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Roll Over, Tchaikovsky!

Roll Over, Tchaikovsky!: Russian Popular Music and Post-Soviet Homosexuality

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    Roll Over, Tchaikovsky!
    Book Description:

    Centered on the musical experiences of homosexual men in St. Petersburg and Moscow, this ground-breaking study examines how post-Soviet popular music both informs and plays off of a corporeal understanding of Russian male homosexuality.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09614-3
    Subjects: History, Sociology, Music

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Notes on Transliteration, Translations, Attribution of Informants’ Quotations, and Audiovisual Resources
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. 1. Introduction: Homosexual Bodies/Embodied Homosexuality
    (pp. 1-29)

    The gay pride parade, an annual fixture of the contemporary landscape in such far-flung locales as New York, Montréal, Reykjavík, Johannesburg, and São Paolo, is a complex phenomenon. Not only sites for celebration and revelry, such parades are also inherently sociopolitical actions, visible and public manifestations of communities and identities formed, in part, in relation to the variable of sexual orientation. Indeed, the very appearance of a gay pride parade may often be seen as an indicator not only of the extent to which a country (or city) has moved toward the formation of a civil society and modern liberal...

  6. 2. Music, Form, Penetration
    (pp. 30-62)

    The relative relaxation of geopolitical borders in Russia, post-perestroika, has allowed an intercourse with the West that, although certainly not absent during the Soviet era, or without restrictions in the present, increased the visibility, number, and variety of Western cultural products on Russian soil. During my time in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Western automobiles were prized commodities among those able to afford them (Mercedes and BMW, in particular), and Western “designer” clothing, cigarettes, fast food, or even home furnishings (with entrance of multinational retailer IKEA into major Russian cities), enjoyed a certain cachet for many.¹ Anglophone words related to popular...

  7. 3. Phantom Faggots
    (pp. 63-102)

    If the Soviet era was remarkable for its sexophobia, palpable as, paradoxically, an absence of explicit speech about sex or sexual matters, then the post-Soviet era, notable for a virtual explosion of unambiguous and open speech about sex—in the yellow press, as well as in academic discourse—might be seen as its garrulous corrective.¹ A televised assertion in 1987 that “sex” did not exist in Russia (“u nas seksa net,” “we don’t have sex”)² could find its post-Soviet counterpart in 2004 in the form of the programPro èto(About This),³ a U.S.-style talk show that featured topics and...

  8. 4. Corporeal Intentions
    (pp. 103-134)

    It was about 2:00 a.m. when, having earlier flagged a passing car outside of my Moscow apartment and negotiated a fare,¹ I arrived at the gay clubDusha i telo(Soul and Body). Located approximately twenty minutes outside of the city center, the entrance on the first floor of a large, severe, Soviet-era building complex, the establishment was packed full of hundreds of people, the spillover visible on the street as I approached. After finally making may way inside, I was glad to be out of the frigid cold, but not so glad to stand in line over half an...

  9. 5. Gay-Made Space
    (pp. 135-166)

    It was only in 2012 when St. Petersburg and Moscow, two of the largest cities in Eastern Europe, joined the ranks of the “virtually visible”; in February of that year, the Google Maps street view feature was finally enabled, allowing internet visitors to view some of the world’s most famous sites and sights, architectural and otherwise. From theKrasnyi ploshad’ (Red Square), to theÈrmitazh(State Hermitage Museum), toPetergof(the “Russian Versailles”), hard-core Slavophiles and the generally curious alike now had the ability to move beyond the flatness and circumscription of the still photo, to experience 360 degree views...

  10. 6. Conclusion: The Eloquence of Flesh
    (pp. 167-188)

    It was 25 December 2004, and I was waiting in the frigid weather in front of the building at 28 Kanal Griboedova in the center of St. Petersburg, the typically overcast sky compounding the cold from the gray pavement that seemed to seep up through the soles of my wholly inadequate boots. Over the course of the next several minutes, five other men approached the space outside ofGreshnikiwhere I stood, all six of us with fists thrust deep in pockets, hats pulled tight over ears, and shoulders hunched, our jittery, bobbing, back-and-forth movements futile attempts to fend off...

  11. Epilogue “Pravo na Schast’e”
    (pp. 189-204)

    With the collapsing of both time and space brought about by an increasingly (if not yet fully) digitalized media society, work on studies dealing with popular music and popular culture—to say nothing of those dealing with post-Soviet space—takes on a growing sense of immediacy and urgency. Temporal and spatial bracketing become highly problematic, and the velocity with which changes in musical sounds and images, allegiances, and scenes take place suggest to those of us chronicling, researching, and interpreting popular music that fantasies of a neatly defined and quiescent contemporary “object of study”—if it ever existed—must be...

  12. List of Interlocutors and Interviewees
    (pp. 205-206)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 207-270)
  14. Works Cited
    (pp. 271-304)
  15. Index
    (pp. 305-316)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 317-322)