From Russia with Love...via YouTube

By Gary Pini

By now many of you have probably watched that ultra-violent video for "Bad Motherfucker" (or "insane office escape 2") and, thanks to it's 10 million+ views on YouTube, we might be hearing more Russian rock on the radio as a result. Russian four-piece rock band Biting Elbows released the clip -- directed by the group's singer --  and is now being pursued by several major record labels. Moreover, singer Ilya Naishuller is hoping his directing skills will lead to a side-career in filmmaking.

If Biting Elbows can make it onto the pop charts, they'll be one of the few (only?) Russian acts to do so. And it seems like we're in a bit of a Russian moment in other areas of popular culture here in the USA: Chekhov is already a hit on Broadway with Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, plus Tolstoy is headed off-Broadway in May with Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 being staged in a big re-creation of a Russian nightclub that's going up in the Meatpacking district. In a short time, Belarus-born writer Evgeny Morozov has stirred up a bit of controversy and worthwhile dialogue with his two books -- The Net Delusion and To Save Everything, Click Here -- and numerous newspaper and magazine contributions. Of course New York City nightlife is up-to-date with its own periodic Russian Party organized by NYC promoter Seva Granik. Now if they'd let Pussy Riot out of prison, we could really celebrate.

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