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July 11, 1986 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1986-07-11

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, July 11, 1986- Page8
'Red Wave' hits U.S.A.
ds are employed by the government Initially, Russian underground
By Beth Fertig as musicians. They get paid for being bands could only play in parks,
musicians, that's their job. They houses, or parties and the music cir-
record on the state-owned Melodiya culated the way it still does. But
THERE'S A new album in the label and tour the Easten block coun- Stingray adds, "They became so
record stores this week which tries, some in the West. To become of- popular that the Russians realized
has already stirred up a bit of atten- ficial, you're asked to join the that they couldn't see what was going
tion. It's not some Big American Band musicians' union. Some underground on, and the bands also wanted to have
and it's not come Cool New British bands have been asked to join but an outlet to play a concert. So in 1981
Band. As a matter of fact, it's from chose not to. The main difference is they opened a club in Leningrad
some place that isn't so popular even though these unofficial bands called the Rock Club, and this was an
these days : Russia. And it's a record can't record on the record label, they organization for all the underground
that even the Russians aren't able to can't have their music sold in stores, rock bands that kind of made them
buy. they can't get paid for their perfor- unofficial. And they have a hall that
w Confused? Intrigued? Red Wave is a mances or their recording - at least seats 1000 people, so they would let
double album of four underground they have total creative control." them play concerts but they couldn't
Russian rock and roll bands. It was Unfortunately, because the Soviet have any money from the concerts.
compiled by Joanna Stringray, who government does not play a very ac- Unfortunately, these bands are
secretly (she doesn't like the word tive roll in rock music's promotion, capable of filling halls that seat 10,000
"smuggled") brought back tapes and the equipment necessary is tough to people - so what you have is all these
video cassettes of the many "unof- come by and expensive. While official people lined up outside trying to buy
Members of the Brecht Company during a scene from The Caucasian ficial" artists she met during her bands are given the benefits of 24- tickets off other people equivalent to
Chalk Circle. Performances run through July 20th. For more infor- visits to the Soviet Union. While we in track recording equipment and $100."
mation, call 995-0532. the West may hear of an occasional promotion, underground artists The four bands Joanna Stingray has
"official" band like Autograph (seen "record 2-track," Stingray explains, assembled for Red Wave are among
hpo er f tr th on "Live Aid"), Stingray's com- "take 1/4" copies and cassettes and the most popular of the Soviet un-
pilation - available on Big Time - is give them to their friends, and within dergrouond scene. They are
a peek at a side of Soviet culture a month you've got their music cir- Aquarium, Kino, Alisa, and Strane
Circle, both women must pull an arm, which is in one very foreign to us, but culated all over the Soviet Union hand Games. One can hear the influence
(COntinued from Page7) leaving the child to the true maternal in another way, very, very similar. to hand." of many Western artists, such as.
heroic character continues in the final figure. Stingray, an American The costly equipment, Stingray Bowie, Eno, and Talking Heads. The
scene. Alas, the play's two underlying Thorne's sensitivity blossoms by singer/songwriter, went to Russia as says, is their only complaint. "The music itself is everything from stan-
stories unite at the Chalk Circle. Here thisfinal scene as the moment of truth a tourist in 1984. While in Leningrad, only way they can get equipment is if dard rock-and-roll to new wave, with
Grusha is subpoenaed with the arrives. It is in the chalk circle that she met up with Boris Grebenschkov a foreign band tours and happens to touches of ska and reggae as well. Ac-
Governor's child (after raising him) everyone's truth unfolds. So does leader of the underground band leave the stuff there or they can buy it cording to Stingray, the Russians love
years later. Now she battles the Brecht's denoument. As the judge Aquarium. The two became fast on the black market." We've all heard Western music - although they are
Governor's widow. Azdek draws a from the Chinese "The Chalk Circle" friends, leading Stingray to become the outrageous stories of the $100 blue unable to buy it legally. Cassettes of
circle on the ground with chalk, declares: "What man can hide what acquainted with countless other jeans, but Stingray sheds a new light bands like the Smiths (available via
placing the boy in the center. Based he really is? Behold the power of the unofficial" rock and rollers. on the Soviet black market: "The Finland and Germany) sell for $20 on
on the old Chinese play, The Chalk chalk circle." The term "underground is very guitar player of Kino just worked four the black market.
different is the Soviet context from years to save enough money to buy a While these Soviet bands would like
the somewat hip, independent guitar. It was a Yamaha guitar and he
meaning it has here in the States. paid the equivalent of $3000. And in the thatver cant collaborate with
Stingray explains: "'Official' ban- states it costs $300. Western artists, Stingray reminds us
SU M M ER that they are not dissidents. "They
love the Russian culture and the
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