YouTube Pop Sensations Ready for Moscow Show

For MTWannabe pop stars Lemonday already know how to do the hipster smile.

Glaringly homemade YouTube videos have become the path to fame for young, provincial Russian pop duo Lemonday. The duo, Yulia Nakaryakova and Zhenya Il, became a blogosphere sensation in mid-2009 through their nonprofessional music videos.

They will play May 15 in the Artplay Design Center’s Night at Artplay 2010 festival alongside other young Russian bands in their first Moscow concert since becoming Internet stars.

Nakaryakova and Il hail from Krasnoyarsk, joining a recent series of provincial bands — like Tyumen’s Lolly Pop — that have gained an audience in the capital.

Since Lemonday’s first recordings appeared on YouTube in April 2009, they have cultivated a popular hipster image of messy hair, vintage sunglasses, a show of intellectualism and all-around homemade style. The women play acoustic guitar and synthesizer and use contemporary poetry in their eclectic lyrics. Their music is simple and repetitive, but fans praise them for their onstage energy and charm. Critics are bewildered by their popularity.

“Who knows what the hell this is. If you listen to the texts, you understand that the girls have a certain cultural level, that this neighborhood minimalism is based on something very important and necessary — but it remains unknown for whom it is important and necessary,” music critic Artyom Lipatov wrote in his blog for magazine F5.

Lemonday will play May 15 at Artplay, 5/7 Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya Ulitsa. Tel. 620-0882, www.artplay.ru.
Lemonday is online at www.myspace.com/daywithoutlemon.