Track of the Day: 'Things Are Worse in Russia'

More

Past TracksIf it's true that the Internet breeds narcissists, then how does that explain the prevalence of everyman ethnomusicologists--those digital preservationists who digitally encode any unfound musical oddities they come across for posterity? Sites like Excavated Shellac focus on old 78 recordings of vernacular and folk songs with little consideration for the egos of the site's contributors. Their descriptions aren't an opportunity to flaunt the writer's flowery prose, but a chance at educating the populace about heretofore unacknowledged corners of the world.

And within their findings they come across gems like Amalia Molina's feverishly mad castanet playing on La Disputada or this fantastic story-song by turn-of-the-century music-hall singer Sam Mayo. He was called the "The Immobile One" as he was known for staying perfectly still onstage while he sang self-referential comic ditties with particularly depressing lyrics. "Things are Worse in Russia" is one of his more optimistic tunes where he consoles the depressed suffering from dog bites and indigestion with the knowledge that things are terrible halfway around the world.



new track button.png
Jump to comments
Presented by

Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones is a Washington, D.C.-based writer whose work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, Morning News, Washington City Paper, and the Awl.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In