The MarinaHov Band is unique in its creation of a powerful new sound accomplished by combining Armenian folk music and contemporary Western instrumentals with elements drawn from jazz, classical, and Middle Eastern sounds. After being pleasantly surprised by the band’s innovative take on Armenian folk music at their July 25th show at The Mint (shourj par at a rock club in L.A., anyone?), I was lucky enough to sit down with the lead singer and founding member of the group, Marina Hovhannisyan, to discuss their unique role in creating, evolving, and engaging with ancient melodies and sounds. Read on for Marina’s own perspective on her role in creating this especially crafty interpretation of centuries-old folk, prepared and performed for the present day!
Russo is your new favorite summer fling that actually sticks. The band released a debut EP earlier this summer, aptly titled House With A Pool, introducing Russo’s signature sound, which is very much influenced and informed by the music of the 80s and 90s, but is also fresh and apt for the times with lyrics and beats relatable to today’s culture. As indicated by their catalogue of songs, their artsy music videos, and energetic live performances, the band has a lot of fun, and invites the listener to do so as well.
Shaunt Avakian is a musical force to be reckoned with. Throughout the past year or so, Avakian has proven not only committed to growth as a singer, songwriter, and stellar guitarist, but also to his vision of bringing his creative passion and emotion to the ears of listeners. Earlier this year, he released his debut EP, Intensity, featuring six tracks which showcase Avakian’s versatility and ability to appeal to a variety of genres and styles while remaining true to his voice. Read on for our interview with the artist, and be sure to check out Intensity!
“Lives” proceeds to mourn, advocate, and celebrate, bringing hope to the future of the global Armenian community and the descendants of the survivors of the genocide of 1915 through its presentation in an energetic music video combining the tradition of Armenian dance, tapestry, and costume with Malakian’s heavy metal tunes. The single arrives at an apt time, where Armenians not only commemorate the atrocities and injustices of the past, but also gear towards a future of higher democratic, civil, and sociopolitical standards.
Pussy Riot made their U.S. debut at the newly opened Lodge Room in Highland Park, playing a forty-five minute set consisting of the very performance art tactics that got these incredibly brave women jailed and reprimanded in their home country. Seemingly straight out of the history books on Stalinist Terror, Pussy Riot’s founding member, Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova, along with Maria "Masha" Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, endured ridiculous show trials, beatings by Cossack guards, and two years in a Siberian prison camp. Tolokonnikova and her comrades don’t just talk the talk; their six years of existence as a group and their perseverance through authoritarian, oppressive leadership, and the risks posed to their own freedom, security, and lives, prove that they are truly committed to their cause, for a better, more democratic Russia, and by extension, world. Read on for a full recap of their first-ever U.S. show!