I encounter two pretty good bands and like them a lot in completely different ways…
This is my last piece of writing for PopMatters, completed just before my Tinariwen-related hissyfit.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Ponytail make an odd pairing, no question about it. Both are much hyped bands whose names start with the letter “P”, both are on the bill this evening, both are, in their ways, quite good. But those ways are so different that the show becomes almost a case study in song structure versus untrammeled experimentation, classic pop versus spazz-shocked math rock, simple eighth-note strummed arrangements versus violent pyrotechnics of percussion and dual guitars, solid, capable performance versus ecstatic speaking in tongues. I’d give it to Ponytail if I had to name a winner, but it’s rare that two bands succeed so well on different terms.
The rest is here.