Before Nathans and the Cyclone, there was indie rock. - Oh My Rockness

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Before Nathans and the Cyclone, there was indie rock.

July 14, 2005
Saturday's Siren Fest may generate all the hipster heat, but Friday's Pre-Siren Fest show at Rothko will rule just as much AND it will have air conditioning. All four bands playing Insound's "Night of Shorts" party (Ponys, Chin Up Chin Up, Be Your Own PET, and Rahim) are insanely good and all could easily pack out a show on their own. This one's gonna be good... especially if you're wearing shorts ($6.00 admission fee for those pro-pants, $5.00 for those showing some leg, $2.00 for those showing some thigh).

Headlining the party of the summer is Chicago's Ponys who ain't no Tortoise. If Richard Hell were to have sex with a dirtier, tougher, and much better Stellastarr*, The Ponys would be their bastard love child. Borrowing heavily from Hell's yelping vocals and incorporating borrowed-from-Brooklyn riffs, The Ponys are making some of the country's finest danceable grime rock. Throw in a dash of psychedelia and a sweaty and spontaneous live show and you have one sick band.

Chin Up Chin Up is one of our very favorite bands. Their latest album, We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers simply blew us away (still does), and their live shows completely capture their breathtakingly beautiful melodies created by warm guitar and keyboard sounds. Think American Analog Set meets Joan of Arc back when Joan of Arc were good. Chin Up Chin Up are a complex, entirely accessible band that we could listen to just short of forever.

Perhaps the band on this bill with the most "hype" is Nashville's Be Your Own PET. These four kids are like 16 or something, and when they aren't rocking a room full of hipsters, or signing to Rough Trade, they're probably still stressing about pimples and the cafeteria's meat patties. Vocalist Jemina Pearl has been compared to a young (really young) Karen O, and she snarls, growls, and kicks to these distorted 2-minute punk rock tracks in a way that would make Momma Yeah Yeah Yeah proud. Pearl's lyrics are angry, the furious drumming tempos are so precise it's absurd, and the crunchy guitars are fuzzed-out and blasted to 11. What's not to love?

Opening is a band who won't be an opener for long. Everyone knows we love Rahim, and we talk about them every chance we get. If you haven't seen this NYC art-pop Dischord-like band, this show would be the perfect time to go so you can say you "saw them when...." Once their EP comes out on Frenchkiss (July 26th), it's "lights out Luther" for these three. Hopefully they'll still talk to us when they're sippin' Cristal.

Ponys, Chin Up Chin Up, Be Your Own PET, and Rahim play Insound's "Sound the Alarm 2: A Night of Shorts" Party this Friday, July 15th at Rothko.

Click here for show details.


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