New music video from Ponytail’s Dustin Wong: “Diagonally Talking Echoes”

(Photo by Valerie Paulsgrove)

Last year we got the sad news that Baltimore noise-popsters Ponytail, one of the first bands we ever blogged about, were calling it quits. But there’s a silver lining to this cloud: We now get to hear more of the crazy-intricate guitar experiments of Ponytail’s former axman, Dustin Wong.

Wong released his first solo album, Infinite Love, in 2010; he’s back this year with Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads, out Feb. 21st on Thrill Jockey Records. The whole album was built around various guitar effects pedals, all layering, looping, distorting and pitch-shifting Wong’s colorful riffs into all sorts of kaleidoscopic patterns. “I see all these pedals as a kind of textile factory,” Wong says. “The sheets and colors are determined, then the patterns are laid on top, one layer after another until it becomes a fabric mille feuille.” We’re pretty sure that’s French for “trippy-ass shit.”

You can check out the track “Diagonally Talking Echoes” and its appropriately psychedelic video on Vimeo. Maybe it’ll make you miss Ponytail a little bit less. If not, we’re sure there’s a Noise Pop Festival reunion in their future at some point.

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Weirdify Playlist 2: The Island of Misfit Toys

Greetings, weirdlings! Welcome to our second Weirdify playlist, live now on Spotify for your listening delectation. This time around, we got inspired by our Weird Band of the Week, Twink (the Toy Piano Band!), and decided to make a playlist full of songs that evoke childhood in various ways. You’ll hear toy instruments, sampled children’s songs and stories, 8-bit, chiptune and videogame references, and the ravings of a paranoid schizophrenic or two. (What can I say? I had some weird babysitters.)

To hear the full playlist, cruise on over to ShareMyPlaylists.com. Here’s what you’ll get:

1. Twink, “Rocket Pop”
2. The Books, “The Story of Hip Hop”
3. Powerglove, “Inspector Gadget”
4. Gangpol & Mit, “The 1000 People Band (Part 1)”
5. Vegetable Orchestra, “Scoville”
6. Gidropony, “We Are Sex Toys”
7. Quintron & Miss Pussycat, “Swamp Buggy Badass”
8. Wesley Willis, “I Whipped Spiderman’s Ass”
9. Max Tundra, “Will Get Fooled Again”
10. Ponytail, “Flabbermouse”
11. Dead Man’s Bones, “Pa Pa Power”
12. Psapp, “Tricycle”
13. Kid Koala, “Fender Bender”
14. Lemon Jelly, “Nice Weather for Ducks”

If at any point you get bored, feel free to skip to the last track, because it’s truly one of the greatest things you’ll ever hear. Trust us on this one.

Here’s the link again. Enjoy!

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Ponytail

ponytail

Let’s be honest: alot of the time, the bands we refer to as weird on this blog are basically just normal bands that found a good gimmick to make them seem less normal. You know, wear costumes, hire 20 lead singers, base all your songs on a TV show. If you hose down Bang Camaro, for example, they’re pretty much just a pop-metal band.

Well, today’s Weirdest Band candidate doesn’t really have a gimmick. They’re just plain weird. There’s really no other way to describe Ponytail.

Started as an art school project by four kids from Baltimore, Ponytail basically just mixes up layers of guitar noise, thunderous percussion and a bunch of weird shrieks, yowls, hoots and hollers by a pint-sized “singer” (for lack of a better term) named Molly Siegel. The results barely qualify as music, but they sure are fun.

I got to see Ponytail at SXSW and what struck me most is that unlike a lot of other socalled “noise pop” bands like Deerhoof, there’s nothing really arty or pretentious about these guys. They just like rocking out without worrying about things like, you know, melodies. Or lyrics. Or time signatures. Or keeping your guitar in tune. There’s something kind of childlike about it, especialy when Molly starts bouncing around like an autistic Ewok.

I’ll embed the YouTube vid here like we always do, but I totally recommend going over to YouTube itself to check out the user coments, which are hilarious. People really have no idea what to make of this stuff.

Links:

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