Posted in music on February 7, 2014

Annie

Norwegian pop singer Annie has teamed up with visual artist (and fellow Norwegian) Bjarne Melgaard for a song/short film, "Russian Kiss," in protest of Vladimar Putin and Russia's anti-gay laws. Released today (2/7), timed with the kickoff of the Sochi Olympics, the song's mantra is "shake a fist for the Russian kiss" and the video, directed by NYC filmmaker Richard Kern (known for his work with Sonic Youth, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins and others), depicts multiple same-sex couples making out. The song is supported by Norwegian free speech foundation Fritt Ord and Music Norway, and part of the iTunes proceeds go towards gay rights organization All Out.

In related news, you can check out pictures of ex-Pussy Riot members Masha and Nadya at last night's NYC appearance at The Spotted Pig.

More info on "Russian Kiss" here. The video and a message from Annie below...

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Annie feat. Bjarne Melgaard - "Russian Kiss" (dir. Richard Kern)

The Winter Olympics are not just skating styles, waxing techniques and jump lengths. The Winter Olympics are also deep emotions: interpersonal, national, and global. Millions of TV-viewers are witness to these emotions. Usually, they find their expression in embraces and kisses. You can observe this at the finishing area and during the medal ceremony -- teammates embracing each other, winners kissing their partners.

This may be difficult when the Olympic Games take place in Sochi in February. As we know, Vladimir Putin has introduced laws prohibiting gays and lesbians to show their love in public in Russia. Furthermore, it is prohibited to talk positively about homosexuality in public. This is the reason why an increasing number of leaders worldwide have decided to boycott this year's Olympics. In Norway, the political leadership has rejected calls to remain at home. As a great power in winter sports Norway is in a unique position to flex its muscles in a situation like this. This could have been an occasion for Norway to stand up for the fundamental right to express your feelings towards the one you love.

In Norway, many gays and lesbians -- and not only gays and lesbians -- have reacted against this. One of them is one of Norway's best-known elite artists: The New York-based artist Bjarne Melgaard. Therefore, at the beginning of December, together with the Norwegian songwriter and performer Annie, he took the initiative to Russian Kiss: a short movie about the right to kiss one's beloved -- regardless of sexual orientation -- wherever one likes.

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Comments (21)

Imagine if you worked your ass off to be good at something while you and your family made sacrifices your entire life, and in the moment where you were granted the opportunity to prove to the entire world how deserving you were to be called the world's best, a bunch of hipsters decided that their political agendas were more important than rewarding you for representing your country? Because that's basically the slap in the face to the actual people representing the countries NOT ruled by homophobic loose cannons these calls to boycott the Olympics are.

Disagree with the Olympic committee for giving the games to Russia and tear down Putin all you want, but don't hold it against the athletes for simply being there and doing their jobs.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 11:54 AM

11:54, HERE HERE.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 12:00 PM

Cheers to giving Richard Kern a paycheck. Love that guy and his work.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 12:25 PM

Can't believe she got Bjarne Melgaard to ft

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 1:30 PM

Dear 11:54,

Imagine if you worked your ass off to be good at something while you and your family made sacrifices your entire life and then everyone stole your records off of the Internet and you died fucking broke in a ditch because you invested your entire life getting good at something that most of the world completely devalued.

yeah. No one in music has a CLUE what that's like you fucking retard.

If anyone has the right to bitch about anything, it's musicians. Go back to discussing this around the watercooler for whatever up & coming company you must work for.

If musicians are being rendered irrelevant, then you'd better believe that olympic athletes are as well.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 2:26 PM

Norway leads the overall historical medal count for the Winter Olympics.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 2:43 PM

2:26pm, with all due respect, you're grasping at straws in trying to justify why the music world wants to take away celebrating hard work in the form of sports. It reads very spiteful to me actually, kind of like the nerds hating the jocks for no reason other than popularity.

Being a musician isn't a career first off, it's a glorified hobby that you're lucky to make money off of, if at all. Olympic athletes on the other hand are going into this knowing full well that they have an expiration date due to age and potential injuries. Olympic athletes also are for the most part amateurs, with few moving on to become celebrities and making money off endorsements. There are 200+ athletes on the American team. Not all of them are Shaun Whites who will go home with medals back to their mansions. Most will return to regular jobs or school at the end of the games as nobodies and most won't have their names all over the TV screen, and they won't even bitch about it because they --- unlike vengeful wannabe musicians such as yourself --- are actually doing it for the love of the game rather than the attention. For that, I think they deserve two weeks of attention for being so humble about it because after it's over, it's over.

The so-called struggles of the musician you talk about are of no importance and of nobodies fault but their own for choosing such a stupid long-term career plan.

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 2:51 PM

11:54 gets it. That's pretty much the same thing Johnny Weir said and he's the only openly gay athlete I can think of who's competing in Sochi.

The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp was opened about one month before the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Good thing nobody knew much about it at the time -- can you imagine the protests around the world if those games happened a year or two later? Good thing gay rights (which I am for by the way) weren't on the agenda then either, because, I mean, those Olympics were in Utah!

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 2:52 PM

What the fuck does this have to do with Pussy Riot?

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 3:03 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:33 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:33 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:34 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:34 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:34 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:34 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:34 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:34 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:34 PM

the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2014 6:35 PM

my boner for annie subsided a long time ago

Posted by mind the boner | February 7, 2014 10:55 PM

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