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Muchnik's Picks: Afisha Picnic, Sea Radio and More Music in Moscow on the Weekend

Afisha Picnic

The heat and the thunderstorms show no sign of subsiding but at least the coming weekend offers ample opportunity to spend the day outside listening to some great music — and maybe even dancing in the rain. The highlight of it all? Afisha Picnic, Moscow's largest summer music festival.

Lazy Thursdays is a series of live concerts on the beach in Muzeon park organized by trendy bar and club Dewar’s Powerhouse. This Thursday up-and-coming indie-pop band Sea Radio will take to the stage. Sea Radio sing in English, skillfully mixing new RnB, trip-hop and electronic dance music.

Park Muzeon. 2 Krymsky Val. Metro Oktyabrskaya, Park Kultury. Free entrance. Thursday at 7 p.m.

Returning to Kolomenskoye park this Saturday, Afisha Picnic is Moscow's pioneering music festival. Once a royal estate, Kolomenskoye still boasts a tsar’s palace and the stunning 16th century Ascension church — a UNESCO world heritage site.

The main headliner is The Chemical Brothers, pioneers of the British electronic scene. The duo are touring with their most recent album, “Born in the Echoes,” which is their first release in a decade.

Joining them as a second headliner is Leningrad — Russian pop-rock heavyweights and hooligans from St. Petersburg. They’ve been around for almost twenty years, but this year Leningrad released one of their most popular songs to date — Eksponat (Art work) which you can expect crowds at the festival to belt out along with their older hits.

Another artist to watch our for is Benjamin Clementine. Ghanaian-born, in just a few years he made the leap from busking in the streets of Paris to winning the prestigious 2015 Mercury Prize. Although he has been compared to the likes of Nina Simone and Nat King Cole, Clementine plays his own brand of music: a mix of jazz, folk-rock, and soul.

One of the best known rappers in modern Russia, Oxxxymiron will also perform at the festival to support his second album. Gorgorod became an instant hit when it was released and Oxxxymiron's last two concerts in Moscow sold out weeks in advance — so this is a good opportunity to catch him live.

Other performers include Adrian Younge, an American composer known for his music reminiscent of the psychedelic soul of the early 1970s. He recorded albums with rapper Ghostface Killah — a member of the Wu-Tang Clan — and collaborated on Jay Z’s 2013 hit “Picasso Baby.” Joining him are Soul Surfers, from Nizhny Novgorod, who will perform with American electronic musician Shawn Lee. Lee has recorded several soundtracks for well-known films including “Ocean’s Thirteen.”

Among other notable acts are Omar Suleiman, a former wedding singer famous for his “Syrian techno” beats, British indie rockers Temples and Neon Indian, one of the chillwave pioneers who recently turned to disco music. Not to mention Skepta, one of London's biggest grime artists. Afisha wouldn't be Afisha without ubiquitous Mujuice, Tesla Boy, Naadia and many more Russian artists.

If you get hungry after all that dancing head to the Afisha food court, which will include a special stand from the popular Danilovsky market. Organizers also promise interesting art projects including “The History of the Metro” by the Museum of Architecture, audio and video performances by the cutting edge Electromuseum, a portrait exhibition by Anatoly Zverev’s AZ Museum and an installation “in progress” from the Street Art Museum in St. Petersburg.

Park Kolomenskoye. 39 Prospekt Andropova. Metro Kolomenskaya. Tickets from 4,000 rubles ($60). Saturday from 1 p.m.

Shawn Lee, Neon Indian, and Anton Sevidov of Tesla Boy will play DJ sets at the traditional Afisha Picnic after party at Strelka Bar. There’s no charge, but a wrist band from the festival might help you to get in.

Strelka. 14 Bersenevskaya Naberezhnaya, Bldg. 5, Metro Polyanka, Kropotkinskaya. Free entrance. Saturday, at 11 p.m.

On Sunday night Boris Grebenschikov — aka BG — the irreplaceable leader of Aquarium, will perform a solo concert at 16 Tons. In its 40-year history pretty much everything and everyone has changed at Aquarium, except for Boris Grebenshikov. After playing with various musical genres, last year BG released his latest album, which is strongly reminiscent of his perestroika era works and features raw guitar sounds and sharp lyrics.

16 Tons. 6/1 Ulitsa Presnensky Val. Metro Ulitsa 1905 Goda. Tickets from 3,000 rubles ($45). Sunday at 8 p.m.

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