Pony Up! | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Pony Up!

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Now that the Organ has split up, this Montreal four-piece looks like the top contender to become the next all-gal Canadian indie-pop phenomenon. Pony Up! attracted the patronage of Ben Lee early on--he signed the group to his Ten Fingers imprint and in 2004 released a split single with them. Dim Mak, which absorbed Lee's label, adopted the band and released their self-titled mini LP the following year. The first proper Pony Up! full-length, Make Love to the Judges With Your Eyes, which came out last spring, benefits from clean, unfussy production by two big-name indie engineers, Brian Paulson (Slint, Wilco) and Howard Ian Bilerman (Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire), who leave plenty of breathing room for the poignant melodies and dewy-eyed lyrics of front women Laura Wills (keyboards) and Sarah Moundroukas (guitar). The band has a sound that people are more likely to call charming than awesome: the singing misses a note here and there and the drumming is sometimes a bit shaky. But with memorable tunes like "Only Feelgood" and "Dance for Me," Pony Up! doesn't exactly need to worry about ruthless technical precision. We Will Eat Rats to Survive opens. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8.

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