Pussy Riot's English Debut: 'I Can't Breathe'
Video is an ode to Eric Garner
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2015 2:04 PM CST

(Newser) – As one might expect from a couple of veterans of Vladimir Putin's fun camps, Pussy Riot isn't exactly going gently into the night. Rather, they're roaring ashore in America with their English-language debut, and "I Can't Breathe" doesn't stop to ask if it's too soon to talk about the death of Eric Garner. The group says on its YouTube page that the song "is dedicated to Eric Garner and the words he repeated eleven times before his death," and "for political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for change. We stand in solidarity." Musically haunting, the video shows band members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina lying in a grave as shovels of dirt are thrown on their faces.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina dug up some punk royalty to help out, reports Rolling Stone, in the form of Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. But perhaps most interesting is Richard Hell, who Rolling Stone notes hasn't performed since the '90s. Alyokhina recounts how they got him involved: "We just went to his house," she says. "We invited him to go with us and he abruptly stood up and sat with us in the taxi. There’s not many people who you could say, 'Come with us, we're writing a new political song,' and fewer who would respond, 'Yes, of course.' But he and we did that—that’s how punks can recognize each other."