Vol.
IV
Ep.
6

Band:

Hometown:

Curated By:

The So So Glos

Brooklyn, NY

Pelly Twins

Song: Emergency

Length: 2:46

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Created by a literal band of brothers, 'Emergency' is a dark, disturbed party. Drawing from real names and experiences in their child-hood, the So So Glos find the line where joy and pathos meet.

   Music is about chemistry--chemistry with the audience, with the other members of the band; how you connect makes a huge difference. In that regard, The So So Glos have chemistry in spades. Made up of a group of brothers from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn: Alex and Ryan Levine, step-brother Zach Staggers, and lead guitarist Matt Elkin, The So So Glos started the band when their ages still numbered in the single digits. When they arrived at Miner Street in early June, we immediately noticed their comfort and ease in how they interacted. They had truly been maing music together all their lives.
   The So So Glos come to us by recommendation from our favorite identical twin music journalists, Jenn and Liz Pelly. "They are such tremendous people, so much fun, and such great performers, we knew they would absolutely kill it in an episode of Shaking Through." A kill it they did. The day went by in a blur of high energy guitars and one-liners delivered between the control room and the live room. Producers Kyle "Slick" Johnson and Adam Reich (Titus Andronicus) kept the energy moving as they negotiated tempo and arrangement, breaking what little tension there was with quick wit.
   The initial demo of "Emergency" had a vibe like The Clash, which got us excited. As the

day went on and the song gained momentum, it started generating its own voice and tone. The song "is about fighting indifference, and not wallowing in your depression, but rising up from it," says lead vocalist Alex. 'Emergency' name checks real experiences from their past, tough stuff growing up in their neighborhood. "When there are the real names of real people that we knew" says Ryan, "it makes it that much more personal for us." "It's a fun song," adds Alex, "but it's bittersweet. Music was escape for us."
   When it came time for vocals, Johnson sent Alex out into the main room with no headphones, just a condenser mic on a stand--mimicking the live set up they've used night after night across the US over the years. Instead of cans, the track blasted back out through a set of NS-40s in the live room, and Alex paced and sweat, pouring over the vocals, doing take after take. In the control room, his brothers were singing along with each take, urging him through the window into giving bigger and better performances. If it weren't so much fun, you might forget how powerful the moment was. Perhaps that's the best thing about The So So Glos: They might throw the world's best party, but they're not afraid to use heart and soul getting there.

“The lyrics are really personal. There are names in it, and putting a name to something changes it. Especially if it's the real name.”
“Really, we're an early 90's band. There's nothing throw-back or nostalgic about it, we've been doing this since 1991. ”

Recording

Guest producers are always fun. They break up routine and show us ways of doing things that we wouldn't think of. For this session we brought in Kyle "Slick" Johnson (bands) who loves to find that perfect mix of hi-fi and lo-fi. "Using, mis-using and abusing" as he puts it.

Credits

Director

Peter English

Executive Producer

Jason Smith

Producers

Brian McTear
Peter English

Engineers

Kyle "Slick" Johnson
Jonathan Low

Band

Alex Levine
Ryan Levine
Zach Staggers
Matt Elkin
Adam Reich

Director of Photography

Brian Melton

Camera Operators

Brian Melton
Larry DeMark
Dave Milstein

Editors

Dave Milstein
Sean Huber

Production Supervisor

Nicky Devine

Audio

Josh Friedman

Still Photography

Peter English
Larry DeMark

Sponsors

Special Thanks

  • The Patriarch Foundation
  • The Philadelphia Cultural Fund
  • The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
  • Samuel S. Fels Fund
  • Muse Educational Foundation
  • Michael Donahue
  • Laura Grablutz
  • Jason Smith
  • Giovanna Imbesi
  • Felix Espinosa
  • George Moore
  • Alex Knott
  • Kristin Thomson
  • Christopher Adams
  • Rustica Pizza
  • El Camino Real
  • Johnny Brenda's
  • Dan Scholnick
  • Bennett Daniels
  • Jan Torosion
  • Tara Boyd
  • William McCall
  • Ross Zimmer
  • Paul Dickman
  • Matt Miller