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YouTube’d memories: Hafanana

Sometimes, the most insignificant of memories lodge themselves in one’s brain… I must have been four or five when I overheard my Mom and her girlfriends discussing comparative qualities of foreign singers who appeared on the Soviet state TV. I cannot recall anything from that conversation except the consensus that…

YouTube’d memories: Hands Up

The other day, my teenager and I got into one of nowadays frequent verbal exchanges that end with her effectively telling me to mind my own business, since she is grown up and all that and is capable of going through life without her old man trying to teach her…

YouTube’d memories: One Night in Bangkok

This song is one of “signature” pieces of my DJ days in high school. As I noted elsewhere, I’ve been an unwilling dancer for my entire life, so it was only natural that I became a “designated DJ” at some point. Everybody else wanted to be on the floor… I…

YouTube’d memories: Toda

When my Uncle was emigrating a couple of years ahead of us, he left me a handful of cassette tapes for my new shiny tape recorder (which he himself had bought for me in New York on his voyage there several months prior). Among those tapes was an album of…

YouTube’d memories: Friends in Low Places

Ok, still no time – or fodder – for regular blogging, so how about going back to an old recurring feature… I mentioned somewhere that I went through a period of being much into country music in my 20’s. That coincided with the peak of fame for Garth Brooks, and…

YouTube’d memories: Voyage Voyage

Another one of those huge Euro-hits of the late 80’s that were so popular in our discotheques. And another one of one-song performers for me… The song obviously speaks to my wanderer inclinations. You could guess that even if your knowledge of French does not go far beyond the title……

YouTube’d memories: Caribbean Blue

Half a year or so into my American immigrant life, I earned enough money through a couple of small jobs to splurge on my very own CD-playing boombox. Lured in by the infamous “12 CDs for the price of 1” offer, I then joined BMG Music Service (which I accidentally…

YouTube’d memories: King of the Road

I haven’t heard this song in ages and suddenly recognized the tune in a McDonald’s commercial, of all places. The Proclaimers‘ cover of the Roger Miller hit is one of my most vivid recollections of the time we started to get regularly exposed to the Western music acts via a…

YouTube’d memories: Crazy For You

Continuing with musical genres other than pop or rock (the last installment was classical waltz, remember?), another frank admission: I am very partial to stage musical. In years living in or near the New York City, I’ve seen probably fewer musicals than my natural inclination suggests, but still a fair…

YouTube’d memories: Strauss’ waltz

I like classical music. Johann Strauss is one of my favorite composers. This entry was meant to be filed under “Musical Tiramisu” series – my disposition always improves upon hearing a few notes of a Strauss’ waltz. But there is a clear mental picture that often pops into my head…

YouTube’d memories: All You Need Is Love

Having watched Across the Universe a couple of days ago, I find myself constantly humming my favorite Beatles’ tunes. All You Need Is Love is one of the more obvious ones. I actually have a vague memory related to this song that includes an auditorium full of students and the…

YouTube’d memories: Champs-Elysées

All pretense of being seasoned travelers aside, Natasha and I only started to make regular trips abroad in 20021. Our first voyage was to France, with almost a week in Paris followed by a jaunt around Loire Valley castles and French Riviera destinations. We fell in love with Paris on…

YouTube’d memories: Tum-Balalaika

In the last couple of years before my emigration from the USSR, I used to frequent the sole Rostov synagogue. Not out of any sort of religious interest, mind you, but purely for social reasons. Perestroika brought some measure of respite to formerly suppressed ethnic identities within the empire, and…

YouTube’d memories: Careless Whisper

I first heard this song not in its original form but as a Russian language “remix” by Sergej Minaev, whose repertoire in late 80’s consisted largely of jocular takes on popular “foreign” songs. Not translations to any degree, his numbers normally used only a key refrain or an image from…

YouTube’d memories: Woodpeckers from Space

Around the time that I was entering high school, breakdance was all the rage. The guys my age were always trying to outdo one another and impress the girls with their moves in discotheques. Breakdance carried the aura of rebellion – I don’t think that it was officially prohibited, but…

YouTube’d memories: Midnight Dancer

Back to obscure European pop of the 70’s and the 80’s for this series. I’ve been hearing this particular song fairly regularly over the last couple of years, as it features on the Euro collection disk that we like to play in the car on long drives. I have not…

YouTube’d memories: One Way Ticket

One of my camp summers happened after I just turned ten, on the Black Sea coast near Anapa. For reasons not exactly clear to me, the placement committee at the beginning of the camp term assigned me to a “force” of mostly 12-year-olds. Thinking back, I wonder if it was…

YouTube’d memories: Blue Suede Shoes

I mentioned a few times in this series the notion of my own very first cassette tape. In fact, there were two of them. Both were recorded for me by my Uncle, who owned a Sharp dual-deck stereo recorder – a rarity in those days. While he was aware of…

YouTube’d memories: Lady In Red

I’ve only noticed in passing that I am not a very willing dancer. At any given party, when the dancing floor becomes the focus of the celebration, I am still more likely to be found at a seat by the table, hopefully with a similarly-minded friend, spending time in idle…