Don Caballero, Ponytail, Mt. St. Helens Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Aug. 30, 9:30 p.m. 2008

Damon Che is doing his bit to lay all those old jokes about dumb drummers to rest, but his mazelike, counterintuitive music may end up inspiring a few new ones about crazy drummers. There’s a lot you can say about his band Don Caballero, but throughout its bumpy career it’s never been boring—something few of its compatriots in “math rock” can claim. Don Cab split for a few years in the early aughts, ending its relationship with Touch and Go, but since recruiting an all-new set of comrades Che has been signed to Relapse, where the group’s instrumental prog continues to grow ever more complex and satisfying. On the new Punkgasm, I hear of scraps of kicked Can, fucked Mothers of Invention, and even a little melted Plastic People, all liquefied into a burbling metallic brew—and Che leads the way throughout, his giant shuddering rolls and meaty thumps like the sounds of a spirited round of orc-skull polo. One of the perks of being an instrumental band: there’s no pressure to come up with worthy lyrics after you give your songs titles like “The Irrespective Dick Area” and “Pour You Into the Rug.” —Monica Kendrick

Though Baltimore continues to squirt Nickelodeon-obsessed neon-rainbow pop trash from every orifice, every once in a while something decent flies out. Ponytail have all the goofed-out spazziness you’d expect from a Charm City product, but without the keyboards and unicorn damage; mostly they’re just a breakneck art-punk band that sounds like an ungracious east-coast Deerhoof. —Jessica Hopper

Price: $12, 17+

Add a review

Rating

Select a star to rate.