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«007. Координаты: „Скайфолл“»
August 24, 2013 9:31 AM   Subscribe

The Russian Army Chorus performs "Skyfall"
posted by griphus (29 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know it's trite to observe that we're living inside from feverish William Gibson/ Robert Anton Wilson dream reality - but.
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 AM on August 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


The Red Army Choir and the Leningrad Cowboys perform "Sweet Home Alabama".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:45 AM on August 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Great voice, odd pronunciation. I'm guessing he doesn't speak english. I still like the Adele version. Man, that lady has a phenomenal voice.
posted by e40 at 9:46 AM on August 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have the hats issued with Russian uniforms getting bigger over the years, or are Russians getting smaller?

Also, the Whelk's right - this is a weird future we're in.
posted by chambers at 9:49 AM on August 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is my internal narrative watching this:

In Russia, skyfall sings ...shit that ain't right. That meme is old anyway. Shit, I'm an old guy on the internet. My aunt is right, I should get married.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:52 AM on August 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was completely mesmerized by his voice and performance. But most everything else about this was very anachronistic and strange and generally not quite right.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:58 AM on August 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


But most everything else about this was very anachronistic and strange and generally not quite right.

The Gold Standard of anachronistic and strange and generally not quite right.
posted by mazola at 10:16 AM on August 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


Saw this video elsewhere and somebody in the comments had linked to Song of the Volga Boatmen - Red Army Chorus - Leonid Kharitonov which isn't funny or culture shocky but is rather good.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:39 AM on August 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, iamkimiam, just keep in mind that the model for the Bond song is Shirley Bassey. There are many ways in which these 007 themes are dipped in amber, perpetuating a style that we pretty much eschew in pop music.

And since the Red Army choir is perpetuating another semi-lost tradition, that of the male baritone group, that's your double anachronism right there. But that confluence feels more right to me, watching this, than even I'd expect.
posted by dhartung at 11:03 AM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looks like Gollum.
posted by stbalbach at 11:04 AM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, a Russian military group singing a song from one of the greatest Western Cold War myths. Odd. Even spookier when the chorus kicks in with all the Russian W'sand V's.
posted by drewbage1847 at 11:08 AM on August 24, 2013


Notice: Rambling tangent ahead, with pics!

Ok, so I've been doing a bit of research on Soviet and Post-Soviet officer uniforms, and from what I can gather and theorize about is it seems that there was some sort of inter-branch rivalry within the military that has resulted in an increased size of officer's hats over the years. Which actually ends up being mildly interesting.

From what I can gather, in the 20s, officer hats were much smaller, modest, and floppier, probably due to the revolution's proletariat ideas, which did not want to have large, ostentatious hats and uniforms that might be associated with the excesses of the Czars.

Officer uniforms in the 30s and into the second world war were modernized, but the hats became a bit more rigid, but the sizes were still proportional, and generally were in line with uniforms of other European and American militaries.

Towards the end of the war, things changed. The Soviet Air Force appears to be the first to go with a larger, firmer hat. Following the natural idea of "bigger hat = more important," the other branches updated their uniforms in return. Thus the Soviet 'Hat Race' began, spurred on by pride and the desire of each branch to display their obvious importance over the other branches. (note: it is possible the Air Force responded to a change by the Navy, as they are often more traditionally 'old school' and aristocratic than the other branches, but I could not find firm evidence of this in the USSR)

As the cold war progressed and television and film propaganda expanded, the Soviet armed forces grew in importance and power both socially and politically as the face of the strength for the USSR. So, the hats once again got bigger, coming to their final version in the early 80s.

So yeah, I just spent an hour and a half geeking out over military hat evolution and coming up with fairly unsubstantiated theories about it.

In any case, here's a chronological picture gallery of Red Army uniforms I came across, from the 1920s onward.
posted by chambers at 11:58 AM on August 24, 2013 [28 favorites]


The Leningrad Cowboys perfoming Sweet Home Alabama. Wow, we do live in very strange times.
posted by mosk at 12:46 PM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure these guys are a subset of the full Red Army choir I saw when I was reporting at Eurovision 2009 in Moscow.

Here's the YouTube link, for eight minutes of WTF, including a pink tank, a blue fighter jet, T.A.T.U, a cover of The New Seekers, traditional Russian folk music, a sword dance, some street dancing, a Baritone that reminds me of Harvey Keitel, and a contra-tenor soloist to kick it off.

(Do I need to say once more just how much I *love* the Eurovision Song Contest, for moments like this?)
posted by ewan at 2:07 PM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Skyfall covered by Paul F. Tompkins at Largo still wins.
posted by Lanark at 3:01 PM on August 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Leningrad Cowboys perfoming Sweet Home Alabama. Wow, we do live in very strange times.

Yeah. I'm pretty sure they're all from Georgia.
posted by yoink at 5:44 PM on August 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


So...the Russian Army....is singing James Bond, the Cold War spy's latest theme song. Um. Um. Right then, I'll be over here trying to wrap my head around it.

Also the link MartinWisse put up rocks, great song.
posted by Canageek at 6:07 PM on August 24, 2013


Yeah. I'm pretty sure they're all from Georgia.

Close: Finland.
posted by griphus at 7:33 PM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I prefer their rendition of Smuglianka.

Even the old recording of, "March of the Tankists", actually, to this.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:29 PM on August 24, 2013


Besides the sheer WTFery (and are they performing on the Russian equivalent of the Today Show? those hosts seem smugly enraptured by this whole thing), I have two thoughts:

1) Man, there's something about the 't' sound that's not equivalent to the Russian. Every time the singer said 'breath' 'ten' or 'the', I cringed.
2) I spent a lot of the video hoping that Putin didn't find the little guy who's the lead singer and have him cast out of the military for being insufficiently masculine. He does have a charming falsetto and plenty of stage presence, so he's got that going for him.
posted by librarylis at 9:14 PM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


More information on what is officially known as the Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Russian Army named after A. V. Alexandrov (or, if you prefer, Академический ансамбль песни и пляски Российской Армии имени А. В. Александрова).
posted by the cydonian at 9:17 PM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


So distracted by the guy on the far right. At least I know that's what happened to Paul Kinsey after he left the hippie commune.
posted by mochapickle at 9:34 PM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


here's a chronological picture gallery of Red Army uniforms I came across, from the 1920s onward.

WE WILL BERET YOU.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:04 AM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


WE WILL BERET YOU.

I don't subscribe
To this point of view.
posted by Wolof at 2:10 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


chambers: "So yeah, I just spent an hour and a half geeking out over military hat evolution and coming up with fairly unsubstantiated theories about it."

There's an Eastern European comic (I'm at least 90% certain it's Eastern European, or the creator is, perhaps Polish?) that makes fun of this. The officers have enormous hats with several peaks above each other, etc. The comic is set in some sort of eternal war in a vaguely futuristic world. I think I saw it in some issues of Heavy Metal, possibly from the 80s or early 90s, but the details escape me.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:31 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now that I think about it, the art style was a lot like that of Bilal, but I don't think it was actually by him.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:32 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


yoink: "Yeah. I'm pretty sure they're all from Georgia."

Tbilisi, not Atlanta?
posted by Sphinx at 1:17 PM on August 25, 2013


I love the almost-metaphorical false friends you get sometimes from Russian--a choir is a "coordinatui."

Not to mention "Skaiphall."
posted by radicalawyer at 4:59 AM on August 26, 2013


The Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Choir are "Happy Together." And they are made of awesome.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:52 PM on August 30, 2013


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