RED PONY CLOCK | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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San Diego has been identified for years with postgoth hardcore bands, but now comes their dopey, sunshiny, ultra-twee opposite, the Gallant to offset a scene full of Goofuses: Red Pony Clock. Eleven members strong, they come on like a bunch of virginal 14-year-old band geeks whose idea of a great rock song is "Windy" by the Association. (Who needs Jenny Piccolo when you can just have piccolo?) Their latest, God Made Dirt (Happy Happy Birthday to Me), is goofy without being jokey, more Camper Van Beethoven than Ween, and while the songs can be a little clunky and off-key--especially when the singers try to hit the high notes--the flaws only make them more charming. As far as orchestral indie rock goes, this stuff's a welcome break from all those Arcade Fires and Sufjans with their self-serious melodrama. Red Pony Clock opens for Ghost to Falco and the Scalpels. a 8 PM, South Union Arts, 1352 S. Union, southunionarts.com, $10 suggested donation. A --Jessica Hopper

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