While the controversial Russian punk band Pussy Riot will be the non-performing headliner for the three days of Tallinn Music Week (TMW), they may even be something of a distraction from the business of publicizing some of Estonia's brightest musicians, poised to shine as never before in 2014.
Tonight, TMW's performers offer a selection of niche bands, artists getting their first break, and established local favorites. One of the highlights will be legendary, and constantly self-reinventing, Estonian band Röövel Ööbik, playing Von Krahl Teater.
Moving on to modern electronica, Kino Sõprus features a chance to hear the latest work from Estonian Music Award-nominated solo artist, DJ and producer Leslie Da Bass, who is also a member of the electropop collective HU?.
Pussy Riot will give a public interview tonight at 23:00 at the Nordic Hotel Forum.
On Friday, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves officially opens the festival - the president's own remarks are a tradition looked forward to - followed by Pussy Riot in what will surely be a typically iconoclastic and controversial full-length interview.
In the evening, Laura Remmel (formerly Põldvere) fronts the promising free-jazz trio Carrot Lights, who debuted their sound at the Estonian Music Academy in early 2013 and have been working solidly together ever since. They are on at 20:00.
Rock Cafe brings an opportunity to sample mainstream pop, including Marten Kuningas, Elina Born and Põhja-Tallinn. Alternatively, Stalker DJ sets at Kultuurikatel, or local rockers Three Leg Dog in Rotermann Quarter's Protest bar, will run well into the morning.
Indie favorites Tenfold Rabbit play Cha Dao restaurant on Saturday evening at 18:00, in a rare chance to see a big-name Estonian act playing a free set.
Before that, 5Loops and Siret Lust, just two of the up-and-coming names playing as part of the City Stage program, will be playing the tiny Foxy Vintage and Biit:Me stores on Pikk street, close to NoKu Klubi.
Also on Saturday, multi-instrumentalist and all-round genius Silver Sepp is followed by the enchanting fiddle reel loops of Viljandi-based Maarja Nuut, as part of the "Viljandi Folk" programme, which boasts a bill full of musicians who have been praised internationally for their innovative take on a traditional musical style.
At midnight, Von Krahl Teater is the venue for folk experimentalists Odd Hugo, another group that music bloggers all over Europe have taken notice of in the wake of the release of their debut album.
The lineup and schedule for the three-day event can be found here.
- Stuart Garlick