Music » Critics' Picks

The Ponys/Deerhunter

9 p.m. Saturday, April 21. The Billiken Club at Saint Louis University (20 North Grand Boulevard).

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The Ponys' Matador Records debut, Turn the Lights Out, is an early best-of-2007 candidate, but the dirty-cool collection could probably have earned the same accolades in 1977. Recalling proto-punk acts such as the Fall and Television, the album showcases dark, woozy, reverb-laden garage rock with hands-off production and minimal overdubs. New guitarist Brian Case (late of 90 Day Men) facilitates cleaner compositions without sacrificing the raucous energy that characterized the group's first two LPs for the In the Red label. Tourmates Deerhunter are a bit rougher around the edges, crafting murky psychedelic jams reminiscent of Spacemen 3. The band's latest LP, Cryptograms, has received kudos and rotten apples in equal measure, setting the stage for a tour placed squarely under the indie-cool microscope.

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