The sundry, scintillating sounds of Springfest 2009

By Peter Walters

Your guide to the many bands playing this Saturday at Springfest.The Muskies are a party band from Macalester drawing on sounds from blues-rock and more modern rock as well. I recommend checking out my interview with them to getter a better sense of their sound.

Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles is a local folk pop band hailing from Minneapolis. The band features a female singer with a very distinct voice on top of cello, accordion, drums, double bass, ukulele and even an occasional clarinet. They’ve described their sound as “old-fashioned country, folk, and polka with otherworldly tinges of Gypsy and flamenco.” Their collection of acoustic instruments and widely varied influences add up to an interesting sound that at times sounds like Billie Holiday and at others like their Twin Cities contemporaries Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps. Michelle and her Lapelles breathe life into an older type of music while catering to indie music connoisseurs.

Japanther is a lo-fi, post punk band from New York City. In 2001, two Pratt students Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly formed the group and since then have released material every single year. In the first two years of the bands existence, they toured nine times. Vanek plays drums, Reilly plays bass and both of them sing. That description alone doesn’t do their act justice however. They incorporate the use of drum kits, mutilated cassettes, Casios, and microphones fashioned from old telephone handsets. For those of you who enjoy the Microphones, the Ramones, or Wavves, this promises to be a great show. And for those of you looking for an opportunity to dance, or just move around a lot, look no further.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is an indie pop band from Springfield, Missouri. It started with two high school friends Will Knauer and Phil Dickey and grew when the band mates went to college. They released their debut album “Broom” in 2005 and caught a big break soon after thanks to an article in SPIN magazine. Their song “Oregon Girl” was featured on an episode of The O.C. and landed them a record deal with Polyvinyl Records. They released “Pershing” in 2008 which received mixed reviews, but has some good songs on it like “Glue Girls” and “Think I Wanna Die”. They sort of sound like A.C. Newman with a bit of Islands thrown in. Boris Yeltsin died in 2007.

Blackalicious is rapper Gift of Gab and Dj/Producer Chief Xcel. The two met in high school in Sacramento in 1987. They split ways and eventually got back together again in 1992 under the name Blackalicious. Since the year 2000 they’ve released three albums, “Nia” (2000), “Blazing Arrow” (2002) and “The Craft” (2005). Those who like underground rap know that the lyrics tend to favor intellectual, rather than misogynist or “bling” themes. Blackalicious prefer songs with messages and themes of spirituality. “Blazing Arrow” flows seamlessly, with beats that draw strongly from the early 90s sound and rich flows from Gift of Gab. Songs like “Aural Pleasure,” “Paragraph President” and “First in Flight” show off the band’s ability to work simple beats, profess in the art of words, and still come up with great hooks. Hip-hop fans will not be disappointed.