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)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


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

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In