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Jailhouse Rock: Moscow + St. Petersburg

moscowBorn in tsarist jails, transformed in the gulag into a tool of political protest, and immortalized on gangsters’ graves — the criminal chanson is about as bad a they come. Chanson is Russia’s romantic version of gangsta rap (or the darker side of country music), a blend of melancholic folk with klezmer and gypsy music. Alina Simone is your guide to Moscow and St. Petersburg, where chanson is the unofficial soundtrack of daily life. Join her to discover the music Putin rocked to as a student, and explore a sound that thrives in the nightclubs of Paris and New York’s Brighton Beach. 

image: iStock

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