Ha Ha Tonka, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin & Black Whales @ the Tractor, 12/3
Show Review & Photos by Abby Williamson
One of my favourite things about being in the Seattle music scene is that there are so many bands from here that you are bound to see one on a bill on any given night. On this particular night, Black Whales opened for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and Ha Ha Tonka at the Tractor Tavern.
The last time I saw Black Whales was over a year ago, and they opened for my very favourite band. So from what I remember, I wasn’t all that impressed in the context of things, but this time they wowed me. What a difference a year can make! They filled the otherwise scarcely populated room with wonderful indie rock. I wasn’t even there to see them in particular, and I was incredibly pleased. Usually even if an opening band is good, I’m always anxious to see the band I came to see. Not this time.
However, I was still quite excited to see the band that I came to see – Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (or SSLYBY in shorthand. That name can get real long to write out). The last time I saw them was also over a year ago when they opened for another local band, The Lonely Forest. I swear I have used the phrase “local band” more in the last year than I probably have in the rest of my life. SSLYBY has so much charm on stage that it’s impossible not to start dancing. It also doesn’t hurt that so many of their songs are just so darn catchy, like “Everlyn,” “Modern Mystery,” and “Think I Wanna Die” (even if the latter’s title suggests otherwise). This tour they were promoting their new album of rarities and B-sides Tape Club, which is also fantastic. I suggest you go check out the album, on vinyl or CD, whichever you prefer.
Ha Ha Tonka
Once SSLYBY finished their set, to be honest I would have been satisfied right there, but I did stay for most of Ha Ha Tonka, who were entirely enjoyably as well. The southern roots rock boys named after a Missouri State Park got the now-crowded Tractor Tavern hopping, especially since it was a Friday night. They played songs ranging from their debut Buckle in the Bible Belt to their new album, Death of a Decade, out in April. While it wasn’t my style in particular, I couldn’t help but dance just a little. Certainly not as much as some people, who were definitely getting their Friday night on. Ah well, all in good fun.