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Live Review: Whartscape 2009 Day 2 (2009.07.11)

Gates of MICA Parking Lot @ Whartscape 2009

Walking into the MICA North Ave. parking lot was like stepping into an alternate universe to me. Accustomed to the outstandingly complete normalcy of Carroll County living, everything involved at Saturday’s Whartscape was akin to alien scenery in my eyes. If anyone attending knew who I was or what I looked like–and you probably didn’t, you crazy ass MICA kids, I apologize for probably having stared just a tad too much.

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Ponytail, Compression @ Sonar

All photos: Robert Jacobs

Get Ponytail’s entire set at Beatbots A/V Club!

Compression have been around for a while (1993 to be exact). To quote front-man Greg Scelsi “probably before most of you could drive.” They started the night on a solid, forceful note. Being the first somewhat hardcore (with plenty of metal flavorings) band I’ve probably seen in about a year, I can say they have a fury about them. Their sound is a truly percussive, gale force wind that knocks you off your stride and takes your breath away…often by brute strength. Muscular riffs tear through each song like a prize-winning thoroughbred, awe-inspiringly powerful yet exceedingly graceful. Read the rest…

Ponytail @ Floristree

Ponytail @ Floristree Space 07/21/07

Photo 1: Edan Wilber

Photos 2,3: Frank Hamilton

I think I caught the words “Mai Tai” in the middle of “7 Souls”? It doesn’t matter, really; Ponytail have done away with words. Turns out they weren’t as important as we had thought. Singer Molly Siegel yelps and lunges across the stage amidst reports that she might have been sick, but if she performs every night the way that she has on the two occasions I’ve caught the band live — well, I’d be exhausted after one song. Ms. Siegel acts as a focal point for the sounds the other three band members produce, inserting punctuation marks into the musical phrases (instead of the music punctuating the lyrics) with wordless shouts and animalistic yips. The music is a fantastic burst of energy, exciting, flawlessly performed, even occasionally catchy.

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Countdown to Whartscape: T-3 Ponytail

It approaches.  Only 3×24 hrs left and you’ll be at the Charles, waiting breathlessly for Matmos while freaking out with Teeth Mountain.  Or maybe you’ll be seeing a certain caped crusader at midnight.


Today’s mini-terview: Dustin Wong of Ponytail.  If you haven’t already, pick up Ice Cream Spiritual and read our review.  It’s a killer album.  Enjoy this cut and read on for Dustin’s answers!

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MP3: Ponytail – Celebrate the body electric (it came from an angel) from Ice Cream Spiritual

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Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual (We Are Free)

Welcome our newest contributor, Alexa Williams. She cuts her teeth for us with a review of Baltimore staple Ponytail’s newest LP Ice Cream Spiritual, a definite contender for highlight of 2008. Have at it!

And stay tuned tomorrow, as our Whartscape mini-terviews continue with Dustin from Ponytail in the spotlight!

Take everything- alternative, independent, scream-o, metal, electronic, and mash it into one nasty Science Project of chaotic, yet completely accepted sound. Some may call it “new-wave”, some “post-punk, experimental, underground math-rock”, but whatever the label, unclassifiable sounds are overflowing the headphones of today’s listeners.

Measured against big names Animal Collective and Deerhoof, Baltimore’s own Ponytail emerges from the smoke after three years with the eight-track long Ice Cream Spiritual. Kamehameha, their first album released in 2005, never got weird enough for me. Its sound was too safe, too easy to handle.

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Cut Copy @ Sonar

Cut Copy rounded out our drunken, sweaty Saturday evening at Sonar–– finishing up what seemed to be a pretty solid evening with Ponytail and Black Kids (see previous post). After arriving late and catching the last two songs by Black Kids, I must say I was mad at my self for missing most of their show. A part of me can’t help but hate them for all their cutesy singalong popiness, and the hype that has surrounded them–– but damn it sounded and felt great.

As far as Ponytail goes, if I don’t make it to their next show (Talking Head, May 28th) I might have to physically slap myself. Read the rest…

Black Kids, Ponytail @ Sonar

black kids @ sonar, baltimore.So, this was an insanely hyped show. Cut Copy touring on the heels of their latest, quite fantastic LP. Black Kids riding the blog-o-sphere hype wave. Ponytail just rocking it the fuck out and keeping it Bmore. But my foot is fucked, so I am only here for Black Kids and Ponytail.

Photos: Black Kids from Josh Sisk, Ponytail from Ryan Detter

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