From Russia With Rock!

Pусский рок (Russian Rock) developed behind the Iron Curtain during the 1960’s. In the Soviet Union people went through great trouble to illegally import Beatles albums and roots music, avoiding the harsh gaze of the KGB. Russian rock music has as it’s roots music that came from America and the UK but it would soon take on forms of it’s own that would exhibit a slavic temperment and cultural asthetic. The phonetic sounding of the word rock (рок in Russian) has itself a connotation different than what Cleveland disky jockey Alan Freed had in mind when he coined the phrase. The word (рок means “fate” or “doom”. The mostly poetic term embodies the sense of somber earnestness in the music that is often political or about serious issues.

Things have undoubtedly changed and diversified with Russian exports of groups like T.A.T.U. who are a manufactured project intended for creating pop friendly dance music. However, many Russians view this music to be popsa, a term that is connected with the type of “safe” music that was released under Melodiya, the only authorized state run music distribution outlet in the Soviet Union.

The “Golden Age” of Russian rock music was during the 1980’s. Artists that had existed mostly underground and only able to play in other musicians apartments and other low visibility outlets were able to take advantage of the changes with perestroika to get wider audiences.

I am going to go through a brief history of various artists that have gained vast appeal amongst Russians but due to the cultural and political barriers have little to no ground in the western world.

In 1986 4 bands served as ambassadors of the Russian sound. The Album Red Wave highlighted bands from then Leningrad. It was brought to the U.S. through the efforts of Joanna Stingray, a native of L.A. who developed a strong relationship with underground Soviet bands and Boris Grebenshchikov, of the band Aquarium, an important band in the formation of Russian rock. The project was done without commercial profit and had to be smuggled by Joanna Stingray to the United States with final production done by Big Time Records in Los Angeles.

One of the bands on this album, Aquarium started out in the 1970's during a time when unauthorized musicians held apartment concerts, usually unplugged in intimate quarters so as not to alert the neighbors to call the police. They were a part of the folkish bard style of Vladimir Vysotsky but had as their muse the prog rock from the U.S.

More to Come…..

There are days when ideas seem to never come and the words are few in what to say. Today is not one of those days. I made a commitment to stay consistent with this blog. However, It’s been several days now since I’ve updated. I had intended to blog last night but I was a little busy ducking from tornadoes in my home state of Oklahoma. At one point I was literally circled by tornados either forming or on the ground in less than 50 miles of me in all directions.

I’m glad I waited. In planning for my subject I discovered a treasure chest of material. You could say that it invigorated a passion in me and had me wanting to learn and discover more on my subject matter. I have actually decided that the subject of the next blog post is going to be broken into a series.
For now, just know that I am working hard on the blog and have far from given up on it. I pride myself in doing as much research as I can reasonably afford to on subjects I post about. I want to do this one justice.

Also, just a note on changes. I recently chose to become an Amazon.com affiliate and you will notice that there are occasionally links to Amazon products. My reason for this is simply to have the option of having some kind of monetization to the blog for the time that I intend on putting into the endeavour. Like most people I am stuck in a 9 to 5 job that doesn’t afford me the time to do things I’d like to do and I struggle to pay the bills. A few extra dollars here and there are nice.

My commitment to you is to not flood the blog with annoying and pesky advertisements. I want to keep it a sleek and clean page that is focused on honest reviews and interesting content. I have intentionally avoided Google AdSense for the fact that I feel the ads aren’t likely to be relevant and are often obtrusive and tacky. Any products I link to will be relevant to the subjects in my articles. Thanks for understanding and I’m looking forward to providing new content.

1 Billion people do cocaine every day and probably do not even know it.

It is a well known story that the original 1885 formula for Coca Cola was sold as an elixir with it’s main medicinal ingredients being coca leaves and kola nuts, hence the name Coca Cola.

As a child I had an elderly neighbor who has long since passed away that recalled stories about the drink at the turn of the twentieth century where they would have endurance contests where he and other boys would dare each other to drink what he reported as being a much harsher, caustic drink to consume than it is today.

It was less than a decade after it’s arrival in the late 1800’s before a growing concern about the effects of cocaine began to raise issues over the safety of the formula. By the 1920’s the formula had been drastically altered to remove the cocaine properties.

But, what is not as well known is that cocaine was NEVER actually removed from Coca Cola.

As the story goes it was crucial to the right to the name Coca Cola that coca leaves be in the formula or else it would not be an accurate description of it’s contents. Without the key ingredient the right to the trademark name would not maintain.

So the solution to this dilemma comes through an unusual exception made by the Drug Enforcement Agency to allow the import of coca leaves that generally come from Peru and are then shipped to a Stepan Company plant in Maywood, New Jersey. It is the only commercial entity in the U.S. that is legally allowed to import coca leaves. It goes through a process of “de-cocainization” and is sold to Coke, while the active ingredient is used by pharmaceutical companies in various medicines.

However, don’t expect to get a buzz from this small amount of cocaine. The amount of active ingredient left in Coca Cola is reported to be less than one part in 50 million. But, it saves the name of one of the biggest giants in beverages known to humanity.

Carnality Ball 2011 – No Taboo

The Carnality Ball, now in it’s 5th year is an erotic art show created by talented Oklahoma artists Nicole and Jason Moan. This year’s title, No Taboo, was an exotic asian theme held at Club Raw on May 13th. There were plenty of beautiful and creative costumes as well as exciting performances to be seen. The highlight of the first half of the evening was the exhibtion by S.B.S. Suspension. A woman hoisted from the floor by flesh hooks sitting in a lotus position. The entire time she remained in such a deep trance state that she seemed blissful. It was an inspirational blending of an exotic sensuality with the spiritual.

Along with the dancers and models performing on stage there were performance artists, bands and this year a London Taxi ride. There was also a merchant room full of sexy fashions and merchandise. For a higher ticket price there was a VIP lounge area serving a buffet of sushi and refreshments. The ball is usually held in the spring of every year and generally boast an attendance of approximately 1500 people.

To climax the evening there was an enticing fashion show by Nicole Moan spotlighting her amazing ceramic corset fashions. She has made a name internationally with this niche fashion that she claims started as an idea for a personal costume for another well known erotic art show that Oklahoma holds. Years later from the night of that party I feel it has become her own show that is the title holder for the best erotic art show to attend in Oklahoma City.