In support of their latest album, Pershing, the young dudes of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (referred to from now on as SSLYBY) sang and played their hearts out to a plaid-clad LA crowd of about 200. Even with the smallish crowd, they sounded better than I've ever heard them. Having seen several times before at SXSW and other venues, this was pretty much the best they've ever performed.
The majority of the set were songs off Pershing, which is a poppier, more polished album than the beloved Broom (Polyvinyl 2006). The fans in attendance were all Broom fans, tapping their feet in frenzy over "Pangea" and "Oregon Girl," but their current single "Think I Wanna Die" went over pretty well. Earlier that evening, they made an appearance on the Carson Daly show with their current single and probably their next single "Glue Girls," which is the first cut off the new album, and sets that poppy tone we've come to know and love.
Part of the charm of this group is they mix up their instruments half way; drummer Phil becomes guitarist and singer, singer Will becomes bassist, bassist Jonathan becomes drummer. It's all very confusing. My very favorite track off Pershing is "Modern Mystery" which I had no idea the drummer sang. For switching vocals and instruments, Phil and Will pretty much have the same gentle voice. Unless you listened to it very closely, without any other music, or you were their mothers, the difference is hard to tell. Even their names sound alike. It's all these whimsical tricks that SSLYBY does to us that make them adorable.
Their live performance stands out more than their new record does. Pretty much all the songs on Pershing sounded better live than on the record. Even the songs that I was lukewarm about, like "Oceanographer" translated to be way more entertaining in person than out of my computer speakers.
Fun Fact: Touring keyboardist CH had to leave right after the show to catch a flight home, so he could walk for graduation. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. What did I do when I turned 18? Not tour the country in a band and perform on national late-night television. SSLYBY is on tour for the rest of the month of May '08. Go enjoy.