Musical Weekend Best Cure for the January Blues

Lithuanian singer-songwriter Alina Orlova has gained popularity worldwide and performs in 16 Tons tonight. Robert Lipnicki

It's a brand new year, ladies and gentlemen! Hopefully, you survived the holidays and are feeling upbeat — and your New Year's resolutions haven't been shoved aside. One of my resolutions is to keep you all informed about all the great things happening in our city, and 2014 already looks like a magnificent year, concert-wise.

We've loads to look forward to, and while some of the best gigs will take place over the summer, there are still great performances lined up almost every week. So let's get right to it and see what this weekend has in store for us!

Friday has plenty to offer, from Swedish death metal to live jazz performances. But if I had to choose just one gig, I'd advise you to go see Alina Orlova at 16 Tons. This young Lithuanian singer-songwriter is incredibly talented, and has gained popularity worldwide.

She both composes her own songs and performs other musicians' cover versions, and generally performs in three languages — Lithuanian, Russian and English. Orlova's piano-led compositions and vocal skills have drawn comparisons to the likes of Joanna Newsom and Regina Spektor. However, it is her exhilarating mix of Baltic folk and western pop that makes her a truly unique performer, something that has been noted by both critics and fellow performers.

Travis frontman Fran Healy even picked one of her tracks to be featured on the 'Play. Stop. Rewind' EP.

Alina released her second studio album back in 2010 and is currently working on her third, so add a little dark Baltic folk beats to your weekend and go check her out! The concert is taking place at the 16 Tons club and starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17.

Saturday is club central all over the world, and Moscow is no exception. Nothing will keep Muscovites from partying all night long, and you know what they say — if you can't beat them, join them. If you're in the mood for some good electronica, head on over to Pravda Club, because that's where The Dusty Kid is playing his psychedelic techno set, and this Italian DJ/producer is very popular worldwide.

DJs On Lee and Tea Wavesword are going to be rocking Propaganda club with some great house music, and if you're looking for some disco or pop music, go check out B2 club, because they're hosting a "Back to the Future" night, which promises to be a lot of fun!

But if you're not into the club scene and you want something a bit more rock, go see Uma2rman, who are also performing at B2 club. Uma2rman is a Moscow-based alternative rock band started by two brothers, Sergei and Vladimir Kristovsky.

The band formed back in 2003 and since has enjoyed great popularity in Russia and abroad.

They were nominated for the 2004 Europe MTV Music Award for Best Russian Group, and have released five studio albums to date. The band is currently working on an acoustic program, which they plan to debut in the fall of 2014, but that still means there is a very good chance you'll get to hear some of their new tracks!

And if you're not too familiar with the Russian alternative rock scene, Uma2rman is a great introduction. They take to the B2 stage at 10 p.m. on Saturday, and tickets are still available.

Sunday will be dedicated to minimal electronics girl/boy duo Xeno & Oaklander, based in Brooklyn, New York. They began writing music and soundtracks in 2004. Liz Wendelbo is French-Norwegian and Sean McBride is from Maryland.

They record their songs live in their Brooklyn studio and play analogue synthesizers and instruments exclusively. They have toured Europe and the US numerous times, and they play extensively in New York in music venues, lofts and festivals.

They've been to Moscow twice already, but this will be the first time they are performing solo; both their previous visits were part of the Waveform nights in the city. So end your weekend on a high note and go check them out at 16 Tons Club. The gig starts at 8 p.m. sharp, and tickets are available online at www.16tons.ru

So, the first real weekend in January looks pretty good — and I promise you, it will only get better from here.

Colder, too, but that's out of our control, so just wrap up warm — and banish the winter blues with some great music!

Contact the author at eazarova@gmail.com

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