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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Music Festival of Hits and Turkeys

This weekend will be a good one for Moscow rock fans. Indyuki-94, the third independent festival of its kind, will bring together the best in Russia's rock underground for three days of live alternative listening at the Tank Academy Club.

The festival's name is somewhat off-putting (indyuki means turkeys), perhaps, but Indyuki, which premiered with a 20-band show in April 1991, is one of the most significant musical gatherings in Russia today. According to Sergei Guryev, 33, the festival organizer, the name is both an allusion to the concept of independence and a reference to the Western notion of cold turkey, a state he says both Russia and Russian rock music are currently in.

"In spite of the crisis in Russian rock, we wanted to prove that even at a time when the idea of rock festivals wasn't big that we could get good results if we tried," Guryev said of the first Indyuki fest. "We wanted to give something new to our rock fans and to confirm the words once said by a visiting musician, that nice songs about life, anger and despair can be written only in the East."

Indyuki is taking a slight detour this year, however, inviting a number of young, relatively unknown bands to present some fresh musical ideas. The first day's concert is dedicated to non-traditional music, with performances by groups like the Kharkov-based Kazma-Kazma, which plays march-like medieval music and variations reminiscent of Shostakovich and Stravinsky.

"We don't care about politics," said Yevgeny Khodosh, 22, the band's frontman. "The march is a nice musical style, and it's not its fault that it became a theme of totalitarianism. The music we play is very old -- we're just transferring it from the past to the present."

Perhaps the most unusual performer will be Pagoda, a Perm band that will open the festival. The group, led by the half-Russian, half-Spanish Andrei Garcia does not seem to have close ties to rock music. Their music is more theatrical; a form of modern city music performed on Uzbek and Iranian folk instruments with elements of classical music.

Saturday's concert will feature a number of punk groups like Reservatsiya Zdes (Moscow), Narodnoye Opolcheniye (St. Petersburg) and Tyoplaya Trassa (Siberia), a particularly hard-working and polished band that will be performing for the first time in Moscow. Also playing will be Mynula Yun, a group that seems to have run in from the country (Ivano-Frankovsk, in fact) and remembered to exchange its folk instruments for guitars at the last minute. They also have adopted a modern sound for traditional tunes, giving a new, hard-rock edge to familiar tunes. Saturday night performers will include Foma, a Kiev-based singer who will perform with reggae groups Aklyuziya (Voronezh) and Khlamkin Goes to Israel (Riga), and Nogu Svelo, one of Moscow's better-known bands.

Indyuki-94 will culminate Sunday with sets by Moscow bands Soft Animals and Dobrolyot and an eagerly anticipated performance by St. Petersburg's Auktsion -- currently the best band in Russia, according to festival organizers.

"The festival organizers invited only those groups for whom art comes first," said Kirill Anisimov, a producer connected with the event. "A lot of popular rock bands have sort of metamorphosed into pop-music bands. I don't see any difference between DDT and (pop star) Irina Allegrova at this point. Money is the most significant thing in their life and work, and they do what their audience wants them to do."

The Indyuki-94 music festival will be held Friday, April 8 through Sunday April 10 at the Tank Academy Club, 2 Ulitsa Krasnokazarmennaya. For information call 287-2128 or 733-2667. Nearest metro: Baumanskaya.