How art gets generated.
Sometimes a witty name can take you places. Just ask the American indie pop band Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. On Sunday, the quartet will headline the Old New Rock Festival in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Boris Yeltsin, the former Russian president, was a native of the region around Yekaterinburg.
“It’s the coolest and weirdest and most unexpected thing that’s ever happened to us,” said Philip Dickey, a singer and multi-instrumentalist with the band, said of the trip.
The festival’s organizers had come across the band in a random Google search and decided to invite it to perform. “The name played a big role,” said Lyubov Bondarenko, a coordinator for Old New Rock who first contacted the band. As it happens, the band had previously played in a one-day festival in Moscow in 2007, about three months after Yeltsin died.
After the group signed with the Yekaterinburg festival, the United States Consulate in Yekaterinburg saw a diplomatic opportunity and invited the band to visit a local school for students ages 10 to 17. On Monday the band will perform at the school, and the members will answer students’ questions about the United States and their experiences as performing artists. Both Old New Rock and the school are partly sponsored by the Boris Yeltsin Foundation, a charity for creative arts that was founded after Yeltsin stepped down as president in 1999.
“We decided to help support their trip because we believe their style of music will appeal to young audiences here, one of our target outreach groups.” said Krisi Hayden, the consulate’s public affairs officer.
Despite the Russian gigs, Mr. Dickey and his bandmates still question the wisdom of the name they came up with when they formed the band in Springfield, Mo.,12 years ago. “At the time, it was just a nonsense band name we thought of to make our friends laugh. But then, after the novelty wore off, we realized we’d kind of cursed ourselves because no one would ever take us seriously,” Mr. Dickey said. “But it’s kind of been a blessing, too.”
By Stacey Anderson, January 11, 2013. Arts Beat blog, NY Times.
For the full article, please visit: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/bands-name-punches-its-ticket-to-russia/