Tuesday, August 7, 2007

why is via gra called via gra?

Most people who have been to Russia in the last years probably have encountered Via Gra (in Russian, Виа гра) - either as sonic/visual pollution or as fans of Russian popsa. After finding their CD Биология (released by Sony Music Russia in 2003) at a Danish friend's place I have been enjoying watching my partner and friends cringe every time I listen to the CD (my friend said he bought the CD in Kiev together with CDs by Аквариум and Гражданская Оборона). Anyway, the CD is slightly strange containing remixes of several of the albums songs (the album contains 8 different songs and 13 tracks). The songs are mainly accompanied by a slightly distorted electric guitar, drum machine, keyboard and bass and the sound is popish, although not as synthetic as e.g. Жанна Фриске.

Anyway, back to the name. The group's three female singers drape the album cover wearing very very short dresses showing a lot of leg. Here is a picture of the cover:

Most people not familiar with the Soviet Union could (or would) thus interpret the name as a metaphor for three ladies which fulfill the same function as the potency pill Viagra. However the name is also an allusion to the first attempt to bring Soviet popular music groups under state control: the ВИА (Вокально-Инструментальный Ансамбль - Vocal-Instrumental ensemble) which emerged in 1966. (For a list of some ВИАs from the 1960s to the 1980s visit viaansambles.narod.ru).

Почему виа гра называется виа гра?

(русскя версия - адаптирована Sergio Mazzanti)

Большинство тех, кто был в России в последние годы, наверное столкнулось с Виа Гра. Их песни большей частью аккомпанируют гитара с легким дисторшном, барабан, клавиши и бас-гитара; звук синтезирован, хотя не до такого степени как у Жанны Фриске.
Три певицы группы одевают очень, очень узкие одежды и показывают большую часть ног (см. фиг.).
Тем не менее, название группы не означает только известную таблетку против импотенции, но является также намеком на первую попытку перевести Советскую популярную музыку под государственный контроль: ВИЯ (Вокально-Инструментальный Ансамбли), возникшие в 1966.


Sergio Mazzanti said...

See also:

dew said...

another band which incoporated via into its name is the soviet band avia, short for anti via.