Thursday, November 5, 2009

Live: Ponytail + Javelin

When: 10/10
Where: Bell House

Many ages ago, Ponytail played a set at the Bell House, and I went to see them because they are awesome. Javelin opened up. They were some guys doing run-of-the-mill electro stuff . If you like jumping around to run-of-the-mill electro stuff - and who doesn't? - they are not a bad band to jump around to. But if you're not a jumper-arounder, you should definitely find something more interesting to feed your ears.

Something like, say, Ponytail, one of the most boldly experimental, creative bands to emerge in the last few years. Basically, two guys have amazing noise-guitar frenzies (the kind that take a lot of technical skill) and another guy freaks out on the drums at 1,000 mph, while young frontwoman Molly Siegel whoops and hollers gleefully into the microphone and jumps up and down around the front of the stage. And they're all smiles and energy, almost as if they are having fun. (WOAH!)

I've said before that Ponytail reminds me of a rodeo. It's not just the whooping, and guitarist Dustin Wong's ridin-a-bronco imitation when he plays guitar. It's that the only way to keep up with the music is to jump in and cling on for your life. If you like your music simple, melodic and structured, you'll hate Ponytail. If you like your music as a completely untamed burst of youthful energy channelled into sonic form, well, then, you're in luck.

Ponytail's records are good but nothing compared to their live show. Siegel always jumps into the crowd at some point, to crowd surf or just pogo around in people's faces. Meanwhile, Wong and his fellow guitarist Ken Seeno grin at each other from opposite sides of the stage every time they get ready for a particularly exciting part. And there is no other band on earth that sounds like this.

I can't say whether the show at Bell House was particularly amazing, because the band is always an awesome experience. But the crowd, moshing like crazy - but nice crazy - and dancing, headbanging and shouting along, was definitely hooked, and the band was pretty hooked on the audience too. It gives an musty old soul like me hope to see a hundred and fifty kids losing their shit for music this cutting-edge. If youngsters have this much fun with this music, I think we're all going to be okay.


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