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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deerhoof, 2 Dollars Gat and 24 More at Festival

MoremoneyMoscow group Moremoney are one of the many Russian groups who will play at the Avant Festival this weekend. ��
As if there wasn't already enough to do in Moscow, for the sixth year in a row the organizers of the annual Avant Fest are bringing dozens of different artists from all over Russia, Europe and North America to throw a wrench in any plans you might have wanted to make this weekend. On Friday and Saturday, these bands will spread across two stages on the pavilion at the Arma complex near Kurskaya metro station, giving concertgoers the chance to see some of Russia's most eclectic rock, electro and experimental acts in addition to foreign groups.

"Every year, we try to build a particular lineup," said organizer Maksim Silva-Vega. "So there will be American groups. So there will be artists presenting traditional British pop. So there will be new, modern musicians. And so there will be legends, cult artists. And, of course, so there will be lots and lots of young Russian musicians, who are the future."

While many of those Russian futurists hail from Moscow, there's quite a collection of groups from all over the country. Tolyatti's 2 Dollars Gat is a duo that many Russian promoters have referred to as the country's answer to American blues-rock sensation The White Stripes. Their sound definitely has a similar attitude and swagger, but there's more than a hint of shoegaze in a few of their songs, and singing drummer Petya Mikhailkov delivers his lyrics in snarly, British-accented English. Motorama, who hail from Rostov-on-Don, have a singer who sounds remarkably like the late Ian Curtis, which is fitting since their motorik beats and dry bass lines are reminiscent of both Joy Division and New Order. And St. Petersburg's Iky Que find a balance between crashing dubstep beats, haunting viola lines and ping-ponging samples to create a unique type of electronica. Such diversity gives all these groups a chance to strut their stuff for a large crowd -- about 1,500 people are expected, say the organizers -- that they may not normally get in the club circuit.

"Time will tell how good this festival will be for us," said Nadya Gritskevich, the singer for up-and-coming Moscow-based group Moremoney, who will be playing Friday night. "I hear that there are going to be a lot of people there who probably haven't heard our music. ... This could be a new audience for us."

As for the interlopers raiding the stage, there's ample representation of today's quirkiest indie-rock. San Francisco's Deerhoof will headline Friday's lineup, bringing their strange blend of polyrhythmic krautrock leanings and skewed pop hooks.

Their appearance at Avant Fest is their first experience in Russia, explained drummer Greg Saunier in an e-mail interview earlier this month.

"Actually, we're making the trip especially for this! Is that strange? To me it seems like enough of a reason," wrote Saunier. "It always surprises me when I realize that there are people who know Deerhoof who are living in a place where we've never visited. I can't believe that there are people in Russia listening to our band!"

Playing directly before Deerhoof on Friday will be England's Lou Rhodes, the former singer of trip-hop outfit LAMB. Rhodes' second solo album, 2006's "Beloved One," was nominated for the coveted Mercury Prize that year alongside such U.K. heavyweights as Hot Chip and Thom Yorke.

Saturday's non-Russian performers will close out a massive day of music that begins at 3 p.m. and runs until 1 a.m. Sunset Rubdown, a Montreal-based quintet headed by Wolf Parade singer Spencer Krug, will play songs from their upcoming sophomore release "Dragonslayer." The Notwist, electro-pop veterans from Germany who have released albums of multiple genres and have collaborated with abstract California hip-hop group Themselves -- also coming to Moscow soon -- will follow, and the night will be headlined by theatrical, breathy British artist Patrick Wolf.

Avant Fest runs Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25. Tickets for Friday are 1,000 rubles in advance, 1,200 at the door. Saturday's tickets are 1,200 rubles in advance, 1,500 at the door. Two-day passes are 1,800 in advance, 2,000 at the door. Arma Pavilion 5, 5 Nizhny Susalny Pereulok. Metro Kurskaya.