Stuffography Rock in the Reservation


Rock in the Reservation 2005


by Dji

The fact that I received this yesterday but haven't read it yet should tell you something: this is not an easy read. It is, astonishingly, even more academic than Cushman's contribution to the cause. But it has a few things going for it:

  • It's focused. No excursions into Estonia, no left turns into Latvia: this is all about 1980's Leningrad.
  • Focused? Heck, it's unapologetically obsessive. I admire that. We all should admire that.
  • One chapter contains a decent account of the history of Russian rock.
  • It comes with the CD version of BorrowinG.

What? The CD version of BorrowinG? And yet it cites neither our own mimoza nor the BoB in its sources? Well, we can forgive the dis and enjoy the nuttiness. The CD consists of three main tracks: Akvarium's Aristokrat, a bit of one of the more electronic versions of KINO's Last Hero, and two versions of a Televisor song.

Rah rah, you say? But wait, there's more.

Each song is accompanied by a pile of 11-second snippets from songs the author feels influenced the composition. It's clear to me from the notes that Dr. Steinholt does not quite reach the level of comprehension of Mirrors to the Soul: Aroks i Shtyor, but he aspires to that L.I.N.G.H.A.M. level of obsession. What's this stuck in here, deep in the selection of KINO-influences? The Dr. Who theme?

Take my first impressions with an appropriate pinch of salt. I'll keep reading, if the fun parts can keep me awake through the academic jargon, and I'll let you know if my opinion goes from qualified-gush to poo-poo-goosh. But for now, any author who posits a connection between Victor Tsoi and the BBC Radiophonics Workshop is worth my $22.