Russian Critic Helps LA Musician Conquer His Country

On Thursday, the band Brazzaville will be performing at the Crystal Hall in Kiev. In honor of this latest Russian tour date, Kiev Post editor James Marson retraces the group’s unlikely gaining of a foothold in Russia and the Ukraine.

Led by 44-year-old former Beck sideman David Brown (pictured), Brazzaville was discovered in 2000 by leading Russian music critic Artemy Troitsky. In the eleven years since the scholar picked up a CD in London, the band has become a Russian staple, even recording a tweaked version of beloved local Kino anthem “Star Called Sun.” Per Marson’s piece:

Brown speaks a little Russian and said he enjoys travelling in second-class kupe train compartments. He also picked up here the idea of holding kvartirniki, small performances in apartments with audiences of 20-40 people. The band even took the format to the U.S., performing 25 kvartirniki.

“It’s better in Russia than in America, as there are usually no loudspeakers,” he said.

Brown, 44, relocated from his native LA to Barcelona in 2003, where he lives with his wife and two children. He has most definitely, with Troitsky’s help, stumbled into an enviable 21st century music industry business model. One which includes the launch late last month of a belated Twitter account.