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Roll Over, Tchaikovsky!

Russian Popular Music and Post-Soviet Homosexuality

Stephen Amico

Publication Year: 2014

Centered on the musical experiences of homosexual men in St. Petersburg and Moscow, this ground-breaking study examines how post-Soviet popular music both informs and plays off of a corporeal understanding of Russian male homosexuality.Drawing upon ethnography, musical analysis, and phenomenological theory, Stephen Amico offers an expert technical analysis of Russian rock, pop, and estrada music, dovetailing into an illuminating discussion of homosexual men's physical and bodily perceptions of music. He also outlines how popular music performers use song lyrics, drag, physical movements, images of women, sexualized male bodies, and other tools and tropes to implicitly or explicitly express sexual orientation through performance. Finally, Amico uncovers how such performances help homosexual Russian men to create their own social spaces and selves, in meaningful relation to others with whom they share a "nontraditional orientation."

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Series: New Perspectives on Gender in Music

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

It is not so much with a nostalgic nod to postmodern theory as it is from the experiential standpoint of having worked on this manuscript for several years that I must aver that no text can claim to be the creation of a single author. ...

Notes on Transliteration, Translations, Attribution of Informants' Quotations, and Audiovisual Resou

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pp. xi-xii

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1. Introduction: Homosexual Bodies/Embodied Homosexuality

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pp. 1-29

The gay pride parade, an annual fixture of the contemporary landscape in such far-flung locales as New York, Montréal, Reykjavík, Johannesburg, and São Paolo, is a complex phenomenon. Not only sites for celebration and revelry, such parades are also inherently sociopolitical actions, visible and public manifestations of communities and identities formed, in part, in relation to the variable of sexual orientation. ...

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2. Music, Form, Penetration

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pp. 30-62

The relative relaxation of geopolitical borders in Russia, post-perestroika, has allowed an intercourse with the West that, although certainly not absent during the Soviet era, or without restrictions in the present, increased the visibility, number, and variety of Western cultural products on Russian soil. ...

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3. Phantom Faggots

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pp. 63-102

If the Soviet era was remarkable for its sexophobia, palpable as, paradoxically, an absence of explicit speech about sex or sexual matters, then the post-Soviet era, notable for a virtual explosion of unambiguous and open speech about sex—in the yellow press, as well as in academic discourse—might be seen as its garrulous corrective.1 ...

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4. Corporeal Intentions

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pp. 103-134

It was about 2:00 A.M. when, having earlier flagged a passing car outside of my Moscow apartment and negotiated a fare,1 I arrived at the gay club Dusha i telo (Soul and Body). Located approximately twenty minutes outside of the city center, the entrance on the first floor of a large, severe, Soviet-era building complex, ...

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5. Gay-Made Space

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pp. 135-166

It was only in 2012 when St. Petersburg and Moscow, two of the largest cities in Eastern Europe, joined the ranks of the “virtually visible”; in February of that year, the Google Maps street view feature was finally enabled, allowing internet visitors to view some of the world’s most famous sites and sights, architectural and otherwise. ...

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6. Conclusion: The Eloquence of Flesh

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pp. 167-188

It was 25 December 2004, and I was waiting in the frigid weather in front of the building at 28 Kanal Griboedova in the center of St. Petersburg, the typically overcast sky compounding the cold from the gray pavement that seemed to seep up through the soles of my wholly inadequate boots. ...

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pp. 189-204

With the collapsing of both time and space brought about by an increasingly (if not yet fully) digitalized media society, work on studies dealing with popular music and popular culture—to say nothing of those dealing with post-Soviet space—takes on a growing sense of immediacy and urgency. ...

List of Interlocutors and Interviewees

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pp. 205-206


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pp. 207-270

Works Cited

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pp. 271-304


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pp. 305-316

About the Author, New Perspectives on Gender in Music, Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780252096143
E-ISBN-10: 0252096142
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252038273

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: New Perspectives on Gender in Music