Welcome to the summer doldrums, Moscow. As the rest of the world gets every goddamned tour ever, local promoters are terrified to book interesting gigs during Russian vacation season. And who can blame them, when they can just get Phillip Morris to pay costs on a lame but sure thing, then take home a sweet chunk of change?
Of course, there are exceptions. GEOFFREY ORYEMA (June 29, 16 Tons, 23:00) originally hails from Uganda, which he escaped during the height of IDI AMIN's reign. After being smuggled across the border to Kenya, Oryema found his way to Paris, where he was first exposed to Western music. His mix of African and rock eventually attracted BRIAN ENO, and the two collaborated on Eno's "Exile" album. As opposed to many other shows in Moscow, this one is priced at a reasonable 500 rubles.
eXile alert! The black dude from THE PRODIGY and some German guy are coming to town! That's right, energy drink Red Devil is hosting its DJ battle finals with some nominally famous people: LEEROY THORN-HILL and MARCUS SCHULTZ (June 29, Gaudi Arena, 23:00). There's also gonna be some local DJs in the mix, and maybe the chance of some relative provincial unknowns upsetting things. But this being Gaudi, it'll probably just suck.
Speaking of DJ's, TOM NEVILLE (June 29, 1171, 23:00) is hitting town. I don't know much about him, but he has a track called "Just Fuck" that is apparently huge with the house kids.
The last event on this night of disco dancing is the MXTRONICA LIVE party (June 29, Pavilion Production @ Ul. Donskaya 32, 23:00) featuring some dudes named ANDERS TRENTE-MOLLER and DJ T.O.M. headlining, as well as Icelandic dance combo GUS-GUS and Belgians THE GLIMMERS.
eXile alert #2! DJ KRUSH (June 30, Ikra, 23:45), now 45 years old, is coming to town. Seems like only yesterday a young Krush started scratching for the world. Since then, Krush has gone megaDJing, backing up A-list rappers, solo productions. Although his set will undoubtedly slam, he will probably go on around 4am, when I'll be in no shape to care.
One of the most exciting gigs this fortnight will surely be ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS (July 5, B1 Maximum, 20:00). Tickets cost 60 bones, and the gig is at the gigantic B1, but what are you gonna do? Born a Brit, Antony grew up in California and never quite fit in until he heard a BOY GEORGE record in the early 80s. Realizing that androgyny was OK seemed to give him the creative willpower to move forward, and he moved to New York to pursue music and performance art. In 2000, DAVID TIBET of CURRENT 93 heard Antony's demo and immediately put out his album, full of beautiful vocals and instrumental arrangements. The record didn't get hugely noticed, but the right people did see it: LOU REED liked it and had Antony do guest vocals on his "The Raven" album (Lou repaid this debt by contributing vocals to Antony's second record). Antony's songs are often melancholy, but a current of hope does ripple throughhis vocals have been compared to AARON NEVILLE or NINA SIMONE. If this gig was $30 or less, I would recommend everyone with a heart to go. As it is, only the rich can afford it.
More democratically priced is GEORGE MICHAEL (July 5-6, Olimpisky, 19:00), but you can presumably become intimately acquainted with him for free at the Kitai Gorod Park.
I'd tell you about THE EXILE'S TENTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY (July 6, 20:00, 16 Tons), but you've surely already seen the ad in this very issue and know all the details.
Another mystery band photo