Articles by Sergey Chernov



British Musician Tells Story of Russian Records on Bones

In the Soviet Union, Western rock music was once so precious that at least one fan paid for it with his blood, said London musician Stephen Coates, who is in the middle of a project covering the unique phenomenon of music on "bones" or "ribs" Ч home-produced records on used X-ray film that were all the rage in the country before the advent of reel-to-reel tape records.

Persecuted Russian Lawyer Finds New Ways Around Foreign Agents Label

The life of St. Petersburg human rights lawyer Ivan Pavlov has changed dramatically in the last 12 months.

Russian Media NGO Pays Biggest Fine So Far Under Foreign Agent Law

The director of a St. Petersburg nongovernmental organization said Monday she had paid the biggest fine so far imposed under Russia's controversial "foreign agent" law.

Indie Sensation Gets Prize and New Fans

Okudjav, a relatively new band named after Soviet singer-songwriter Bulat Okudzhava, won a coveted local music award.

LGBT Festival Hit by Gas Attack in St. Pete

Queerfest, an annual LGBT rights festival in St. Petersburg, was forced to cancel most of its events following attacks, pressure from authorities, bomb threats and last-minute cancellations.

Folk Punk Group Iva Nova Return After Four Years

Iva Nova, a St. Petersburg all-women folk-punk band, may have shrunk to a quartet, but its music has become more diverse and inventive, drifting further away from the typical three-minute song format.

Veteran Jazz Legend Feigin Brings Fest to Moscow

The Leo Feigin Festival, a series of large-scale avant-garde jazz events celebrating Russian-born, Britain-based producer and long-time BBC Russian service music presenter Leo Feigin, started last week in St. Petersburg and will head to Moscow on Tuesday.

'Pedophile Hunter' Opera Composer Attacked

The premiere of a new opera was canceled in St. Petersburg after both the refusal of yet another venue to hold it and an assault on the opera's composer.

Cult Singer Zakhar May on Maidan and Navalny

Zakhar May talks about his career, why he dislikes rock veterans Andrei Makarevich and Yury Shevchuk, and his admiration of Navalny.

Estonian Composer Begins Russian Tour

Argo Vals, an acclaimed guitarist and composer from Tartu, Estonia, whose complex musical ideas and advanced guitar technique has seen him compared to King Crimson legend Robert Fripp, will soon perform in Moscow.

Local Promoter Speaks Out Against Boycotts

With a growing number of Western artists boycotting Russia in protest of its annexation of Crimea and destabilization in southeastern Ukraine, a St. Petersburg concert promoter has spoken out against their actions, saying that these musicians are only hurting fans.

Manifesta 10 Plays Down Concerns About Russia

  • 03 April 14
  • The St. Petersburg Times
Manifesta, a roving biennial of contemporary art whose 10th iteration is schedule to be held at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg between June 28 and Oct. 31, has come in for criticism for declining to take Russia's involvement in the Ukrainian crisis and its annexation of Crimea into account.

Rockers Against Crimea Annexation

As the State Duma approved plans to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation last week, prominent Russian rock bands and musicians have been speaking out against the annexation.

Popular Bands Affected by International Politics

Bands like Ukraine's Okean Elzy and Belarus' Lyapis Trubetskoy have suffered from censorship due to their political positions.

Seminal Club Sets Sights on a New Venue

Glavclub, which revolutionized the St. Petersburg club scene as the city's largest venue, will return to its home city, according to its founder Igor Tonkikh.

'Milk' Producers Attend Side by Side LGBT Film Fest

American film director Gus Van Sant came to support the beleaguered Side by Side LGBT rights festival on Saturday despite threats and attacks that caused some other Western filmmakers to decline the festival's invitation or even to withdraw from the lineup after initially agreeing.

Film Festival Faces Bomb Threats and Cancellations

The opening of the Side by Side film festival was attended by police officers and nationalists as well as film lovers.

Rockers Petition for Arctic Activists

Zorge's Yevgeny Fyodorov joins other musicians in supporting activities to 'improve the situation globally.'

Late-Soviet Art Exhibition Sparks Spate of Lawsuits

A recent exhibition of work by St. Petersburg-based underground arts group New Artists, active between 1982 and 1990, was intended to be a homage to the rebellious spirit of artists during the last decade of the Soviet era.

Not-So-Rotten John Lydon Takes Band to Moscow

In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union was in the throes of rapid transformations, and John Lydon suddenly found himself at the heart of that change.

Squatters Evicted From Warehouse

The Investigative Committee in St. Petersburg said it had opened an investigation into alleged attacks on police who stormed a historic building that is part of the now-defunct Warsaw Railway Station.

Drinking to a Freer Russia in St. Pete Bar

Svoboda Bar, a new politically themed tavern in the northern capital, is a meeting place for the opposition-friendly.

Tartu: Estonia's Intellectual and Theater Capital

It takes only a two-and-a-half-hour smooth drive (185 kilometers) to get from Estonia's capital Tallinn to the town of Tartu, even though the south-east route crosses almost all of this small Baltic country.

Tallinn: A Trip to the Perfect Winter Fairytale

  • 17 December 12
  • The St. Petersburg Times
The small yet diverse and vibrant Baltic country that is Estonia has plenty to offer in summer, when it is visited by tourists from all over the world, but the winter season in Tallinn is something special.

From Street to Show Protest Art, Graffiti

A new exhibition titled УVoice of the StreetsФ collates messages seen on city walls in St. Petersburg and other Russian cities ranging from anarchist and left-wing to feminist and pacifist.

New Finnish Book Looks at St. Petersburg Rock

Interest in Russian rock music in Finland is on the rise, says Finnish author Tomi Huttunen, whose book on Russian rock has just been published.

Pussy Riot Festival to Go Ahead

A concert in support of Pussy Riot looks set to go ahead at a St. Petersburg club despite allegations of police pressure.

Opposition Receiving Support Through Song

More than 200 bands have donated tracks to a musical project in support of Russia's protest movement since the idea was announced May 21.

Ex-Throbbing Gristle Leading SKIF Lineup

Avant-garde musician Genesis P-Orridge Ч of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV fame Ч will headline SKIF, or the Sergei Kuryokhin International Festival, St. Petersburg's leading experimental and avant-garde music event.

National Anti-Gay Bill Submitted to Duma

A controversial bill banning the "promotion of homosexuality" to minors was introduced into the State Duma on Thursday, two weeks after similar legislation came into force in St. Petersburg.