как настоящий московица
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I generally think of this as the first Viper song: I wrote it specifically for the ukulele in the year after I’d finished my undergraduate degree but was still living in my undergraduate town of Madison, WI, and doing a lot of street performing to fund my evenings and my Tetris playing at the Plaza tavern.
The Russian lyrics came later. As a graduate student in the English department of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, we were required to do at least two semesters in a non-English language. I did Reading in Russian with a professor named Steven Hill, in which my translation exercises tended to come from the literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin and the liner notes of recordings by Soviet jazz orchestras. I didn’t learn enough to translate “I Love a Girl in Moscow” myself, but luckily, I knew a graduate student in another department named Grace Giorgio who did.
Here’s our notes (she was organizing a benefit show at the Blind Pig where I was to be the MC – this is pre-Orchestra – and at the top of the page, you can see a list of the other performers who were going to be playing at the event!):
Somewhat surprisingly, given this song’s age and relative permanence within our repertoire, I can’t find any live recordings of us doing it. So this version from our only studio recording, Everything For Everyone, will have to do.
Incidentally, the title “Everything for Everyone” comes from the text inside the inner circle of this early Soviet ad for a shopping mall, designed, I think, by Vladimir Mayakovsky and Alexander Rodchenko: two of my favorites. This was supposed to be the artwork on the the album cover, but we ran out of time!