ROCKING CMJ: PONYTAIL
All summer I kept hearing about how great this Baltimore band was, and I had several opportunities to see them, seeing as how they’ve played more of our city’s all-ages spaces, and at a greater frequency, than most of the locals.
But it wasn’t until last night at the band’s CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg that I finally stopped stalking them on MySpace and experienced their punk-spazz-whiplash in the flesh. And lucky for me, they were the meat between the bread that apparently most of the sold-out crowd was there to see (secret guests Shearwater and Jens Lekman, who, according to comments on Brooklyn Vegan, performed an “awkward” singing DJ set at 11 p.m. — I am old and was asleep by then), so I easily got a sweet spot right up front for Ponytail’s 9:30 p.m. set.
Picking up breadcrumbs along the tribal-ecstatic-electric track of late ’90s/early ’00s Providence noise, The Greatest City in America (best motto ever!) has been graduating its own class of the art-school-town sound for some time now. And this four-piece (2 guitars + 1 drums + 1 wickedly possessed voice) quickly seized the attention of pretty much everyone in the packed room. Especially those with a fondness for the heavy hum and cascading rhythmic quality of several helicopters lifting off at once, layered and looped over a steady, tribal beat. And when you’re blessed with a rebel wail like little Molly Siegel’s, I can’t imagine a better career path than joining a band. Near the end of the set, when she crawled and rolled around grasping the edge of the stage like a rabid mongoose, I was sold.
No worries if you missed it, though. Like I said earlier, they’re always here: Next up in our parts are two shows on Friday — Levi’s Fader Fort (169 Bowery) at 4:30 with Crystal Antlers and the Todd P/Ground Control Part at Market Hotel (1142 Myrtle Ave., Brooklyn) and then on Halloween, they’re playing Todd P’s NYC Big Halloween Bash with DMBQ, The Homosexuals and AIDS Wolf at Danbro Studios Warehouse (268 Meserole St., Brooklyn).