Yeah, so I've been absent from the blog for a few days. I've had this never-ending full-body migraine since last Thursday, and it's still pretty oppressive. My apartment looks like a small bomb went off in it, and some nights, I haven't even made it in to brush my teeth, my head hurts so much. I get to the sofa, curl up in ye olde fetal ball, and BAM, that's that for the night.
This evening, despite feeling fairly foul, I started to go through the oddball CDs I have, in an effort to find a few things to put on eBay or Half.com. I have a small pile of obscure Russian CDs - mostly choral music - pressed by Melodiya in the dying days of the Soviet Union. Why I have four volumes of choral concertos by some dead dude named D. Bortnyansky, I have no idea. Really. But I'm hoping someone in America has been waiting with bated breath for a set of his greatest hits.
Lord knows, the man wrote some real swinging 18th century toe-tappers.
In my shifting of musical sedimentary layers, I did find some gems. (Including a CD belonging to the Sasquatch - it appears to have been in my old CD player now for approximately five or six years. Sorry, bubba!) But I also found some nightmares, too.
Like the 1989 European pressing of a 20-version Lambada CD.
20 versions of the damn Lambada.
As if one wasn't bad enough.
I have 20.
Oh, it was hip back in the day, for sure. That CD was a big hit at my parties in Moscow, circa 1990, especially with the Armenians, who would dance like crazy to that wacky Latin beat. The "forbidden dance"? No way! That sucker was so utterly unforbidden, you heard it every-fricken-where in Moscow. Book store? Lambada! Street cafe? Lambada! Crappy taxi? Lam-ba-daaaaaa!
The freakiest Lambada thing I ever saw in Moscow was a TV broadcast of a grade school dance number with the little cute Russian kids gyrating in a most grown-up way, shimmying and shaking pre-pubescent booties to the song. It was wrong.
As in, "call in Chris Hansen and the Dateline NBC people" wrong. Jon-Benet wrong. Way creepy.
Despite that aberration, I associate the Lambada with a group of my friends - mostly the French Armenians - laughing and dancing up a storm in my living room. Just a bunch of dorky 20-something geeks, masquerading as sophisticated Europeans, bouncing around and giggling like idiots. It was great.
So, here I am, typing this and listening to that damn CD for the first time since, probably, 1993, when I left my place in Moscow, boxing up memories good, bad, and ugly. (Sometimes very ugly.) And, you know, stupid as the song is, it takes me back immediately to a totally different life from the one I live now. Utterly independent in a very foreign land. I can smell the Moscow perfume of cabbage, cheap tobacco and strong body odor. I can see the faces of people I haven't seen in more than a decade - some of whom I hope to never see again, others I would embrace so happily right now.
I'm gonna load this sucker up on the iPod. Don't worry Sasquatch - I won't make you listen to it in the car. This'll be for when I'm alone, driving around and feeling a little melancholy. Nothing like cheesy music - in a language you don't understand - to make you laugh.
Hey, it could be worse. At least I don't own any versions of the Macarena or that mind-sucking Mambo Number Five.
Now, anybody want an unopened CD of sacred church music sung in Georgian? I can make you one heck of a deal!