Archive for December, 2008

This is a road Ukraine should not even consider…

December 26, 2008

What is Mr. Nalivaichenko thinking?  First off, the Russian law (laying out penalties for insulting the president) is hardly democratic.  Secondly, where on earth does he get his information, according to which American citizens can be pubished for insulting the U.S. President, his Cabinet or even – as Nalivaichenko states – people who work in the White House?  Let’s face it:  American jails would be chock-full of Republican critics of Clinton and Democrat critics of Bush, at the very least, if this were true.

That Nalivaichenko is Acting Head of the SBU makes it even more disappointing.  Shouldn’t he have more accurate information, especially as it’s all in the public domain?

Read it and weep here.

UPDATE:  Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh on Nalivaichenko’s knowledge of American traditions regarding freedom of speech.  After all, here’s an American who seems to have no clue herself (disregard spelling):

The Dixie Chicks told a London audience they were “ashamed to be from Texas because of President Bush.”  The defimation was a direct assault on all Americans and a cudos for the enemy. 

Lisa Richards – you are the weakest link.


Last night’s gig at River Palace

December 12, 2008

What a good time!

I was freaking out all day yesterday, due to all the things I had to get done, in which I was helped not at all by traffic in Kyiv.  Every resident of Kyiv seems to have two cars on the road simultaneously.  As a result, I was late to work in the morning, struggling with my guitar and guitar effects tickle trunk.

Leaving work, I was once agan struck by how much I love the metro in Kyiv.  Kreshchatyk to River Palace in 15 minutes flat.  You could drive a Lamborghini here and not match that time.  Super.

Soundcheck was tense, as I was pissed off about not having my kilt returned to me in time for the gig (Nick, there are some large men coming to talk to you today…)  And, at first, the sound wasn’t very good:  the bass drum was thundering like a sonic boom and Ira’s bass was all bottom end.  Thanks to the guys from Fisher and Mick – our Musical Director – we got in worked out in the end.

Ira then put in a call to "Molasses in January" Taxi, which took more than half an hour to get a taxi anywhere near the Palace.  By that time, I was already extraordinarily late to pick up the very cool banner we had made for the group (sorry, Vlad, it won’t happen again.)  Ira, Dave and I piled in to get to Saksahanskoho, but Ira (Health and Beauty Director) bailed at Klovska Metro, desperate to get home in time to do whatever it is female bass players do before a show.  Dave and I manfully stuck it out, even as my blood pressure rose steadily while we stood in a jam on Mechnikova.  We finally made it to the printer’s shop and were a little surprised by the size of the banner.  I shouldn’t have been, as it was exactly the size I ordered, but I never really know just how big 2 metres is until it’s staring me in the face.  No problem, though, as I think the banner is the best $80 the C-Men have ever spent!  It looks very cool and big kudos to Bogdan the Printer and Dave, our resident Art Director.

I ditched Dave, who wandered off to meet Mick while I hied home on my beloved metro.  I had all of 15 minutes to put some intro music for the gig on my iPod, find something to wear for the night (black t-shirt and torn jeans are now my uniform, it appears,) have a quick beer and head off, clutching video camera, back-up guitar and strings for the violent strummer, Mick.  As a result, I only got to the gig at 9:25, figuring that all of the other conscientious band members would already be there, and would have already hung the banner.  Not a bit of it!  Dave and Mick arrived – with rolled-up banner – while I was finishing my smoke outside! 

Vova the Super Music Fan and Sergei from Zvorotniy Vidlik offered to hang the banner for us – an offer I was unlikely to turn down.  As I said, it looked great.

Mick was starting to get a bit nervous at 10 o’clock, as the club was pretty damned empty.  He is apparently unaware of the particular relationship to time that people here display.  I knew they’d come and, of course they did, many of them BEFORE IRA (збучка.)

I was so focused on tuning my guitars backstage that I didn’t even notice Ira changing her clothes right in front of us.  Next time, I must be sure to make it look as though I’m looking at the guitar tuner, all the while sneaking some pervy peeks.  Hey, I didn’t make up the rule that 19 year-old Ukrainian girls are very sexy and that Ira is top of her class in that regard.  Strangely, I did catch a glimpse of Mick as he changed and was astounded to see that he’s as hairless as an Olympic swimmer or a Mexican dog.

The gig itself…what can I say?  You know you’re gonna have a fun night when people are up and dancing from the first chord.  As it was the first chord to "Blitzkrieg Bop," I knew that Alina (nancy_vancy,) Ksyusha (ksu_psu) and the rest of Ira’s friends would be leading the charge.  As usual, I was not disappointed.

By God, it was hot in there.  By the third song, Mick had already ditched his classic leopard-skin drape and I was down to plain old t-shirt.  Ira, for reasons unconnected to the club’s climactic conditions, had opted for a pair of hot pants.  Now I know why they’re called that – Ira, you looked smoking in those.  Mick confirmed my thoughts after the gig, when he seemed to notice Ira’s legs for the first time (did he previously think she moved on wheels?)  He was very approving of her appendages, thus showing that there is nothing wrong with his vision.

The rest of the show was a hot, sweaty blur.  We did "Too Drunk to Fuck" for the first time live and it went over great.  As did "Mamma Mia," which we happily played again, when asked for an encore.

All in all, it was our best show, to my mind.  I hope anyone who was there agrees!  Thanks to all who came!  It was especially great to see Sasha and Alyona from @ttraktor there.

C-Men LIVE Thursday at River Palace!

December 9, 2008

Here’s the deal.


River Palace (Metro Dnipro.)

Free Admission.

Loud, nasty, classic punk rock.

C-Men CDs on sale.  Part of the money going to the animal shelter in Borodyanke.



Blair’s birthday thing on Friday

December 3, 2008
Often, when people are invited to birthday parties, they feel obliged to bring a present for the birthday boy/girl.
I assure you that I have everything I need in life, so – while the thought is deeply appreciated – please don’t bring any presents!

Instead, I would really love it if whatever money you might have spent on a present be used to make a donation to the animal shelter in Borodyanke. I will see to it that every penny gets to the poor dogs, cats and other pets there.