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If you were really ready, things would be happening.” Spektor attended yeshiva on a scholarship, but always felt out of place.” After two years, she opted to leave yeshiva and attend a secular high school in Fairlawn , New Jersey (using the time-honored technique of claiming to live with a suburban aunt in order to establish a fake address).
In the summer of her 16 th year, Spektor went to Israel as part of a Nesiya Institute arts scholarship.
In 1989, soon after Mikhail Gorbachev began his policy of perestroika, she and her parents immigrated to the Bronx , New York City .
While leaving the Soviet Union was cause for celebration, it was understood that once the Spektors arrived in America , Regina would no longer be able to study music.
Meanwhile, she began playing her first gigs, drawing a local following for her increasingly powerful material.
She was also a favorite among the Purchase musical community, and in early 2001, Regina teamed up with jazz bassist Chris Kuffner to record her first collection of songs, dubbed ” .” She did an initial run of a thousand copies, which she sold at gigs as a way of supplementing her limited income.
He encouraged Spektor to keep at it, and suggested she audition for SUNY Purchase, an upstate New York college, renowned for its prestigious Conservatory of Music.
“I always thought, ‘Why can’t I write a song from the point of view of a man or a criminal or an old woman?From French pop-rockers Phoenix to Jay-Z’s new style of hip-hop, here are the nine best albums of 2009.Journalists John Ortved and Alex Littlefield on what to listen to and what to avoid.2009 was a red-letter year for music—with a few notable exceptions, of course (“I’m on a Boat” got nominated for a Grammy, Michael Bublé continued to exist).In addition, Spektor is an enormously idiosyncratic composer and lyricist, combining eclectic and evocative melodies with intricately structured character studies that owe more to Chekhov and Gogol than to most modern songwriters.With “SOVIET KITSCH,” Regina Spektor establishes herself as something genuinely rare and refreshing, an unadulterated, unanticipated original.
“We had to sell the piano because we weren’t allowed to bring anything foreign-made out of Russia ,” she says. I was so sad.” She tried to maintain her musical chops by playing on an out of tune piano in the basement of their local synagogue, but most often practiced on windowsills and tabletops.