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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

SSLYBYIt’s hard to believe, but the Missouri-bred indie rock outfit Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin has been going strong for a decade at this point. Founded by co-songwriters Will Knauer and Philip Dickey, and undergoing many changes over its career, the plucky crew (currently a five-piece) recently released its fourth studio album, Fly By Wire, via Polyvinyl Records and has been on tour in support of it for the better part of this year. With a knack for infectious melodies and lively arrangements, the band visited our studio this fall to record a fantastic six-song set for our second Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session. Three songs came from the new record, but the band also mixed in the title track from Let It Sway, the song “Modern Mystery” from its 2008 LP Pershing and a cover of The Vaselines song (by way of Nirvana) “Molly’s Lips.” Stream and download the set and check out a photo gallery below, read more about the band in Elizabeth Mazenko’s interview with them from this summer.

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Preview tonight’s all-new Indie Rock Hit Parade! (and revisit last week’s show)

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

We’ve got another Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session in store! Tune in tonight starting at 10pm to hear, among other things, live performances from the Missouri-based Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. They just released a new album called Fly By Wire, and we’ll hear some of the new songs performed live in our studio!

Also tonight, I’ll share my Top 10 Songs of 2013 list, in hopes that you’ll vote for your own favorites in our Year In Review Poll!

Here are a few more things you might just hear in the mix tonight:

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Feeling Kind” from stereogum on Vimeo. Continue reading →

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Is A Great Big Pile Of Leaves a bridge to the emo revival? (playing tonight at North Star Bar)

Photo by Servin Lainez
Photo by Servin Lainez

Stereogum’s “12 Bands To Know From The Emo Revival” was not necessarily a title I was planning to stumble on when reading up on the whimsical indie-rock outfit A Great Big Pile Of Leaves.

Making my way through the introduction, I wasn’t sure if I could agree with Chris DeVille’s decision to “bridge” this New York based four-piece with the hypersensitive bleeding hearts of bands like War On Terror for the “emo illiterate among us.” So I asked AGBPOL’s guitarist Matt Fazzi (ex-member of Taking Back Sunday and founding member of Happy Body Slow Brain) how he feels about the list.

“I think it’s cool that they consider us part of that. I find the whole term emo to be funny to begin with. But I get it,” Fazzi responds. Mentioning that he personally considers AGBPOL to be a 90s alternative throwback band, Fazzi continues on to say that Stereogum’s brief description of “Snack Attack,” the opening track of July release You’re Always On My Mind, is congruent to the band’s light-hearted air in their music. “[It’s] a good way to explain what’s at the heart of the band.”

To give a brief background, AGBPOL was formed by singer/guitarist Pete Weiland and drummer Tyler Soucy after their last band, Farewell To Arms, was dismantled. Working together, the two wrote and self-produced The Fiery Works EPs debuting AGBPOL in 2007. Just before their first full-length release, Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex, they went to Craigslist and found power bass player Tucker Yaro, changing the band from a duo to a trio for the next few EP releases. Fazzi met the band at a concert in Brooklyn that Happy Body Slow Brain and AGBPOL played together. Following the care-free, down-to-earth band for the next few months, AGBPOL asked Fazzi to fill a needed guitar position for a world tour in 2011. Fast forward about two years of writing, creating, and touring to the full outfit’s sophomore release; which has the same nostalgic vibe as Prefrontal Cortex in more efficient melodies.

“We cut the fat, so to speak,” Fazzi says while describing the new record. Rather than bringing the whole band together and composing in one room, each member worked on the songs independently from one another because they all lived in different areas; Weiland living in Conneticut, Soucy and Yaro in Brooklyn, and Fazzi in Queens. Fazzi mentioned that the goal with this album was to extract all the extra instrumentals and create concise arrangements “that really hit you in a punchy way right from the get-go.” With almost all the work done before the studio, the band was able to fit the whole production into 12 days of recording with the help of producer Ed Ackerson, who has previously worked with bands such as Motion City Soundtrack.

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Tonight’s concert picks: Pattern is Movement at Union Transfer, Beats Antique at TLA, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at North Star Bar and more

PatternIsMovement
Photos by Peter English

Philly duo Pattern is Movement brings their high-pitched vocals and dynamic blend of keyboards, vocals and drums to Union Transfer tonight. Gaining notable recognition for their recent cover of D’Angelo’s “Unititled (How Does it Feel),” the group is getting ready to release its fourth album (and first since 2008). Their single “Suckling” is reminiscent of what James Blake would sound like blended with organ-like keyboard vamps and drums. Their music is like nothing out there, and the show is sure to be a treat. Get tickets here. Below, listen to “Suckling.”

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Review: The “Thunderstorm Tour” with SSLYBY, Ha Ha Tonka, and Ezra Furman

“We’ve been calling this the thunderstorm tour.” Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin’s Phil Dickey slightly chuckles while thanking the audience for coming out in a downpour. He goes on to explain that every venue on this tour, so far, has had terrible weather, and every night he gets extremely nervous that all three bands will die in a van. But a little bit of rain and thunder has not deterred the trio-band group from playing a show yet.

Braving the elements together, SSLYBY, Ha Ha Tonka, and Ezra Furman have been touring this month to preview their newest albums, all coming out this Fall. Thursday night, they played at the chic, intimate MilkBoy Philly, leaving 2 more shows in the tour at Boston and New York.

Raising the stakes high, Ezra Furman opened the high energy show. With only a singer/guitarist and a drummer on a dimly lit stage, each song was surprisingly packed with a punch and immersed with eccentricity while Furman stood up on the edge of speakers and kick-jumped across the stage. Continue reading →

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Returning to Russia with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (playing MilkBoy tonight)

00299_sslyby_big_002Boris Yeltsin was the first freely-elected president of Russia, who served beginning 1991. After nine years of reshaping the post-Communist country, Yeltsin resigned during his second term and lived a quiet life after that, passing away at age 76 in Moscow six years ago. The powerful man will always be remembered in Russia as a strong patron in taking apart the Soviet Union, and pushing the social reform that made present-day Russia.

But how does this political icon connect to a quirky, eccentric, indie-pop band from Springfield, Missouri? Phillip Dickey, drummer, and Will Knauer, lead guitarist, of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin answer on a cell speakerphone while taking a small break from traveling to their next tour stop. “His name was on the radio a lot at [the time we formed the band], since he was resigning from office,” Dickey says. “We knew it had a catchy and pleasing ring to say ‘Boris Yeltsin.’” He admits that they did not want anything too serious, and if they knew it was going to stick, they probably would have put more thought into it. But the group passively continues to give tribute to the late politician as they travel from city to city, country to country, bringing their live show to their fans (along with “cookies and crème,” according to Dickey).

Instantly connecting at a Superbowl party during their senior year of high school, Dickey and Knauer were the founding members SSLYBY. Knauer remembers having an essay that year prompted by the question, “Where will you see yourself in 10 years?” “I had just gotten a guitar and started playing in a band and knew I loved it. I didn’t want to have to work in a scary factory or something,” he admits in a low, calm, paced voice.

Dickey, being a slight sports star in his adolescent life, mentions that he thought he was going to be a professional athlete. I tell him I’m glad he didn’t take that route in life, or maybe I wouldn’t have liked him so much. “Maybe you would have liked me more,” Phil jokes, speculating that he would have been a wrestler, toned with 6-pack abs…a feat he continues to work on with his out-of-shape dog, Loretta. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Benefit for Boston ft. Shorty Boy-Boy at North Star Bar, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell at Verizon Hall, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at MilkBoy, Chris Forsyth at Ortliebs Lounge

Shorty Boy-BoyShorty Boy-Boy brings his dance beat, guitar savvy, unique pop sound to the North Star Bar tonight in support of the Benefit for Boston. Sharing the stage with The National Rifle and Cruiser, each $10 entrance fee will be donated to The One Fund for Boston Marathon victims. Learn more about and find tickets to tonight’s 21 and over show here. Listen and download Shorty Boy-Boys single, “New Yng Cute,” below.

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