Someone Still Loves SHU
Springfield, Missouri’s Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (SSLYBY) will take their brand of breezy pop-rock to the Theater-in-the-Round on May 2. Sponsored by the ONE campaign, the performance will mark the first time a nationally-recognized rock band plays the Hall since The All American Rejects in 2007.
SSLYBY formed in 1999, although it was not until 2005 that the group released its acclaimed debut, “Broom.” A collection of nostalgic pop songs recorded in an attic, “Broom” capitalizes on its warm, lo-fi production, playing like a mix of The Beatles and The Shins without the studio embellishments of either. The group has subsequently released two other full-lengths, 2008’s “Pershing” and 2010’s “Let It Sway,” which was produced by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla.
Philip Dickey, the group’s drummer and one of its three singers, said the band is excited to play in a college environment.
“Some of our favorite shows are at colleges,” Dickey said. “At college shows I don’t think we ever know what to expect. We could play at a chapel, cafeteria, basement or bar. A lot of rock venues we play are dark and dirty — not the most inspiring place to be.”
Dickey said he has researched Seton Hall’s Theatre-in-the-Round and concluded that “it sounds like a really cool place to have a show.”
Seton Hall holds particular significance for Dickey; his favorite professor, Dr. Maxim Matusevich, currently teaches here. Phil said Matusevich, who taught Dickey at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, was the first Russian person he asked about his band’s name, wondering if it was “horribly offensive,” since Boris Yeltsin is a notorious figure in Russian history. Turns out Matusevich was anything but offended.
“He thought it was a funny name and he asked us if he could get a t-shirt,” Dickey said.
Dickey said Matusevich provided him everything from educational inspiration to book recommendations; he even was one of the band’s original fans.
“He was my professor for four years and he would come to our shows in Springfield when no one else was coming to our shows,” Dickey said. “If you’re not a history major, I would recommend taking a class with him because I think he’s the coolest guy ever.”
Matusevich said that he has kept in touch with Dickey since college; Dickey even joined Matusevich on a study-abroad trip to St. Petersburg, Russia.
“Philip is likely one of the nicest, most thoughtful, most talented, and most creative students I’ve taught,” Matusevich said. “I remember him as a freshman – very sweet, rather shy but also sharp and analytical. When I first learned about the name of his band I thought it was absolutely hilarious, because it was sort of nonsensical but also the absurdity of it was so creative.”
Not surprisingly, when not noted for its music, SSLYBY is often recognized for its mouthful of a band name.
“We didn’t really take anything too seriously since we were just a high school band, and we thought it would be a good idea to have the longest name possible. Around that time, Boris Yeltsin had just resigned and his name was in the press and all the comedians on late-night television were making fun of him. I kind of felt sorry for him,” Dickey explained.
Despite his apparent “love” for Boris Yeltsin, Dickey laughingly added, “we don’t endorse his policies or anything like that.”
Doors for the show open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free for students, and there is a $5 donation suggested for non-students.
Kevin Stevens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.