In the week leading up to the Sochi Olympics, we explore Russian music and pop culture of the past and present.
Record collector, music producer, and authority on Soviet punk rock Bryan Swirsky joins host John Schaefer for another look at Russian culture and music during the winter Olympic games.
Capping a week-long look at Russian music and culture, Soundcheck explores Brighton Beach -- an enclave on the ocean where several generations of Russian immigrants and descendants live and work. Alexander Rudoy is a choreographer and entertainment programmer active in the Brighton Beach scene, and he takes host John Schaefer on a guided tour of sorts.
First of all, they're not a band, they're an art collective. Masha Gessen, author of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion Of Pussy Riot, talks about the group's creation, agitation, incarceration and newfound freedom.
Samizdat is the name given to an underground, DIY counterculture that was a huge part of life in the old Soviet Union. There's an exhibit of Samizdat artifacts consisting of pamphlets, books, cheap cassettes and more collected at George Washington University's Gelman Library. The exhibit's curator, Mark Yoffe, explains the movement.
This week, Soundcheck has been celebrating Russian music in the lead up to the Olympics in Sochi. Listen to Moscow-born pop star Regina Spektor talk about one of her musical heroes, the Soviet-era singer Vladimir Vysotsky, the “the Bob Dylan of Russia.”
Author Gary Shteyngart shares a playlist inspired by his comic memoir, Little Failure.
We talk pop culture with the editor-in-chief of GQ magazine's Russian edition, in a conversation that meanders from hipster foodies in Moscow... to the shocking revelation that Russia is where pop stars go when their careers have died.