Friday, April 3, 2009

Ponytail, Soft Circle, Pretty & Nice, Many Mansions, Magic Magic at TT The Bear's


Soft Circle

Pretty & Nice

Many Mansions

I've been going to so many noise shows lately that I forgot how many annoying drunk people there are at regular indie rock shows. Like there was this one girl who was doing a very convincing Courtney Love impression. She was maybe 3 drinks from passing out and at one point she sat down in the back of the club and dumped out her purse all over the floor, looking for god knows what. Maybe she was hungry and looking for the banana that fell from her purse but she was just too intoxicated to differentiate a banana from her cell phone.

I showed up after Magic Magic finished so I got nothin for ya on them.

I was wicked excited to see Many Mansions as I've been listening to his free Return To Source for a while and am in fucking love with it. Shane, Mr. Mansions himself, was joined by two others on stage. One was playing the bass and the other was manipulating a live projection feed from his laptop. For a crowd that likes to dance (see the Soft Circle part below), I'd say only about 20-30% of people were noticeable enjoying Many Mansions. At one point, Shane dropped down into the crowd and started hopping and dancing all through the club, possibly attempting to get everyone moving Conga Line style. By the end of the set, maybe half of the crowd was, at the very least, swaying a bit to the music. I think I'll have to see Many Mansions again sometime with a crowd that's more appreciative because that makes all the difference.

Originally, Pray For Polanski was set to play the show but they dropped out at the last minute and replaced with a "Secret Set" by Pretty & Nice. I've heard good things about these guys but I can't really say I was all that impressed. I mean, they were good and all, I guess it's just not really my kinda thing. I can't remember the last time I got really excited about a traditional indie rock band. Wolf Parade, maybe? Either way, it was cool to finally see what all the buzz was about but I don't think I'll be going out of my way to see them again.

Then Soft Circle came on and that was a pretty impressive set. Just one guy throwing down some really solid 4 on the floor electronic beats, adding a bass groove, and then fucking going crazy on his drum kit. The crowd ate it up. Everyone was dancing like it was the weekend. Sometimes I forget that there's an ample population in Boston who loves to dance. Soft Circle gave them what they wanted. He sings on most of his songs but he does it live while he's playing drums. By the last half of his set, I'd say he lost it, vocal wise anyway. Other than that though, pretty decent stuff, especially live.

If you've heard of Ponytail, then chances are you know that it's fronted by a tiny girl who doesn't use real words to sing. This girl, Molly Siegel, while being a key member of the band in general, almost entirely creates the Ponytail live experience. When you see her on stage, there's nothing you can do but smile and enjoy the music. The absolute sincerity of the joy and excitement on her face is contagious. It's rare to see something so purely exuberant in an adult. The energy of the entire band was matched by the audience and everyone was having the time of their life. The crowd was just as excited to see Ponytail play as Ponytail was to play for us and that is an amazing feeling. And their music is the kind that almost requires the live experience; it's just not the same listening to it at home on your headphones. You need to be there right up front, jumping around with other people, shaking your arms in Molly's face. Otherwise they're just another band that sounds like Deerhoof and The Advantage. They're still on tour and will be until the end of May, so if they stop by your town, make sure you go see them.


Ben said...

Dude, wish I knew you were going, I would have said something. I was face to face with Molly the whole set, what a great time

Justin Snow said...

I didn't know until the last minute. I had originally planned on going to the Truman Peyote/Turtle Ambulance show at PA's Lounge.