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November 13, 2006

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

For those wondering, my weekend in Chicago was very successful. Finished my article, radically improved my ping-pong game, and got turned onto the best-named band since the fall of the USSR: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.

Generally speaking, when I discover a new band, they're rather well-found already. Unknown Indie gems like Death Cab for Cutie, the Coup, Iron & Wine, and so forth. But SSLYBY -- whose website hyperbolically describes them as the "THE THIRD BEST BAND ON WELLER STREET IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI" (hyperbolically because you can't underestimate the music scene on Weller Street) -- appears genuinely unknown. Which is a shame, because they rock, albeit in a soft, sorta cerebral way, and on a webpage with links to a local literary magazine and Indy bookstore. Check 'em out before they blow up. Or, more specifically, help them blow up. Go my blog minions, go.

Update: More SSLYB songs here. I particularly like House Fire.

November 13, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

Their album Broom is pleasant enough, but they were kind of mundane the one time I saw them live. "House Fire" is a good song, though. Mostly I'm just not sure if they're interesting enough or have enough of a unique identity to make it as big as some of those other semi-big indie bands, but I have a bad track record for predicting these things...

Posted by: Brad Plumer | Nov 13, 2006 1:21:22 AM

It's somewhat embarassing, but I myself have discovered a band I love today: Joy Division. For some reason I'd never heard any of their studio stuff, but YouTube has plenty of live shit, and they would appear to have influenced every white musician of the last twenty years (am I wrong here?)

I've heard of them before, and some songs I've heard covers of I'm sure, but these are from 1978 ffs. I guess I missed the foundation of whatever it is we listen to these days.

Posted by: foolishmortal | Nov 13, 2006 2:57:57 AM

How's this for best band name, circa 1985: Brezhnev & The Nice Guys. Three rehearsals, one basement tape, no live shows, and they sucked. But the name, the name...

Posted by: The Right Reverend Rabbi Judah | Nov 13, 2006 7:42:18 AM

They sound good, but their name is too clever. A good rule of thumb when naming a rock band is if Dave Barry would approve of it, then it's a bad name.

Posted by: Stephen | Nov 13, 2006 9:21:07 AM

"I've heard of them before, and some songs I've heard covers of I'm sure, but these are from 1978 ffs."

I'm trying to decide whether this was a serious comment or not. If so, the commentor must be fairly young, because when I was growing up (I'm in my early 30s), Joy Division was commonly regarded as THE precursor of the New Wave movement of the 80s. Basically, it was a bunch of mopey Mancunian kids trying to imitate Sex Pistols punk (though with more--heck, some--musical talent), with the result being heavy on the mopey part and lighter on the punk part. In any event, Joy Division and its immediate successor* led directly to the Cure and Bauhaus and the like.

My guess is that the groups that currently sound a lot like Joy Division are actually those that grew up with the New Wave/Goth groups that Joy Division gave rise to, and then they did some exploring and discovered the source music.

But, like I said, this could all be a sarcastic comment, so if so, nevermind.

* You do know, I assume, that Joy Division became New Order when the JD lead singer (Ian someone-or-other) killed himself.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 13, 2006 11:12:09 AM

I will fuck you up at ping pong. Ezra. Perhaps, since we live relatively close we can meet at nuetral location, and have it out...

Posted by: tommy | Nov 13, 2006 11:53:44 AM

Ian Curtis was the Joy division singer that hung himself.

My mid '80s band name "Ed Meese and the Porn Dogs" Eventually shortened to The EDs.

SSLYBY sound good but I'm not sure I could take them in big doses

Posted by: BillCross | Nov 13, 2006 2:01:18 PM

I'm trying to decide whether this was a serious comment or not. If so, the commentor must be fairly young, because when I was growing up (I'm in my early 30s), Joy Division was commonly regarded as THE precursor of the New Wave movement of the 80s.

It's a quibble, but I would say post-punk rather than 'new wave'. 'New wave' was originally used in the mid-to-late '70s to refer to bands that weren't punk per se but, figuratively speaking (or in some cases literally), played CBGB's (that is, they were part of a broader musical scene that included and shared certain sensibilities with punk): Talking Heads, Television, Devo, Blondie, Elvis Costello (in his angry young incarnation), and so on.

'New wave' has also been applied, in an extremely watered-down sense, to pretty much any band that had a video on MTV in the early '80s that didn't include big hair, mock concert-footage, and guitar heroics. 'Post-punk' is a more useful term for categorizing music like Joy Division, the Cure, etc. 'Post-punk' was arguably a 'movement'; in the '80s, 'new wave' was pretty clearly not.

Posted by: Tom Hilton | Nov 13, 2006 6:53:58 PM

1) SSLYBY cannot possibly be "unknown" because I had heard of them, though I have not bought a record or CD in a half-decade. I am not cool any more. You need to do better.

2) Someone's 'rediscovering' Joy Division is par for the course after the OMFG-it's-1983-again-K-rad! wave of folks like Interpol. For the record, I like Interpol plenty, but since I actually remember 1983, all I could think when they hit was, "of course." If you like Interpol as well, go buy the early Chameleons singles. Thank me later

3) In my case, I had to accept that Joy Division was good despite all those annoying goth kids who worshipped them. The classic bootleg is a fine place to start. I assume it's on CD now; it used to be billed as "Warsaw" and you wanted the glossy and not the matte LP sleeve version. Or vice-versa; I warned you I am not cool any more.

4) I will lose to you both at ping-pong (I assume), but I will piss you off. I love playing folks much better than me and not losing quite quickly enough. Such fun.

Posted by: wcw | Nov 13, 2006 7:31:46 PM

Wow, I didn't know that Weezer changed their name...

Posted by: Adrock | Nov 13, 2006 10:57:14 PM

No offense, but Weezer kicks SSLYBY's ass from here to Kentucky.

If you wanted to insult Yeltsin's mannered indie-rock sounds, you needed some sort of limp, twee comparison. Me, I would have picked Bread for extra-retro insult power, but I am confident someone who has bought records over the last five years can best that.

Posted by: wcw | Nov 14, 2006 4:47:02 PM

Comparing SSLYBY to Weezer is a painfully unfair comparison. Maybe Blue Album and Pinkerton Weezer, but when you consider the body of their work I would say that it is difficult to envision SSLYBY digressing to that point.

I know, blasphemy... insulting Weezer. Commence attack.

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