Russian through Music: Mumiy Troll
September 8, 2010
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I taught myself Russian in a very unconventional way. One of the things that really helped me with vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation was listening to and memorizing music. I had been just listening to whatever cheesy bubblegum pop came on the radio(which, don’t get me wrong, this music is actually very useful for learning colloquial speech) when my Russian friend laughed at me and my music taste and made me a few CDs. One of which was the Брат 2 Soundtrack, which I would highly recommend to anyone who is trying to get into Russian music. All the way through it is just awesome, packed with music from all the hippest bands. The other CD that he made me was Мумий Тролль. I was so fascinated with it. The lead singer, Ilya Lagutenko’s voice is so unique. The lyrics are poetic and abstract and the music itself is so catchy and fun.
Anyway, on Saturday night I had the privilege to go to a Mumiy Troll concert here in Salt Lake City at a little night club. This is the second year in a row that they have come to Salt Lake City and I missed them last year so I vowed not to miss it again.
It was such a blast. There weren’t very many people there so I got up right against the stage, I could have untied Ilya’s shoelaces had I been feeling obnoxious. It was so fun. He sang all his old school songs and we all sang along.
So here is my video from that night in the club along with some other videos/songs that I love. The song in the video is Невеста.
In preparation for the concert I went to Mumiy Troll’s website and tried to brush up on their latest album, because I thought that this is what they would be playing. They only played one song from this, unfortunately, because it is an awesome album. You can listen to it at their website listed at the bottom of this post.
Their list of songs to play was taped to the floor below them. They were supposed to play this song, Контрабанды, but they skipped it. I was very bummed. They played such a short set. I was so sad. Ilya is so fun on stage and it was so fun to watch them.
After the show someone from the Mumiy Troll crew asked me if I enjoyed the show and I said, “Yeah, but it was so short”, and he said, “Yeah, Ilya gets tired really easily”. I thought that was really strange. But I guess even rockstars get tired.
We got to the concert early and we were just waiting for them to open up the doors and we decided to go for a walk. We passed a guy in sunglasses and one of my Russian friends said, “That’s Ilya”, but we didn’t believe because his hair looked different than any of us had ever seen it. We were about to run after him to find out if it was him or not, but we chickened out. Then we the band got on stage, we realized it was him that we had past.
Anyway, I love this band. Their music is so fun. I love Ilya’s voice, it’s so strange and kind of creepy sounding. If you are using it to learn Russian, let me forewarn you that the lyrics don’t always make sense. This music is a great way to familiarize yourself with more poetic words and so on. Their website is a great source, you can go there and listen to songs off of their albums and get the lyrics to their songs and even the chords to play along with it.
Also, if you are in the U.S. you should look to see if they are coming to a town near you. They are currently touring the U.S. There will be tons of Russians there, and a great atmosphere!