It is generally not considered appropriate, and certainly not politically correct to laugh about differences in cultures…. never mind that they’re often fucking hilarious. One nation’s normal is another country’s extremely fucked up. This is why we can watch the world’s worst Japanese to English translation program and laugh our asses off at how batshit crazy the people of Japan must be before we go back to posting photos of our half eaten dinner on Facebook.
When we watch a video of people from a different place and even time, it’s hard not to be amused at details that just seem so foreign or out of place to us no matter how much we might tell ourselves it’s wrong to be an asshole. But there are videos which that it is just impossible to watch and keep a straight face. Let me show you something Nest follower Kosmo and the gang from Finland left in the comments of one of my posts a couple days ago….
Now you all remember those music programs that aired on TV way back in the day where a group would perform some of its hit songs in front of a studio audience. Do you have a picture in your mind? Does it look something like this?
Good! Now here’s a clip from just such a program that aired in the Soviet Union in 1987. What, you didn’t think they had pop music or even TV behind the Iron Curtain? Shows how much you know. The USSR not only had its own rock stars, but even promoted them on television as well! The band you’re about to see translates from cyrillic into real letters as Alyans, which I think means “Alliance.” The song is called “Na Zare,” which seems to become “At the Dawn” when you run it through a Google translator. This five minute and forty second video is guaranteed to change your life. Please do not attempt to drink any liquids while watching this…
If laughter is truly the best medicine, I’d like to think everyone who watches this train wreck should be able to skip all their flu shots for the next decade…
Wow, that’s really something else, isn’t it? Alyans reminds me of a commie version of Depeche Mode, and their members look like a random group of weirdos who were all thrown together to sing songs about peace, love and glasnost. The music isn’t bad, if you’re into 80’s stuff. The singing is annoying as goddamn hell, but that’s what Stalin invented the mute button for.
Let’s meet the band!
The bassist is the first guy we get to see plucking away at his sweatshop made instrument, and we can see he’s either moving his mouth along with the groove he’s laying down, or he’s actually a goldfish who leaped out of their bowl. That green sweater he’s wearing is beyond hideous, but I guess it’ll be good for keeping warm when he gets sent to Siberia after this travesty airs down at the Kremlin.
Even in Mother Russia every good synth pop band needed multiple keyboardists, and Alyans has two. Here’s one of them wearing a crappy leather jacket over…. yep, another hideous sweater. Knowing the Soviet Union, the studio probably had to skimp on the furnace in order to afford all the production equipment. The lock of hair that’s constantly dangling over his face is almost as distracting as the fake pin-on medals he got out of a gumball machine for his jacket.
The lead singer is a real piece of work. Hey! Cap’n Crunch called, and he wants his shoulder pads back. While the image above is technically a still, it was captured in between verses when our singer’s voice isn’t needed, so he decides to stand like a statue and stare blankly into the studio lights… possibly searching deep into his soul to figure out just why in the hell he chose this career path in a strict communist country. His Adam’s apple looks like it’s about to do a John Hurt and give birth to some nasty little alien out of his neck that, when it emerged, wouldn’t even be the weirdest creature on this show, because…..
This guy just fucking rules. The Hawaiian shirt, the awesome shades, the cheesy 80’s John Oates mustache, the ballcap he took off the head of some KGB agent. What makes this keyboardist so great is the way he stands out because he looks like an extra off the set of Cocktail rather than a Russian musician. He’s probably a brilliant American spy who figured out that the best way to make the Russians not suspect he was not working for the free world was to look like he just stepped out of a Florida cabana. Reverse psychology for the win!
The drum set is conspicuously unmanned, but I guess even Soviet Russia had lame ass drum machine technology… or maybe a well worn vinyl sample from a New Order album. Anyway, let’s take a look at that beautiful studio audience who gets to witness all this awesomeness firsthand…
Did your mom ever drag you to your little sister’s dance recital when you really, really didn’t want to go because you’d end up missing a brand new episode of Punky Brewster? I think that happened to pretty much every member of the audience who looks like they’re being forced to watch this pathetic excuse for a concert against their will by the state. Or maybe all those years of having to stand in line three hours for the last roll of toilet paper at the store just begin to take their toll on your patience after a while. Perestroika can’t possibly come soon enough…
I guess I’d be upset if the camera got a close up of my latest outbreak of zits, too. But geez, is there anyone out there actually enjoying this muzak?
There is actually one comrade in this audience who apparently doesn’t act like the Russian military is ready to snipe anyone who dares to have a good time. This guy is seen very actively singing and
dancing flailing around with the song…. much to the horror (lady, top right) and annoyance (lady, top left) of those around him. You go with bad self, dude!
Oh my…. this guy is… really…. special.
Aw, fuck it! This guy’s a riot!
Wasn’t that video just the greatest thing ever!?!!?