In 1998, May, June something like that I was in St. Petes Russia.
The son of my colleague was showing me around. He has purple hair and was a musician. He walked fast, spoke little and smoked. At first he tried to pretend like he was married to a woman he had divorced months previous because he suspected of his mom sending me on a recon mission. When he realized it wasn’t so, he started taking me around St. Petes to meet his nutty friends and listen to the music he liked. He had very good taste in music, he particularly liked the Spearhead I had been listening to and the Soul Coughing. His music I enjoyed very much.
One band he took me to see was called Leningrad. The show they put on was one of the best I had ever seen to this day. And I had already spent almost 2 years in this mostly frozen country, hanging around with mostly older ladies who were my coworkers. For the first time I saw young people doing the same stuff I spent my teenage years in Seattle doing… in Russia. It was like someone turned on a light there. I figured it would forever be one of those bands that exist in some little special place and time, no matter how good they were, no one would appreciate their talent.
Well I heard them on the radio today. Since they didn’t announce who the band was, I wasn’t sure, but I knew the sound, the horns, the lyrics, the voice…only one band did what they did (especially singing in Russian). I smiled really big to have a little Leningrad in Portland….
BTW this band is on the Everything Is Illuminated Soundtrack, a new movie based on a book I read awhile ago…they sing the song Zvezda Rok and Rolla and a couple other tunes. The movie has Elijah Woods in it. Worlds collide. Odd.