Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

14 April 2015. Some of Favourite Things… Latest Uploads from Bayan Miks

00 Bayan Miks 04. 10.08.14



Bayan Miks and the Buranovskie Babushki… slow starter… takes 40 seconds for the music to start…




Monday, 24 November 2014

24 November 2014. Some of My Favourite Things… “New Year’s Ditties” from the Buranovskiye Babushki and Bayan Miks

00 Buranovskiye Babushki 27.05.12


00 Pres Putin with Bayan Miks. 16.08.14



Now, here’s a mixture! The Buranovskiye Babushki and Bayan Miks! Now, that’s good family fun! The  Babushki participated in the qualifying rounds of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest (ranked third) and were second in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku with the song Party for Everybody. S I Voitenko and Dmitri Khramkov (Bayan Miks) need no introduction. This came from a special Rossiya-1 broadcast on Orthodox Christmas in 2013… sadly, early this year, Yelizaveta Zarbatova, one of the Babas, died in the 87th year of her life (she’s the shortest one of the lot in the vid). Light a candle for her at liturgy… her death anniversary is 13 January, so, if you want to have Pannikhida served, that’s the proper date.

After posting about the konvertsy, I wanted to post on something wholesome, healthy, and life-affirming… this is the ticket!


Friday, 24 May 2013

You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Meet Pistol Pete, Male Stripper… He’s Greek… He’s Orthodox… He Goes to Liturgy on Sunday… What’s Not to Like?

00 Pistol Pete. Australian male stripper. 24.05.13


Greek-born Melbourne-based stripper Pistol Pete won’t accept a booking after 23.00 on a Saturday night. An Orthodox Christian, he gets up at 08.00 every Sunday to go to church. He said, “The feeling I get when I go is amazing, it’s priceless”. Stripping for the first time, he experienced a similar feeling of elation, saying, “To hear the roar of the crowd, I just went blank, you feel like you’re not really there. I was like, ‘Is this really happening? I’m a stripper now'”. That was nearly three years ago. Pete says he has made considerable progress in the industry in a short space of time. “I’m the first Australian to make it overseas as an international stripper in less than one year of stripping. I set a new benchmark”.

Before he was a stripper, Pete was an accountant in Melbourne, but lost his job in 2008, during the global financial crisis. Shortly prior, his relationship with his fiancée ended and he moved from the couple’s home to a house in the south-eastern suburbs, where he now lives with his brother. Their parents live around the corner. In 2007, Pete developed diabetes insipidus, characterised by extreme thirst and frequent excessive urination. Due to a combination of medication and binge eating, he was also severely-obese, with 42 per cent body fat. As an accountant, Pete had purchased a BMW Z4, a motorbike and a jet ski that he was struggling to pay off without a job. The debt collectors came knocking and repossessed his toys. Pete took what was left of his savings and headed to Thailand for six months of exercise and reflection. He trained in Muay Thai martial arts every day and lost 40 kilogrammes (88 pounds).

Back in Melbourne, some friends at the gym suggested he try topless waiting. Pete said that seeing the strippers that worked at the same events ignore the less-attractive female guests bothered him. He’d go up and hug the “oversize” girls “so they could feel good about themselves. The only reason I wanted to get into stripping was because I wanted to treat those girls right, the girls that were less advantaged”. He contacted Pantha, multiple Mr Nude Australia, to ask for advice. Pantha took him under his wing and helped him choreograph a routine as a policeman called Pistol Pete.

At one point in Pete’s routine, he skids across the ground wearing knee pads, a rose in his mouth, to the tune of Hold Me Now by ex-Eurovision star Johnny Logan. The last song in the routine, at which point Pete drops his boxers behind a towel, is 50 Cent‘s Candy Shop. Pete said, “I didn’t just want to get out there and wiggle my dirty bits around within two minutes, because I don’t see that as being art, it’s not entertainment. I’ve got more respect for myself. There are girls at the show that have got boyfriends or husbands, and they might get offended, so I’m not going to do that. I guess there are two or three who are always going to get excited, but I need to cater for everyone”. When Pete drops his towel, it’s for the hen or birthday girl’s eyes only, and Pete says it’s so dark in there, she can’t really see anything anyway.

Nine months into his stripping career, Pete won a competition with an LA-based agency that sent him to strip in Las Vegas. He has since stripped in Hawaii, in Cancún twice, for college girls during spring break, and met a nightclub owner who invited him to perform at her venue in Sweden. He’s been invited back to Vegas twice since his first visit, but he said that his obligation to his four-year-old goddaughter prevents him spending too much time overseas. “They’ve got no support network, no family, no nothing, so I want to do the right thing.”

Pete doesn’t drink, take drugs, or go out clubbing, but occasionally, he’ll hook up with a single lady that he meets on a booking. Forming relationships is harder, he said, “No one wants to date a stripper”. For Pete, the stripping is a social activity. However, he’s increasingly aware of the contradiction between his work and his religion, and for this reason, it’s not something he wants to do forever, noting, “The biggest sin I’m committing is creating lustful eyes”, referring to the desire he might incite, particularly in married women.

His parents are supportive. When learning his choreography, he told his Mum he needed to practise in front of women, so she rounded up her friends, and they assembled in the lounge room to watch his routine. Pete elicited whoops and cheers from the senior citizens. “Zat’s my son, zat’s my son!” sang out his proud Mum, whose English is limited. On one particularly busy day, when Pete had 14 bookings, his father drove him from job to job. “My dad is like, ‘Son, you’re not murdering anyone, you’re not screwing anyone’s wife, you’re not prostituting yourself, you’re maintaining your morals in the industry. So, go out there, and be the best at what you do and have fun”.

24 May 2013

Annabel Ross



Editor’s Note:

Truly, “you can’t make up shit like this”… however, this is reality… its real life. People do what they gotta do… and this dude’s priest knows the score. It sure shows you that Orthodoxy’s the freest religion out there. Just watch, the usual cast of suspects will moan and groan. I say, let the perfect throw stones…


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Buranovskiye Babushki Start Eurovision Rehearsals





On Monday, according to their producer, Ksenia Rubtsova, the Buranovskiye Babushki, a sextet of Russian grannies who won the national Eurovision-2012 selection contest, started rehearsals in their home village of Buranovo. Rubtsova said, “It’s easier, better, and more convenient for the grannies to rehearse at home. The group spent ten days in Moscow and its participants miss their relatives and homes. Of course, there’ll be rehearsals in Moscow, but the Buranovskiye Babushki will sing at home for the moment”. On Tuesday, a crew from the state Rossiya TV channel will arrive in Buranovo, which is in the Republic of Udmurtia in the Urals, to stage their show for Eurovision. The sextet of babushkas faced a tough competition in the final selection from 24 other Russian contenders, including 2008 Eurovision winner Dima Bilan, but in the end, they won the hearts of jurors and TV viewers by performing “Party for Everybody” in the Udmurt language. The colourful grannies, some of them over 70 years old, don’t speak English and their folk-style performance includes their own songs and covers of many international music hits. They mostly sing in Russian and Udmurt. The group first tried for the Eurovision contest in 2010, but lost in the selection round.

12 March 2012



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