There Is No Cat

Groovy '60s Sounds from the Land of Smile!

Monday, November 10, 2003

Ya i ti roboti (was Ya Ich Die Roboty, see comments)

Laura and I went to one of our favorite events this past weekend, the twice-a-year WFMU Record Fair. Finally free of the strains of unemployment and impending home ownership, I actually dropped some bills for some tunes this time. One of my favorite finds so far is a compilation of Russian bands, Russendisko Hits, put out on Germany label Trikont, who are one of the coolest labels on the planet. I had actually mentioned the album here some months back, so I was delighted to find it. There is a ton of neat stuff on here; I had no idea ska was so popular in Russia, for example, although I was definitely aware of the band Leningrad, who make an appearance on the CD. One of the neatest tracks on the CD is by a hybrid German-Russian band (co-fronted by one of the compilers of the CD) called Rot Front, which I assume is German for Red Front. Their track is a klezmerish clarinet- and accordion-laced cover of Kraftwerk's "The Robots", sung in a combination of Russian and German, with an at least partially English rap dripping with profanity dropped in the middle. A little poking around finds that the track is available in MP3 format on their web site, so go listen!

It was also cool to meet the guys from Tamizdat, a small company dedicated to selling central and eastern European music to us insular Americans. (Oddly enough, I didn't get the Russendisko compilation from them; someone else had that.) They seemed surprised to actually meet one of their customers (I've bought from them a few times in the past). We had a nice conversation and I wound up buying a couple of CDs on their recommendation, a Polish ska band named Alians and an Estonian pop band called Dallas. I haven't had a chance to listen to them really, but the little bits I've heard sound promising.

Anyway, it was a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Posted at 11:32 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

So when did you go? I was there for a good 2-1/2 hours from 12:30-3:00 on Sunday and I didn't see you anywhere.

Posted by lilbro at 11:14 AM, November 11, 2003 [Link]

We were there on Sunday from about 1:30 to about quarter to three. Don't know how we missed each other.

Posted by ralph at 11:20 AM, November 11, 2003 [Link]

No German lyrics in "The Robots", mate! What we sing is strictly Russian (except for the obscure english rap part :), "Ya i ti - roboti", - you and me are the robots, - but thanx for apprecitaing the track!

Y. Gurzhy

Posted by Yuriy Gurzhy at 3:19 AM, June 6, 2005 [Link]

Thanks for the clarification, Yuriy. I guess my Russian is even poorer than my German. :-) I love what you guys are doing with the Russendisko CDs; I picked up the Russensoul one a few months ago as well.

Posted by ralph at 9:18 AM, June 6, 2005 [Link]


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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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