshikov’s unsuccessful 1989 attempt to break into the English-language alternative pop market.  He should have made it!
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