Summer in Moscow continues, with interesting gigs few and far between. But there is one thing that connects them all: they're fucking expensive. Case in point: Even though I write about pretty much every damn gig happening at B1, they still as a rule only give us two tickets to every concert. Me and a plus one, usually. Zaitchik and I both wanted to see THE RAPTURE last week, and both of us had dates. So we decided we'd each buy one ticket, you know, to keep things fair. The only problem: on the day of the concert, ticket prices were increased from 1,500 rubles ($58) to 1,700 ($65). I guess that explains why the club was mostly empty. Sixty bucks to see two bands, neither of whom is named THE ROLLING STONES? But these prices aren't unusual: THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE QUEEN and BASEMENT JAXX run from 1,500-25,000 rubles advance. Ticket prices for FALL OUT BOY have not yet been announced, but I bet they'll be in the same range. At least they calmed down for NOFX - tickets are between 900 and 5,000 rubles. Only when everyone just stops going to overpriced gigs will this madness cease.
But back to the music. If the idea of MASSIVE ATTACK crossing with GORAN BREGOVICH appeals to you, than British/Israeli J-rockers OI VA VOI (July 13, 16 Tons, 23:00) should be your destination this Friday the 13th. Basically, they combine Jewish klezmer music with drum-n-bass and rock elements. Should be very boho-riche.
When THE NEIN debuted earlier this decade, it was easy enough to group them in with the dozens of other post-post-new-wave-influenced bands. Then a funny thing happened: while everyone else was still copying their GANG OF FOUR records, these Chapel Hill dudes apparently started listening to the FALL and WIRE, among others, making some incredibly interesting experimental post-punk. They're not playing, but their vocalist FINN COHEN (July 14, Plan B - Ul. Sovetskoi Armi 7 - 19:00) is playing a solo gig, so it's better than nothing. Cohen visited Russia last year on a study abroad program and liked his time so much that he decided to come back and rock it solo. If it's a success, maybe the promoter will bring the whole band over next time. Locals MOONCAKE, KRUZUR KEN and ELEMENTS & FORMS provide support.
I know a lot of kids are getting excited for August's NINE INCH NAILS gig (and to be honest, a part of me wants to see TRENT REZNOR sing "Head Like a Hole" even if he is fat and 40), but if you need something to prep you for it, check out industrial legends FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY (July 15, Ikra, 21:00). These Canucks started out in the mid-80s as a side project of SKINNY PUPPY, and has gone through many incarnations in the two decades since. The band now focuses on heavy beats, atmospheric strings, dynamic synths and vocalist BILL LEEB's trademark vocals.
If you haven't seen the documentary Some Kind of Monster, definitely do. It proves once and for all what you should already know: everyone in METALLICA (July 18, Luzhniki, 19:00) are in it only for the money. In my opinion, they haven't made a good album since they jumped the shark in 1991 - and in lot of metalheads' opinions, they'd already jumped the shark by that point. Finnish love-metal band HIM opens.
If you haven't seen BRAZZAVILLE (July 20, B1 Maximum, 19:00) on one of their bazillion trips to Moscow, here's an opportunity to see them play with a bunch of Russian bands: BI-2, ESTHETIC EDUCATION and DJ ALEKSANDR NUZHDIN. But as nice as Brazzaville's chilled-out acoustic indie sounds, they tour here enough for me to safely call them the NAZARETH of indie rock. If you want something a little more intimate than the cavernous B1, vocalist DAVID BROWN (July 22, Ikra, 21:00) is playing a solo gig a couple days later, recounting the drama his band faced on their current Russian tour.