Nearly-Were Records of 2008

There are three records I thought a lot about including in my best of list this year but didn’t make it. Fun, but will these be on the curriculum of music I force my children to memorize?

These are:

“Images of Sigrid” (Poni Hoax)

Dark, polished, sleazy French New Wave married to dark, polished, sleazy French Disco. In English.

“We Started Nothing” (The Ting Tings)

Bright, optimistic, catchy English electro dance pop. The chanteuse sings with a thick, quite hot British accent. This record really, really K.O.’d my expectations.

“Chemistry Of Common Life” (Fucked Up)

Extremely hard, extremely epic.

Poni Hoax at Studio B


Last night at Studio B, Tigersushi’s Poni Hoax put on a little party for us. They sounded great, played with an austere setup of two keyboards, a guitar, and a backline, and their singer is balding and wore bad sunglasses. He also wore a bad suit. Or maybe it was a tux. Leaping around to his own band’s fantastic soundtrack, I remember thinking that I liked that my first reaction to seeing this guy performing was enmity, because despite any visually induced prejudices I may have wanted to bring to the table, there I was on the floor fully dancing with my friends in rapt enjoyment of music that a band was unabashedly good at making. There was no unimportant criticism you could throw at the act that would stick. Pretty Tall Girls and Antibodies off of Images of Sigrid, the new release, were the definitive highlights of the set.

The Synthesizers were far more audible and buzzing live than on the album, always the hint of a pulse wave or a saw buzzing at a low octave. The guitar was equally pleasing in its buzzsaw distortion and its position at the fore of the sonic field, driving ahead of the strings on Antibodies and adding a level of grit and immediacy to the show that the immaculately-produced album tracks don’t do justice.

Poni Hoax for Real

Yesterday I began listening to Poni Hoax. I received an email from the Tigersushi Records mailing list, the label of a lot of electro weirdness from the old place over the sea. They are also home to art/synthy rockers Poni Hoax, who just came out with a new album in May called Images of Sigrid. I watched this video of them playing a live set, all Bauhaus and Bowie, and I thought to myself, wow, these guys are kind of good.

I then listened to the album. I thought to myself, yes, very good. Lots of space, lots of power and noise when the playing gets fast and business-like. Synth lines, long croons, and songs about women and disaster. And they are playing July 5th at Studio B.