Moscow´s underground and artistic movement is thriving. I did not expect less from a metropolis this size and with the amount of culture at their disposal.
However… It seems that people were shocked when they suddenly realized they could have all the comodities of the west (for a rice of course) and the majority of them (as always and everywhere in the world) went on to consume junk. I don´t know what is wrong with people? maybe it is because we are under the influence of some powerful drug or a mass hypnosis or just the TV sends some cathodic rays that numbs our mind. But having all the freedom to choose… The majority went to choose the mainstream shit. Now there are McShits all over the place, Starsucks and all the usual chains, people are worried now about who has the best cars or the best clothes or the BEST cosmetic surgery. Capitalism is EVIL no doubt about it.
But don´t despair, there is always hope and in the city there are cool, creative and artistic people (like everywhere in the world) that are looking to get out of the box or the sphere and share a their universe with the masses. Music, Art, photography, books, crazy designs, etc. Moscow has it all.
For music venues there are a couple of places where you can discover the underground scene. The OGI projeckt is a good option to start. It features a LIVE band everyday, a book store with a few CDs and a cafe restaurant, food is ok and cheap. Beer everywhere is Moscow goes for 3 dollars average for half a litre. OGI projeckt does not discriminate or have face control, you can hear all kinds of bands here, myself I have seen afrobeat, reggea, garage, punk and gypsy brass, but I know they feature also jazz, ska, singers songwriters, performances, etc. Covers are usually under 10 dollars. Go to http://www.proektogi.ru even though Russian is not your first language but you can discover new Russian bands on the links.
Another venue is Gogol cub café named after the famous Nikolai Gogol one of the masters of Russian Literature. In this venue you can listen to music, watch a film or enjoy the patio. Food is good, service as in most of Moscow restaurants is not as good. In this city the waiter or waitress are doing you a favour and not the other way around. They are used to not getting a lot of tips, food generally takes longer to get that in other cities. Back to the venue, Gogol is a perfect place to watch live acts, is not as cozy as OGI but is way bigger and like a lot of restaurants, it has a laberynthic shape to it with other rooms. See, a lot of places in Moscow are in basements or old houses so the clubs or restaurants adapted their place to these structures which results in trippy places with artsy rooms and hallways. One of this places is ARTE FAQ an arsty restaurant that promotes Djs, art on the walls, and antiques on display. Some restaurants have kind of art exhibitions in their walls or soviet paraphernalia as decor, nostalgic objects, that contrast with the videos on the washrooms or the phsychedelic toilets and ceilings (Big eyes and mirrors everywhere with loud soundtracks) There is more, much more to discover, yuppies and airheads apart, in this city that breathes art and culture. To be continued…. Underground film…. Complete adventures at www.vanmusic.ca