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Shevchuk in Finnish

DDT frontman Yury Shevchuk goes to Finland with a concert, a rap and a new book. DDTs upcoming concert in Helsinki will be more intimate than usual, with Shevchuk reciting poetry between the songs.

Published: April 10, 2013 (Issue # 1754)



  • Yury Shevchuk launches a new collection of his lyrics that have been translated into Finnish in the hope of reaching a wider audience.
    Photo: Suomi-Venäjä-Seura

  • The cover of Shevchuks book of poems.
    Photo: VILLE SUTINEN

Yury Shevchuk, the singer and songwriter with arguably Russias leading rock band DDT, is becoming more of a household name in Finland, as his songs and poetry will be published in Finnish to coincide with his bands concert in Helsinki later this month.

The collection Every Spring I Die (Joka kevät minä kuolen) is named after a quote from Shevchuks song Tenderness (Nezhnost) from DDTs most recent album Otherwise (Inache). Every spring I die, from the strict fasting, it goes.

Translated by Finnish author Tomi Huttunen, the book is based on Shevchuks Russian collection of lyrics and poetry called Solo (Solnik), which was published by Novaya Gazeta in 2009, but more recent material mainly selected lyrics from Otherwise has been added.

The work is a follow-up to a book about St. Petersburg rock music that Huttunen published last year.

Called Pietari on Rock (a pun that can be roughly translated as St. Petersburg Means Rock), the book was furnished with an appendix of selected Russian rock lyrics both in Russian and Finnish, including those by Shevchuk.

Huttunen the University of Helsinkis acting professor of Russian literature, whose academic interests are focused on the early 20th-century Russian avant-garde said the literature-centered St. Petersburg rock music of the 1980s had been his other longtime interest since the era of perestroika and the Russian rock revolution.

Unlike the bombastic Otherwise set that DDT took to Finland last year, the upcoming Helsinki concert will be DDTs alternate set, Solo. Though it features DDTs full band, it is more intimate and poetic, with Shevchuk reciting his poetry between the songs.

The collection will be out by the date of the concert, at which it will be available for a nominal price.

Alongside [Akvariums Boris] Grebenshchikov, Shevchuk is one of the authors in Russian rock who should be seen as serious poets and whose work deserves to be published as literature, Huttunen said.

This is what happens to Finnish rock poets such as Tuomari Nurmio and Ismo Alanko, whose songs were published as poetry collections. So there is a certain parallel between Russian and Finnish rock poetry.

On the other hand, Shevchuk can be understood by the Finnish reader; I think this is quality poetry, which is accessible in translation. He has both love poems and social poems that tell us about the pressing issues of today.

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Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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