Centered on the musical experiences of homosexual men in St. Petersburg and Moscow, this ground-breaking study examines how post-Soviet popular music both informs and plays off of a corporeal understanding of Russian male homosexuality. Drawing upon ethnography, musical analysis, and phenomenological theory, Stephen Amico offers an expert technical analysis of Russian rock, pop, and estrada music, dovetailing into an illuminating discussion of homosexual men's physical and bodily perceptions of music. He also outlines how popular music performers use song lyrics, drag, physical movements, images of women, sexualized male bodies, and other tools and tropes to implicitly or explicitly express sexual orientation through performance. Finally, Amico uncovers how such performances help homosexual Russian men to create their own social spaces and selves, in meaningful relation to others with whom they share a "nontraditional orientation."
"This is important work, bringing the scholarship of sexuality into a fascinating new setting. The project required a rare combination of skills--musical understanding, rich knowledge of present-day Russian culture, and the talents of an ethnographer who can be accepted as a confidant by Russian gay men. The research will never be duplicated, and this book is of great value to scholars of popular music, popular culture generally, and sexuality."--Fred Everett Maus, Department of Music, University of Virginia
"I thoroughly enjoyed Roll Over, Tchaikovsky! Amico has produced an intensive, well-argued study that should be read by anyone with an interest in today's Russia."--Eliot Borenstein, author of Overkill: Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture