It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.
Rocks Off has been thoroughly digging on the Philadelphia band Dangerous Ponies lately. They describe themselves as a "7 piece queer and allied band that wants to have fun with you."
Well, we can certainly get behind that, especially when we hear the stunning combination of light-hearted party-band sensibility and the kind of all-inclusive indie rock energy that you usually see from something like Bang Camaro. It's a hard bit of audio to classify, not really rock or pop. There's a touch of weird glam, East Coast hipness, and at the heart a real, original voice.
But that name... Dangerous Ponies?
Ponies aren't dangerous. Pre-verbal children aren't even scared of ponies. We promise you that no one has ever said "Look, a pony!" in any tone of voice other than innocent appreciation. Certainly not in terror. We used to raise Shetlands, damnit, and fuck these guys for trying to disparage the proud pony with blatant fearmongering.
With that, we saddled up our trusty pony Dilly and headed off in into the sunset to meet the band en route to Houston. We found them just after dusk, seated around a cooking fire beside their garishly painted tour bus. They invited us to join them for dinner, and we broached the question of the band's name.
"Our bass player Chris used to have a very long and very dangerous ponytail that almost met its death in a car door," said Sarah Green. That same night band names were being discussed and Dangerous Ponies was born. Dangerous Ponies is a musical force for positivity, we want to encourage everyone to let go a little and have fun, enjoy yourselves and dance it out!"
On one hand that's a horse of a different color. Rocks Off has sported a long pony tail most of our life, and almost went the way of that chick in Saw IV when it became tangled in the workings of a projector at the Landmark River Oaks Theatre while we were trying to coax one more viewing of The Blair Witch Project out of the ancient manglers.
Also, consider the case of Dawn Brancheau. Brancheau was a trainer at Sea World who was killed by a killer whale called Tilikum last year. Tilikum, by the by, has a higher confirmed body count than Ed Gein and just one less than Billy the Kid.
Reports on Brancheau's death indicate that Tilikum mistook Branchaeu's pony tail for a toy or food and drug her by it underwater. Some, like the Orca Project, state that Branchaeu was actually dragged in by her arm and brutally killed, and that Sea World is using the ponytail story as a way to distract from the fact that Tilikum is a murdering bastard.
Regardless, being dragged to death by your hair was a possibility and lends some weight to Dangerous Ponies and their name.
One the other hand, though, if the band is all c'mon get happy, why sport a name that they freely admit can lead you right to a most painful death?
"This whole thing is some kind of reference to a teacher going to the ghetto parts of the My Little Pony universe and turning youth gangs' lives around, isn't it?" we asked, jokingly.
"No," laughed Green. "I wouldn't say that but if there are gangs in the My Little Pony universe I bet they're pretty bad ass. We definitely try to bring smiles and good energy everywhere we go!"
It's clear that that Green and her band are sticking to their guns on this idea that theirs is a world with no farts, only daffodils. We remain unconvinced there isn't something more there. After all, scalping doesn't equal smiles. Still, there was clearly nothing more to be learned from them at this junction. With that, we took our leave of them, and returned to saddle our pony.
As we were just about to put our foot in the stirrup, Green came up behind us. She grabbed us by the arm and brought her lips close to our ear.
"Dangerous ponies are wild majestic beasts, to be tamed by no one," she said in a breathy whisper. "No saddles. No masters."
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We locked eyes with her, and for just a minute it occurred to us that the last time we'd heard something said in that exact tone and manner it was coming out of the mouth of Squeaky Fromme in the Manson Family documentary the Robert Hendrickson did.
Dangerous Ponies (n) 1. An unclassifiable band of pop goodness. 2. Keep long hair secured to avoid whale death. 3. No relation to Educated Horses.
Dangerous Ponies play tonight at Mango's with Empress Hotel, Featherface, Harold Borup, and DJ Hell Chaos