Wednesday, March 28, 2012


On a recent trip to Unique, Washington DC's mammoth thrift emporium, I came across this curious little gem: Russian drag pop à la Boy George.  If you're anything like me and don't drink coffee (I can't handle the bitterness), then you'll appreciate the following select tracks.  It's like five hour energy for your ears.

An extra special gift to any reader who can tell me more about the artist and why he's so damn happy. 

When you need to come down (as I inevitably did), try this number from another thrift find: "Relieve the Pains", sung by the Yekaterinburg Municipal Chamber Choir.


  1. Verka Serduchka is NOT the Russian Boy George! He is the Russian Dame Edna! He's not even Russian, he's UKRAINIAN! And he takes great offense to being called "Russian." His real name is Andrei Danilko, he's a very popular entertainment. His Verka Serduchka persona came in second a few years ago on Eurovision.

    1. And if anyone is interested here's Verk'a performance at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007. He came second which means he must have got millions of votes considering the claimed audience of +100 million viewers. Apparently his outfit was by by Dolce and Gabbana(?) the song is in four languages (English, German, Ukrainian and Russian) and the title is gibberish.

  2. It just goes to show that Ukrainians and Americans like their gayboys like they like their hamburgers....flaming!

    1. As I said, Verka Serduchka is the Russian/Ukrainian DAME EDNA, meaning that, like Barry Humphries, Andrei Danilko is STRAIGHT.

  3. Almost a month ago already, you listed some songs about Time.

    Here is More Music About Time...

    Time Has Come Today - The Chambers Brothers

    Time of the Season - The Zombies

    Time is On My Side - Rolling Stones

    Good Time Living - Three Dog Night

    Good Times Roll - The Cars

    Let The Good Times Roll -

    Timesteps - Wendy Carlos (from the movie "Clockwork Orange")

    Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? - Chicago

    It's Just A Matter of Time - Brook Benton

    Summertime - George Gershwin (Porgy & Bess)

    Time - Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon)

    Time - Alan Parsons Project (Turn of a Friendly Card)

    The Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show

    Love Me Two Times - The Doors

    Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady - Classic IV

    Three Times a Lady - Commodores

    Wasted Time - The Eagles

    Feels Like the First Time - Foreigner

    Sumertime Blues - Blue Cheer

    Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & The Family Stone

    Christmas Time is Here - Vince Guaraldi Trio

    It's The MOst Wonderful Time of the Year - Johny Mathis

    Totally Unrelated to Anything:

    "To Know Him Is To Love Him" - The Teddy Bears

    Did I find this in your blog? I don't remember...

    However... Since you love Pi---

    If you take a cylinder of Mozarella cheese...
    with radious "z"
    and height "a,"
    the volume of the cylinder = pi z z a

    --Paul / Questar



  5. It just came to my mind that it is `funny`` to realise that that group of monks singing an aria called ``relieve pains`` are from iaketerinbourg the place where the tsar and family where assassinated...

  6. You have posted information about Verka Serduchka and the Eurovision contest before, as I recall. Others undoubtedly know him better, as he comes after most of my Russian and East European experiences, which were in the late 80s and 90s. Drag is considered incredibly funny in Russia because of the very rigid gender roles there. I even remember gay friends there telling tales of drag shows under Stalin on collective farms.

    Despite what is said in above posts, only one of these songs is in Ukrainian. The rest are in Russian. Very, very campy Russian. Is an artist gay if he consciously chooses to exploit Russian gay camp for commercial success? Or does it matter whether or not he enjoys sea food in his private life? (Cf. Lady Gaga and penis controversy.) And if he does enjoy seafood, do we follow the single penis theory of gay contamination (see race theory) and assume that he is gay just because 1) he's probably been to a banya and soaped other naked guys backs and whipped them with birch branches before hanging out nude, gossiping and drinking, which would make him very gay to most American males; or 2) he may well have served in the military where compulsory gay sex is even more common than in American prisons. Never mind that it is extremely rude over there to send your drunk guests out on the streets (the cops might round them up, or worse, they freeze to death!), and it's completely normal to share your bed and every other horizontal surface with them for the night and send them home in the morning. I've woken up from more than one Russian party to head to the bathroom and seen small clumps of indeterminately sexed couples huddled under blankets that are slowly, quietly, and rhythmically moving. They just don't think about sex, gender, friendship, and love the same way we do, at all, especially when drunk.

  7. (Continued) While not word for word translations, the sense of the songs is:

    1. New Year: Forget about your old tired life, it's New Year('s Day) and who knows what kind of adventures you can have in the New Year!

    2. Stripes: Your life may suck, it may be raining outside, etc. but soon you will cross from the black stripe to the white stripe, the sun will shine, and all will be fantastique! Hit me with your rhythm stick! Wait, I'm mixing East and West again.

    3. Pastry: This is almost a Russian grammar primer on verbs of motion, all sung in feminine first person. Verbs of motion are a b*tch in Russian; you can always tell a foreigner no matter how good their Russian, because they tend to avoid describing motion, because it is so hard (like using articles and prepositions properly in English). Repeat ad nauseum-- I took off for a walk, I found a pastry, I sat down, I ate it up, I swallowed, I set off again, with negative variations (I set off, I found nothing, I ate nothing, I set off again), and future tense (tomorrow I will take a walk, etc.)

    4. Gop-gop. This is the one song in Ukrainian, although it may honestly be a mix of Russian and Ukrainian, sung with a Ukrainian accent. My Ukrainian isn't good enough to be certain that all of the words he is using exist in the Ukrainian dictionary as well as the Russian. They are different languages, I concede that, but they are very closely related, and like the Vikings and the Old English, they can understand each other without translation. And most of the song appears to be nonsense syllables repeated as a chorus, then "we dance". The tune even reminds me of the Jewish wedding dance song (hava nagila), which might be its roots. It starts out with people singing a folk song and party noises in the background, then Verka breaks in in Ukrainian to sing, I am not going to talk, I'm going to dance!

    Both Pastry and Gop-Gop betray a delight with word play that parallels Dr. Seuss in its simplicity and artistry. There's a tradition of this that goes back to a famous children's poet in Soviet times whose name I cannot recall at the moment. He wrote an entire book of nonsense Russian for children that when you read aloud comes across as perfectly normal English conversation.

  8. Everyone's so informed here! I thought it was a Kurt Weill Dragshow Competition in Moscow. Lotte Leninya?

  9. That silver get up looks more Dolce & Yo Gabba Gabba to me. I think Miss Piggy actually wore it first.

    PS: Lotte Lenin-ya? Quite clever - good onya, mate!