a general update. i am writing you from boris's family's house right in the center near arbat. they are staying at their dacha for the summer and we may go up there on weds. there is a lake and birch woods there, all the traditional things. i fly to israel with the guys on thursday. i changed my ticket to hava a little extra time because up until the show we did nothing but rehearse and i had no time for any tourism.

the show was excellent, packed, positive. it was good to hear the different textures of nir (beatbox) and boris (accordion). great to do the trilectic songs in moscow, had not realized that 4 of them are about moscow. audience members requested mi dimandas and grbavica. for grbavica, someone slipped a note to jason: "please sing the sniper song from sarajevo blues!" umm....which one? we played all the songs we knew and then there was still screaming for an encore so i taught "moses moses" and the whole club sang it, it was great fun.

the place we played--bilingua-- is a club attached to a hip bookstore/cafe and craft store. it was a very nice hang, people working on laptops, playing diplomacy, drinking coffee. during the day they show movies on a big screen in the club so you can eat lunch and watch a movie.

moscow generally is filled with energy and motion and apparently has been for 900 years. i like it a lot even though it is not super-friendly or warm. i am very pleased to be living in one of the well-built, lacis-and-benjamin-era apartment buildings in the cnter--15 foot ceilings, double paned windows, porch, green trees to look out on, and enough rooms so that we don't have to bother each other. this is the apatment of boris's mom's cousin, who did not emmigrate. earlier, the presenting organization put us up on the third ring in newer apartments refurbished at the height of soviet kitsch. the apartment was above a moscow institution, the Cat CircusMoscow Cat Circusthe main clown/cat worker apparently has been doinf crazy shit with cats since 1958! now his son continues the legacy, but claims one cnnot train cats, one csn only play with them...aanyway, i'm glad to be right in the center, a 15-minute walk from red square, in a lovely aparntement we don't have to pay for. if we had stayed in the other apartments after the show it would have been $100 a night each! this is an expensive town. you cannot find a cheap lunch here, but it's ok cuz we are eating a lot of exciting things--blini and caviar, tongue salad, blintzes, beef in jelly, borscht, schav (sorrel), kvass soup (based on fermemted wheat), blini, stuffed cabbage, stuffed peppers, and tater tots. for dinner we've had a lot of exciting food in more formal places--uzbek and georgian were my favorites.

so far not much tourism. we did see the tretyakov galleryIvanivanI sat in front of the ilya repin painting of ivan and his son for a long time, it was amazing. last time i had that experience was with that caillebotte painting about guys doing the floor at the quais d'orsay. today we wen to red square and had a drink while contemplating lenin's tomb and the memorial heads of important commies behind it. i reazlized that from a distance you can't tell the difference between revolutionary hottie john reed and evil cheka monster ed dzerzhinsky. i found this depressing.

RussianRadioan amazing double quartet playing mozart in an understreet passage was my favorite thing today. yesterday my favorite thing was our radio show we did after our gig. and i will talk about why i liked it so much later.




 the video of the show is now posted here.


Charming Hostess | San Francisco, CA

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