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."
Stephen Amico is an assistant professor in the departments of music and media studies at the University of Amsterdam.