Right now go here: Russia, then Moscow and then: “go here right now 6/2 arbatsky perelouk“. Arbatsky pereulok is one of the pedestrian streets in Moscow, known at some point for the artists and poets who lived around there in the 19th century, during the mid 20th century before and after WWII it was known as a bastion of the inteligencia who attempted to disagree with the power that be via smattering paint on canvas or organizing coffee laden hunger strikes. Many, during that time, ended up on Lubyanka street where the KGB headquarters still looms as one of the grayer buildings in an already gray city.

In the late 1980s all that thawed and gave way to portrait painters, ice cream parlors, matreshka salesmen and black market currency exchange shops. In the late 1990s it was taken over by heroin punks, who combined with the matreshka ice cream currency parlors turned the street into a wider St Marks pl. I distinctly remember being 15, the drunkest I’ve ever been, following a woman dressed in red and yelling out “Matvey”, my friend’s name, on a search for a fix. He had the most perfect teeth.

Lately a McDonald’s took over one end, and the beat cops got all the stoners away, you have to look in the cul de sacs of this cul de sac to find anything inspiring, still, after 2am, the rejects from the big Arbatsky Prospekt with its casinos make a good crowd, you’ll know the truth, you might be knifed.

Tonight 2/3 of Salem are playing, at 6/2 Arbatsky, and as much as U.S.Americans are starting to understand the truthful darkness behind their music, Russians have been prepared for centuries, so understandably the show is sold out.