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Muchnik's Picks: Masha i Medvedi, Meydeleh and More Music in Moscow on the Weekend

Masha i Medvedi

The longest weekend of the year is over, but the city of Moscow is still half-asleep. The roads are semi-empty and everyone is preparing to celebrate another holiday – the quirky Old New Year's Eve. So it's no wonder that most gigs this weekend are played by popular Russian bands. 

Torba-na-Kruche is a rock band from St. Petersburg that's almost twenty years old. Despite little media exposure, Torba-na-Kruche has developed a faithful fan base over the years and released several albums, the latest one in 2014. Their unwieldy name is actually a Russian translation of “Bag End,” the name of the Baggins’ residence in "The Lord of the Rings," and their sound is similar to other Russian mainstream rock-bands from the 1990s like Tantsy Minus or Splin, but a bit more low-key.

Masha i Medvedi celebrates its twentieth anniversary this weekend. Led by Maria Makarova (Masha), the band was immensely popular in late 1990s, when their song Lubochka came out with the famous refrain “Liebe, liebe, amore, amore, lubov!” The band fell apart in 2000, but was resurrected by Makarova several years later. The anniversary show will also feature guest performances from Oleg Nesterov (Megapolis), Vadim Samoylov (Agatha Christie) and Alexander Sklyar.

Meydeleh means “girls” in Yiddish and aptly enough it’s a band with three female singers. Their music ranges from covers of songs by Irina Allegrova, Blondie and Alexander Vertinsky - and then bands you have probably never heard of. Their concerts sometimes resemble a theater performance and it’s no wonder – all three vocalists are actresses.

Nochnye Snaipery (Night Snipers) has been one of the most popular female rock-bands in Russia since the 1990s. Transforming themselves from a duo to a solo project of Diana Arbenina, Nochnye Snaipery started playing more mainstream rock rather than folk rock. Their latest album was released last year, but this concert will combine new material and old hits.

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