Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

This Harness Can't Ride Anything

Last Friday’s Chin Up Chin Up/Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin show at Sneaky Dee’s was a somewhat last-minute event, having been booked just over a week prior and eventually necessitating a merging of bills as the band that had been originally booked there for that night ended up showing up anyways. This meant slightly truncated sets for everyone else, but that was actually okay with me as a cold was upon me and sleep beckoning.

I arrived a bit late but in time to catch local opener Arcs, who struck me as purveyors of the sort of emo-hardcore-agit-rock that’s pretty much the anithesis of what I generally like. But over the course of their set, there were moments of melodicism that are in even greater evidence on their self-titled EP (which is available to download gratis from their website) and an impressive level of energy and musicianship that left me thinking that they were very good at what they did, even if it wasn’t really what I was into. Respect.

And they also gave Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (SSLYBY to their friends) a bit of a tough act to follow in terms of live performance and to SSLYBY’s credit, they didn’t even try to match it. Part of their charm is the overall low key-ness of their songs and their live show matches that vibe perfectly. They sounded great but epitomize the shy and shaggy indie kid archetype – that’s okay, though, because “Oregon Girl” is not a song that cries out for scissor kicks. But it’s a shame that their set seemed to be cut shortest by the scheduling because their energy seemed to slowly but steadily build as the went along. A couple of them even jumped near the end. I had an analogy relating SSLYBY to a small, fuel efficient car but it didn’t really come together – it would have been complimentary though, don’t worry.

It was only after I’d put up my review of Chin Up Chin Up’s This Harness Can’t Ride Anything that I read AllMusic’s review of same and I have to say, disregard mine and read theirs. The New Zealand 80s indie-pop reference points are far more apt and accurate for the Chicago band’s nervous New Wave-y delivery and angular pop sensibilities. Their set was tight, upbeat and head nod-inducing even if they themselves were only moderately more charismatic than their tourmates.

I didn’t stick around for the last band seeing as they described themselves as “folk funk” but certainly didn’t regret hauling my ass out of the apartment on a frigid Friday night.

Photos: Chin Up Chin Up, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Arcs @ Sneaky Dee’s – February 16, 2007
MP3: Chin Up Chin Up – “This Harness Can’t Ride Anything”
MP3: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Oregon Girl”
MP3: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “House Fire”
MP3: Arcs – “I Wish I Took More Pictures”
Video: Chin Up Chin Up – “This Harness Can’t Ride Anything” (YouTube)
Video: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “House Fire” (YouTube)
MySpace: Chin Up Chin Up
MySpace: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
MySpace: Arcs

Pitchfork has more info on the Go-Betweens tribute album I mentioned last week including the track list and competition for someone out there to contribute the final track to the collection. And I should mention that after that post, I got a message from someone at Beggars stating, “did you know we have a grant mclennan and robert forster album coming out soon?” – further information was solicited but I haven’t heard back yet. Update: Full info on the Forster/McLennan Intermission: The Best of the Solo Recordings 1990 – 1997 in the comments. Thanks Dave!

Things I’d Rather Be Doing talks to Ross Flournoy of The Broken West, who will be kicking off day two of The Hot Freaks at SxSW next month and then be in Toronto on March 27 for a show at the El Mocambo.

Lots of praise from various corners for Daytrotter lately, with Wired, The Chicago Reader and The Stanford Daily all giving props to the website and their exclusive studio sessions (which all began last Spring with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin).

AllMusic declares 13 bands to be “crushworthy”, including Toronto’s own Ohbijou. They’ve also been nominated for a CBC Galaxie Rising Stars award and will be opening for Bright Eyes next Tuesday at the Opera House and then Under Byen the following Thursday (March 8) at the Mod Club.

Trespassers William will be releasing a new EP, The Noble House, in six weeks or so which would put it around March 27. It will contain five new songs and an Idaho cover. They’re also at work at a new album.

Aversion reports that the release of Wheat’s Every Day I Said A Prayer For Kathy And Made A One Inch Square has been pushed back from March 6 to May 22.

Lily Allen, who was in town yesterday for gladhanding at MuchMusic, will be back on April 5 for a show at the Phoenix. Though for the $25 they want for tickets, she damn well better play for longer than the half hour she put in at Lee’s last year.

24: Okay you know what? I’m really losing interest in this season. They definitely started out strong by nuking Valencia, but since then it’s been kind of lame all around, like they’re flailing more randomly than usual and thus requiring even more suspension of disbelief than they normally require (and that’s considerable). I mean, why is LA not a mass of panic and evacuees backing up all the highways? A nuke just went off. Like people would accept “don’t worry, the wind is blowing the other direction” as a reason to relax. Their reintroduction of Logan was more eye rolling than jaw dropping – I expected the camera to pan out and show him sitting in his bathrobe and underwear. Actually the biggest surprise for me was the fact that there’s a convenience store within a five minute walk of CTU. Why had this not been utilized before?!? But yeah, I will continue to watch. But may not chime in unless I’ve actually got something to say about an ep.

By : Frank Yang at 8:16 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Andrew says:

    Upon glancing at the featured photo of Chin Up Chin Up’s guitarist, my first thought was "I didn’t know Dany Heatley had a band…"

  2. David Freeman says:

    INTERMISSION – The Best of the Solo Recordings 1990 – 1997

    In-Stores April 24th in North America

    Falling Star
    Baby Stones
    I’ve Been Looking For Somebody
    I’ll Jump
    Beyond Their Law
    I Can Do
    The Circle
    Cryin’ Love
    The River People
    Frisco Depot
    Danger in The Past

    Haven’t I Been A Fool
    Easy Come Easy Go
    Black Mule
    The Dark Side Of Town
    Lighting Fires
    Surround Me
    No Peace In The Palace
    Hot Water
    I’ll Call You Wild
    Horsebreaker Star
    Malibu 69
    One Plus One
    In Your Bright Ray

  3. Chris says:

    Great idea, though the song selection of course will be up for debate – no Sea Breeze or Simone & Perry (a Triple A hit in the US) from GM? No Rock n Roll Friend with the Kooperesque keyboards from RF?

  4. danieljosef says:

    I think I read that Stars Of Track and Field are on the same bill at the Elmo with The Broken West. Should be a good show.

  5. Scott says:


    How could you skip the 24 bombshell at the end of the episode? Okay, it wasn’t a nuke, but it was a nice twist. I’m really into this season, which is more than I can say for Season 5 (Which, at the rate 6 is unfolding, was nothing more than a preamble to the events of 6)

  6. Scott says:

    Oh, hey. I guess. Well, my reading comprehension is terrible. Just. Consider my admonishment rescinded.

  7. Frank says:

    May well have been here, Daniel – The Broken West are touring with Stars Of Track & Field as well as The Long Winters, who’re headlining. That should be a great show indeed.

  8. merz says:

    Looking forward to that new Wheat…