Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is playing the Old New Rock Festival in Ekaterinburg, Russia next month. The Springfield band will also -- at the request of the festival's organizers -- visit a school as part of an ambassador program. So that's a thing that is fairly cool. Not the most noteworthy thing SSLYBY has ever done (this won't be its first Russian show, even), but also not the least noteworthy, I suppose. But wait, guys: Did you know this band has a former Russian President's name in its name? It does! Boris Yeltsin! Pretty goofy, right? I'd make jokes about that coincidence, but Pitchfork's Larry Fitzmaurice already did it so well I hardly see the point.
See also: -Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and Elsinore At The Firebird, 11/4/11: Review And Setlist -Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at Art Hill: Video -Girl, Hold Me: Dragon Inn 3 Knows a Good Thing When it Sees One
He wrote a post for the site's news regurgitation section yesterday about the show. The good stuff's in the intro, in case you'd just as soon not head on over there. I've added the notations:
For years, Springfield, Missouri indie-pop crew Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin have been known mainly for their decision to name their band "Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin"(1). Looks like that's about to change (2), sort of (3): The Springfield News-Leader reports (via Consequence of Sound) (4) that the band have been tapped to perform-- nay, headline (5) -- Ekaterinburg, Russia's Old New Rock Festival, which is sponsored by... wait for it... the Boris Yeltsin Foundation (6).
(1) Really? What about its four albums that range from good to excellent on respected label Polyvinyl? Lots and lots of bands have silly names. That is not how you get marginally famous.
(2) This is not SSLYBY's big break. No, that came years ago, when Pitchfork started writing about the band, obviously. Or else maybe it was never really a big break. Maybe four dudes from Springfield wrote some really wonderful, heartfelt, strange songs about the girl down the street, played a ton of shows, worked really hard and earned enough of a fan base to make a little money with the songs.
Some version of that is how most non-Top 40 bands carve out a niche in the world. Music is a matter of humans coming in contact with humans. People express something with notes and rhythms, and other people see and hear that and connect those expressions to something in themselves. And it spreads from there, from human to human. That is not the conversation Pitchfork is having, in this blog post or in most others. Pitchfork is having a conversation with itself.
(3) Oh come on.
(4) via re-Tweet of a Facebook post about a .gif on tumblr.
(5) Is it exhausting, being so dismissive and insular? I would think it would be exhausting.
(6) LIKE THE NAME. I TOTALLY GET IT.
SSLYBY is considerably more diplomatic about these sorts of things. We spoke with member Phil Dickey, who told us a bit about how the festival/school visit gig actually came together, in case you're curious about that. That, along with a highly, highly pertinent music video, is on the next page.
Kiernan Maletsky: How did you come to be playing the festival?
Phil Dickey: The festival promoter emailed last summer. He said the festival's general partner was "The Fund of the First Russian Prezident Boris Yeltsin" and they wanted us to play in Ekaterinburg...he asked us if we wanted to visit a Russian school as cultural ambassadors. Here's his email:
The key moment that we discussed with the USA consulate in Ekaterinburg was - organizing a social activity. And idea was to make a meeting with the group SSLYBY or 1-2 person from the band as Ambassadors of the United States, the meeting for talking and playing some songs). And this meeting must be only a gesture of goodwill of the band.
Our General partners - Boris Yeltsin Foundation - support a school № 202 in Ekaterinburg. It's an English learning school where pupil are very talented, they are interested in learning more about USA . And the meeting with the band from the United States that play nice music can be a nice present for Christmas and New Year). The meeting will show them that culture and music has no boundaries, that famous artists from foreign country can easily come, talk and become friends with them!