Poney Poney Interview (Part 2 of 2)

poney poney
(6)What sort of musical background do you all come from? Your roots and such ...

ANTOINE: "Apache" by the Shadows as a first song played. Four tracks recorders. Finding friends who own a computer. Meeting new people to form bands. Now it's 7th and 9th chords with up-tempo electronic beats with early Joe Jackson vibes. Playing bass with a pick. Lyrics come in the subway, on the way to/from work.

(7)What are your plans and goals with the band? Working on anything aside from the single right now? What's the deal with you guys and touring, too?

ANTOINE: We're working with Xavier on the "Cross the Fader" single these days, it should go out in February in the UK through Perspex Recordings with remixes but we also started producing songs ourselves. At least the basic tracks then we'll ask for help if needed.
Touring goes through MySpace for now, we do need someone to help. We often play outside Paris, even Belgium and London, we're planning to go back there, plus Berlin, Denmark and Sweden soon, hopefully. Wherever possible. We can carry the drums in a small suitcase, that can help. Hear it, America.

(8)I'm really interested in the French music scene, currently. It's interesting because it seems pretty tight-knit, and I always like community, especially in terms of music. It makes things more exciting and fun ... bursting at the seams with opportunities for exploration and finding out more about something you're interested in. Can you discuss -- to the best of your ability -- the scene in Paris a little, please?

ANTOINE: Now, you actually have more venues, more people organizing shows, more bands playing in dancing clubs and good people tend to know each other. I think our music and audience is closer to Arcade Mode/Ed Banger/Disque Primeur's than the Libertines clones, thanks god. Apart from friends, kids who go out a lot and don't care if it's guitar made, in French or English, rap, folk or djs or whatever, they just want to go out. Oh, and it's moving from garage and 60's looks to TTC/Klaxons sweaters, funny. People will fluo monoski again I guess.

(9)Okay ... a few easier questions here ... what are some bands you're liking right now? Also, are there any stores or brands or goods that you've purchased recently that you're liking? Tell me about anything cool ... I'm curious to know what's hip across the pond (the uh, erm ... Atlantic Ocean, that is).

ANTOINE: John John, Justice, Choc, Tahiti Boy & The Palm Tree Family, Mai, Syd Matters, Soda Pop Kid, Kavinsky, Sebastian, The Teenagers, Fancy, Surkin, Domingo, Château Marmont, Uffie, Oizo are my faves. Not hip. Good above all. I don"t buy records anymore.

(0)Where's the name from? I like it, but it's unique, indeed...

ANTOINE: Thank you. Please notice that it dates back from 99, before New Young Pony Club existed. If Lou form NYPC plays keyboards on the album, we'll consider changing name. I don't know where it comes from. Let's say from a childhood trauma.

(1)Okay ... I think that's it for now. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, and I wish you guys the best.
Poney Poney - AM Music

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Poney Poney Interview (Part 1 of 2)

poney poney
It's about time that France dropped another good rock/pop album (especially one that you can dance to!), Poney Poney seems to be just that. The Paris threesome has been around for a few years now, but has only truly discovered themselves and their sound recently. They make rockin' pop music with plenty of edge and sharp angles. The great thing about the group is that they're great to listen to as is, on the dance floor, or chopped up and remixed. And with their debut out on Arcade Mode, they're sure to be getting loads of play on dance floors all across the world.
I was lucky enough to get an interview with these guys, thanks to Dorian of the Teenagers' recommendation. Enjoy the feature and accompanying track!

1)Okay, so I sort of met you guys thanks to Dorian (of the Teenagers). Can you explain a little to me how you guys know each other? I'm always interested to hear about the connections between various bands ...

ANTOINE: MySpace buddy. I met him and Johanna of Mai, his other band, during summer 05. He was the first person who posted a comment about "AM Music", a song he knew from its first release. Since they both have the loveliest faces and I knew their music from a compilation, we had a drink and became friends going out quite a lot together.

(2)Your MySpace page says that you're from Paris and Sweden. What's the deal there? Where do you guys come from?

ANTOINE: Just a week long joke. I'll change that, people write to us in Swedish and I only know how to say thanks, "tack". Beware, the word "tak" is very close but means "ceiling".

(3)Location tends to say a lot about a band, just because of the stereotypes associated with the country or city they're from. When I think Paris, for example, I think things like Ed Banger -- dance stuff in general -- and some "real" bands like the Prototypes and Phoenix. When I think Sweden, I think beautifully constructed pop music, accessible to all, and full of hooks. Where do you guys stand?

ANTOINE: We definitely stand on the Parisian side, between dance acts because of the G5 production but definitely rock too. I'd rather play late for electro nights rather than classic concerts. Sweden wise, I love Abba, Envelopes and Stock, Aitken & Waterman ... I own Ikea furniture and went to Gothenburg once when I was 12. Hi to Maria Samuelsson by the way.

(4)Actually, speaking of Ed Banger ... I noticed that you guys are going to release "Junior" on Arcade Mode Records (a label closely associated with Ed Banger). It's cool to see integration like that ... when separate style join together under one umbrella, in this case, a common label. How'd the Ed Banger thing come up?

ANTOINE: Actually, "Junior" has already been released by Arcade Mode. Emile, the boss of the label/e-store needed a track for the '05 St Valentin release. The song is not about love at all, but sounded exciting enough for him to match. Ed Banger Records is a great label, I love the artists and the people working for it, some are friends too and they put focus back on Paris, cheerio.

(5)But you all certainly do have a dance sort of feel to your sound. A little bit of garage mixed in there, too. Actually, you've clearly got a lot of influences. What sort of stuff did you grow up on ... what sort of stuff do you listen to and like currently, too?

ANTOINE: I came to dance music quite late, I didn't go out much and my friends had to teach me about it. Still, Michael Jackson, even some Paula Abdul, all the shitty top charts pop acts of my childhood and their reverb snares were shaping. There goes Nirvana, some rap, indie rock, then post rock wannabe intellectuals, then slowly Daft Punk, then everything's blurred. I'm really exhausted at hearing Stooges covers. I want some more Spinto Band, Twisted Charm, Dr Dog, TV on the Radio or Akron/Family.

(6)What sort of musical background do you all come from? Your roots and such ...

ANTOINE: "Apache" by the Shadows as a first song played. Four tracks recorders. Finding friends who own a computer. Meeting new people to form bands. Now it's 7th and 9th chords with uptempo electronic beats with early Joe Jackson vibes. Playing bass with a pick. Lyrics come in the subway, on the way to/from work.
Poney Poney - Junior

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I've Got to Go

henri faberge and the adorables
Three new, exciting bands for you here, the day after Thanksgiving (AKA "Black Friday," which truly is a day of death, so stay in). (Actually, it's a day of profits, but we'll let that go for now ... death -- remember that.)

I've this infatuation with the Bristol-based duo Munch Munch. They've these spooky, ghostly Liars- and Man Man-influenced aspects to their sound, but there's something more ... dead about them. As though they're recently revived zombies or something like that. A~nd, that drum machine reminds me a lot a lot of something that you'd hear in a Xiu Xiu song. Dancy, certainly, but man is this chilling. Oh, and hey -- they might actually have more than just two members.

Tiny Dancers sound, to me, like a folkier (and more British) version of Omaha's Tilly & the Wall. Cute, sing along sort of stuff, with plenty of hand claps and a sparse enough production to make anyone intrigued.

Lastly, I've got this one-hell-of-a-find ... Henri Fabergé and The Adorables, a tasteful and extremely talented garage-pop band from Toronto. I say garage, but that's mean, because it's not really true. Sure, these guys are rougher than most, and have a crass, brash sort of edge to them, but man do they write some beautiful pop hooks. At times, these guys channel They Might Be Giants (when they weren't old and watered down). And no one can disagree with a nice little Farfisa (or whatever that is). Seriously ... listen to these dudes now, and be an early adopter.
Munch Munch - Grrrrrrrrrrrrrl
Munch Munch - Flashbandmicrowaves
Munch Munch - Jesus Sex Party
Tiny Dancers - 20 to 9
Henri Fabergé and The Adorables - The Goddamn Light
Henri Fabergé and The Adorables - Ventriloquist Love

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Wolfy Sonic Monday

wolf people
I've said it before, I think, but the way I think of my musical preferences and how I judge if something is "good" or "bad" to myself is how far to one extreme the stuff goes. Joy Division is absolute depression and cold, cutting atmospheric post-punk ... Beach House (whom I saw a few days ago!) is chilling and eerie, and oh my, those are some haunting vocals and organ parts. New Young Pony Club (I'm jumping all over the place here!) is ridiculous cliche-addled disco-influence dance rock with more edge than most bands can ever hope for.

So yeah ... I tend to gravitate towards ends of the musical spectrum.

And that's why I'm digging Rong Music, a NYC-based group that sounds like what would happen if the DFA/LCD Soundsystem tried to make Stone Roses covers while channeling truly old-school disco. They've got a MySpace page where you can check out a few of their tunes.

Cajun Dance Party's what would happen if the Cure went uber lo-fi. Imagine another version of the Research or something. But man are these North Londeners sweet and charming. Lo-fi stuff often comes off as being cheesy and not sincere, but these guys are honest and have just enough grime and edge about them that they will compel all types of listeners to give 'em a try.

It's really difficult for me to place Wolf People's sound. It's psych-rock, but wait, no ... not really. It's psych-post-punk. Or something. There's an accessibility about this music that is not akin to normal psychedelic stuff, and I like that. Imagine Franz Ferdinand getting a little heavier or something ... that's sort of what Wolf People is. Maybe some later Kinks in there, too? Not too sure, but definitely worth a try ... head on over to their MySpace page.
Cajun Dance Party - Colourful Life (Demo)
Cajun Dance Party - Time Falls (Demo)
Wolf People - October Fires
Wolf People - Block Water
Wolf People - Empty Heart

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Colourful Life

late of the pier
Plenty of bands this time around, and the nice part is that they've all got something in common. England is increasingly coming back as the country with the realer, rawer music, and I'm liking it. A pretty tight, cohesive sound is coming out of parts of the nation, and it's really cool to see where that's all headed (I don't know).

Anyway ... one such band is ... Late of the Pier, which to me, sounds like No-Wave induced Blondie or Gary Numan or something. Fast paced, poppy, synth laden, sharp and harsh, with loads of curious instincts. Spastic would be a good word, but I don't think they used that in the 80s, and this guy ... can't be from now, can he!? (He is.)

This other group, the Video Nasties, is equally as cool, and certainly more charming. The singer's got this voice that sort of channels Robert Smith from the Cure (which I like), and they're sound can most easily be described as really early post-punk ... bass heavy, speedy and concise, but sharp and edgy, jagged edges abound. They're apparently giving away their six-track demo for free! Cool!

Fear of Flying is ... really spectacular. What the hell is this!? There's some A Certain Ration influence there, tons of Fire Engines[/Franz Ferdinand] blood pulsing through these guys' veins, but something heavier and more aggressive than either of those acts. And man, what excellent bass playing. Definitely check these dudes' MySpace page out!

For a change in pace, listen to Jack and Ginger, an equally stunning U.K. duo (or couple?) that sounds like what would happen were the DFA to remix Viva Voce's French counterpart. Confusing? Well, they're certainly dancy, but they've got a very suave nature about them, and that makes me feel more compelled to listen to their stuff ... soothing, almost ...

Wow ... unintentionally, that ended up being the Day o' MySpace!
Late of the Pier - Space and the Woods
Late of the Pier - Circular
Late of the Pier - Focker
Fear of Flying - Painting with Light
Jack and Ginger - Something Fishy
Jack and Ginger - Noir Mix

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Moderately Woozy

turbo crystal
Ach, I found this great little London-based label, Tiny Sticks Reocrds, and am currently in the process of being ... uber impressed by their output!

I'm really enjoying the absolute funkiness and bizarre nature of this Dondolo guy. It's like Daft Punk's day in Brazil or something. Plenty of bouncy, fat bass, clean, dancy guitar melodies, a little bit of punk, and plain fun all around.

Turbo Crystal is also exciting me quite a bit. Sparse, jagged, edgy disco with some wit and quaintness mixed in there. And I'm just such a sucker for bass, anyway, this French duo is too much for me to handle ...
Dondolo - Nobody Music (sample)
Dondolo - Tetanus Crisis (sample)
Dondolo - Dragon (sample)

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Vote radio.bibabidi

Okay, in [belated] honor of the mid-term elections, I made this completely non-political short mix. Although the song by the Even is political, now that I reflect on what I just wrote there ...
Anyway, this has some fun stuff on it, and even if you don't end up liking the mix, I feel like you might end up digging a few of the tracks. So check it out ...
radio.bibabidi vol. 2 no. 3

{1}Nathan Fake / Grandfathered
{2}Caural / I Won't Race You
{3}Hot Chip / Sexual Healing
{4}Architecture in Helsinki / Neverevereverdid (Cave Rave Remix Yacht)
{5}MSTRKRFT / Community Revolution In Progress
{6}Crystal Castles / She Fell Out
{7}Animal Collective / Forest Gospel
{8}the Evens / No Money
{9}Deerhoof / +81

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Again, Sweden (Part 2)

utah rangers
It took me longer to write this than I thought it would, but uh ... I was just building up. Added effect or whatever.
So ... continuing in the same vein as last time, here are some more Swedish bands! Enjoy them!

Whatever the hell Utah Rangers means, I don't care ... this duo is ace. They're indie-pop, yeah, but there such a rush their music; such a happy, dancey feel to it. I can't resist. Imagine a peppier version of Envelopes or something. And those bass lines work oh-so-well with those excellent jangle-pop guitar riffs and perfect hooks.

Even though I don't understand any of their lyrics, man am I also digging Vit Päls' stuff. It's sparse and organic, but with hints of electronic funkiness throughout. Really a great mix of cheery strummed guitar lines and sharp electronic drum beats and synths. Tres great as well ... these Swedish guys need to be more proactive about getting over here to America! And check out the MySpace page, don't forget ...

I am not a fan of Oasis by any means, but for some reason, I don't find the fact that Whyte Seeds is the Swedish incarnation of them. They're sort of schlocky, and they're a little too ballady for me, but you know what? Sometimes that sort of thing is welcome. Maybe. Maybe not ... ? Do them the kindness of checking them out, regardless. Their MySpace page can be found here.
Utah Rangers - Cracking Up My Heart
Utah Rangers - Last Year In June
Utah Rangers - Papers & Contracts
Vit Päls - en kvll med oss
Vit Päls - min vinter i Malmo
Vit Päls - Loving You Was Crazy Shit
Vit Päls - Paul Simon
Vit Päls - s mycket jag kan
Vit Päls - mina moves

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Deerhoof, "+81"

I'm hazing on what exactly this is. It looks like it's a song taken from Deerhoof's forthcoming album, Friend Opportunity.
Stereogum had it up for a sec, but this is waaay too good to be missed by anyone, so I'm writing this post just to distribute it a little more.
Holy hell is this track amazing. Deerhoof's done it again. With just three members, I assumed that they'd be having some difficulties in terms of making songs as full as they usually did as a quartet. Not an issue. While this song does have horns added in -- which can only help fill out the sound -- even without them, this track's got a lot to it. Amazing hooks (as usual), great lyrics (as usual), stellar drumming (as usual), and excellent chirping on Satomi's part (as usual). Check it out.
Deerhoof - +81

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Again, Sweden (Part 1)

unarmed enemies
I make this hard for myself. Really, why do I need to keep digging deeper, looking for more music to fill my head with? Habit ... and plus, I find it hard to complain. Too much of a good thing ...
Although sometimes I just feel blatantly overwhelmed. Re: currently. I went on a huge quest for Swedish music, and in order to deliver the goods to all of you, I think I'm going to have to divide this up over two days. Maybe three. Me oh my ...

Let's begin. Unarmed Enemies is a pretty goofy little electronica duo from Stockholm. Reminds me a bit of like, the Pet Shop Boys, in terms of male vocal harmonies and boppy, jumpy, energetic pop melodies. But there's also something really cutesy about them, and while I'm sure I'll get tired of that shtick, it's working for me now ... oh, hey, they've a MySpace page.

Action Biker is very cute as well, indeed, but in a different sort of way. Chill, swooning, ambient electronic music with a calm, soft spoken female singer. I like the looping of her voice ... and how she sings in French sometimes ... again, cute. Aw ...

These Kubot dudes are ambitious. Their songs sound like real, legit compositions ... like they wrote these out and really worked on instrumentation and all that fancy stuff. Which I appreciate, although I feel like this might be a bit much. Maybe it's just because I don't want today to be sad, and their music is pretty moody and melancholy. Ahh ... MySpace, anybody?

I can't figure this Jmy Haze Beatbox thing out, but man is it sounding cool from the little bits on their website. I didn't know that Swedish people ... made music like ... this! DFA meets Junior Senior!? I'm hooked, and I want lots, lots more ...

Where has this Dorothy's Magic Bag guy been, and why have I not found him until now? I've been missing out. When you listen to this stuff, yeah ... it's like looking into a magic bag from like, Alice In Wonderland. Full of quirky and fat electronic beats, spooky, Halloween-/Danny Elfman-esque melodies, and plenty of creepy alien and outerspace sounds. Really cool? Absolutely.

Okay -- that's enough for today.
Unarmed Enemies - Show Me Your Plans (Radio Edit)
Unarmed Enemies - Missing Out
Action Biker - Farrah
Action Biker - TV Star
Action Biker - La Conjugaison Pour Tous
Kubot - Albatros
Dorothy's Magic Bag - Gränslinje
Dorothy's Magic Bag - Tequila Train

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The Teenagers Interview (Part 2 of 2)

the teenagers
(6) And what sort of stuff do you dig currently ... friends' bands, bands of people you know ...

THE TEENAGERS: I think that the most exciting band now is Justice. I also really dig my friend's music of Poney Poney, you should check it on MySpace. And i really like SLUTTT's music too. I also listen a lot to Klaxons. I met one of the guy last week, was really nice and i love their music.

(7) What sort of process do you incorporate for songwriting? Do you all work together? Separately? What's the situation there?

THE TEENAGERS: I mostly start to write the music but they help me a lot, like a band you know. Voilà and Mighteen write the lyrics and help me for the music. And when we are all happy with what we've done, we consider the songs is finished.

(8) What about future plans ... ? Got anything lined up?

THE TEENAGERS: For the future, hum. We don't really know. We will release our debut EP in America/Canada, with S.L.U (www.slumrecs.com). We should be on the Digital Penetration 2 compilation. And in UK, we are talking with some labels...we don't know exactly what is gonna happens, so i can't tell you now. We will release singles to start, play live and then we'll see later...

(9) And in the meantime ... what's keeping you all occupied?

THE TEENAGERS: We are answering our comments on MySpace, and we are working.

(0) What kind of background do you all come from? Like, in terms of musical experience and otherwise. It's always interesting to know where groups are coming from in terms of perspectives and outlooks and that kind of thing.

THE TEENAGERS: We started to play music with Mighteen when we were 14 years old in our rooms. We were really teenagers and we tried to cover a lot of songs. It was very bad. I remember that one night, we recorded almost all the songs of the first RATM album with only Bass and vocals. It was so horrible. Then we played together in a indie band, bad too. And i bought a 4-tracks recorder. So i started to record songs home. Mighteen plays in a hardcore band too, and i have another project, a calm one.
the Teenagers - Homecoming

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The Teenagers Interview (Part 1 of 2)

the teenagers
The Teenagers, a London-based band by way of Paris, are looking like one of the next big things to come out of the UK. The group's distinctively poppy tendencies meld perfectly with their garage, jovial aesthetic. They're onto something gold here, and with endorsement and remixes by the likes of SLUTTT (and soon, Crystal Castles!), it looks like they can do little wrong. Hipster at it's best, pop at it's height, and a stateside-released EP on SLUM Records in the works ... this threesome is going places.

Okay, I'll start off with some predictable questions, to sort of set the stage here ...

(1) How would you describe your music? It's got a garage sort of edge in its grittiness, but there is obviously a lot of pop structure there. Your songs are very appealing, and while they're a little messy, they've got a clean sound about them.

THE TEENAGERS: I would tell that our music is mainly pop. Of course we got a lot of different influences, but if we have to say one word, that would be pop, yes. And for the structure, you're right, all our songs are very classic in that way. We want to give people music they can listen every time, and easily. For the sound, i don't really know, it just came like that.

(2) How'd you start playing? How'd the band get together and start recording/doing gigs?

THE TEENAGERS: We started the band one year ago, last Christmas we were bored. Voilà and Mighteen are my best friends and we just decided we should start a band to have fun. We were drunk and we wrote "Fuck Nicole." That was the first try. We put it on MySpace for our friends, and they told us it was fun/cool and that we should do more songs. But there wasn't any career plan at the beginning, it was a party night with friends and some vodka.

(3) You've got quite a few remixes on your MySpace page, which is cool since your stuff definitely allows for a lot of remixing and tinkering around with. How'd you get that stuff hooked up?

THE TEENAGERS: When we created the MySpace profile, we asked everybody if they wanted to do a remix of "Fuck Nicole." We had like 20 answers, but only 10 did the remix. And all the sounds weren't really exciting. Only SLUTTT gave us a fucking good remix; very dancy. So we kept that one and later, we asked him to do one for "Homecoming" as well. Actually, we don't like a lot of remixes, i think they have to be very different of our songs ... different mood. We are waiting for a Crystal Castles remix of "Homecoming", and we are very excited.

(4) That sort of leads me to this question. One thing that Americans are interested about in terms of the British music scene is it's compactness. You all tend to form into scenes (or that's how it looks like from across the pond), and while you don't necessarily all share the same sounds and styles, you stick together. How has that environment affected your music? What sort of dynamic exists between you and other bands?

THE TEENAGERS: You'll laugh but we are not English. We all come from France. But of course I can understand what you say and it makes me feel good. We are two in Paris, and one in London. We are French but for music, we don't really feel like we're French. We are not influenced by French music at all, and we all have an interest in English/American musical culture, I think. There are a lot of rock bands emerging in Paris right now, and our first fear is to be associated to them. We don't think we have anything in common with them. So i don't know if we sound English, but if you think that, we take it like a compliment! But yeah ... now, there's no dynamic between us and some other bands, we just do our thing alone ...

(5) Okay -- the usual question here ... what sort of music has inspired you to make your own? What sort of stuff do you like?

THE TEENAGERS: We all have different musical backgrounds. Voilà is definitely into pop music, R&B, and Mighteen is definitely into metal/hardcore music. I'm from metal too, but I listened to a lot of indie rock, and i like a lot of different music now. Actually we are open i think, and we all like all kind of music. And to give you some influences for our music, I really don't know how to start ... there's too much. So I don't know but we like Britney Spears, Cristina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Nelly Furtado a lot.
the Teenagers - Fuck Nicole (SLUTTT Remix)
the Teenagers - Fuck Nicole

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