Phew, would you just look at the bands on this bill? Boy, do we writers/people-with-ears here at The Stranger love these bands! It's almost like we never shut UP about them! We are so enamored with the ramshackle and catchy post-fun fun band the Intelligence, as you may have noticed, that we gave them a Genius Award in 2011—and we bear-hug lead gent Lars Finberg with ink in the paper every time he so much as leaves the house (great job, Lars!). We fell so hard for the tears-surfing lady-group wonders La Luz, we recently insisted that they see a psychic and then we put their glowing faces on our cover. And our adoration for two-piece garage rockers Pony Time pops up on our blogs and in the paper approximately every two weeks (not to mention one half of the band showed up shirtless in our Men Who Rock spread last October). So now that these bands just happen to be on the same bill together for our own pre-summer music show that we booked ourselves, what can we do? A "BEST OF" WORD-GUSH SMORGASBORD, OF COURSE.
Dave Segal: "For more than a decade, Lars Finberg has been nurturing the Intelligence, maintaining absurdly high quality-control standards despite a band-member turnover rate that rivals that of a Taco Bell."
"If brevity is the soul of wit, then Lars Finberg ranks as one of rock's canniest sages."
Christopher Frizzelle: "[The album] Everybody's Got It Easy but Me proves that Finberg is Seattle's laureate of feeling trapped."
"It is no exaggeration to say I've been obsessed with the previous two Intelligence albums for the better part of a year now—Fake Surfers and Males are on constant repeat in my life. Earlier albums: also awesome. Reason for my obsession: undetermined. Working theory: The most captivating art is funny/morbid, and Lars Finberg is a funny/morbid fucker. Elaboration: His songs are like chunks of pain covered in tingly goo."
Lars Finberg's mom (after hearing the song "Techno Tuesday"): "This is you? This is really pretty!"
Grant Brissey: "Finberg has a knack for writing tremendously catchy material—often simple guitar/keyboard progressions that demonstrate how powerful simplicity and repetition can be when they're done right. Live, this all translates into one hell of a good reason to jump around and spill your beer all over the place; this reviewer has yet to see an Intelligence set that disappoints."
Lars Finberg (the Intelligence): "I tried to change our name to the Intelligence and was voted down, so I took the name and thought I'd apply it to my home recordings and the joke would be the Intelligence—I'VE FIGURED IT OUT! NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO EVER BECAUSE I'M THE ONLY ONE HERE!"
Kathy Fennessy: "It's been a while since a local band has captured my fancy quite like Pony Time. The new single, 'What If You Caught Me,' explains why better than I ever could. He may look like a guy, but guitar player Luke Beetham sings like a girl, and I mean that in the best possible way. Not a girly-girl, but a tough, leather-clad lady like Cherie Currie or Joan Jett... Beetham and drummer Stacy Peck don't actually recall the Runaways, but I could just as easily see them playing with that band at a Sunset Strip dive in the '70s as a London club with the Milkshakes in the '80s as a sold-out stadium with the White Stripes in the '90s."
Emily Nokes: "Pony Time's newest album,Go Find Your Own, is out today... And duh, it's terrific." [They are one of my favorite bands, but THIS is one of the first things that pops up while googling our names together? Jesus.]
Luke Beetham (Pony Time): "Pony Time pushes the outer boundaries of two-piece, drum-and-bass garage rock, playing what are essentially catchy nursery rhymes."
Emily Nokes/Bree McKenna: "Luke Beetham embodies what traditional punk rock is all about: attitude, tattoos, and handsomeness on one's own terms. As bass player/lead singer of Pony Time, Luke's musical chops and smokin' good looks make him the idol of countless young men—he represents the influence that a male-fronted band can have on the music industry. Luke has never been afraid to confront cultural expectations about men in rock. He holds his own, writing and performing all his own lyrics and bass parts."
Brittnie Fuller: "I first experienced Luke Beetham's sassy, sneering vocals and Stacy Peck's rock-hard drum beats in the basement of the Funny Button (RIP) in late 2010, and have been addicted to their noise-pop hip-shakers ever since. The new album's 12 tracks are almost certain to make you move, and their fuzzed-out charms leave Pony Time poised for imminent takeover."
Bree McKenna: "Originally, I was smitten with their Burger Records EP Damp Face, released last September—the artwork and title conjuring girl-group masters like the Crystals... Then a few weeks ago, during their sold-out show at Magma Fest, it hit me that I'm not the only person who has caught on to them. All of Seattle DIY was there that night and in love, everyone crammed into each other's space bubbles just to get a listen. If you see La Luz live, I dare you to take in the absolutely dreamy four-part harmonies while watching their synchronized dance steps to 'Call Me in the Day' without your knees wobbling like a '50s teen at a Dion concert."
"Frontwoman/guitarist Shana Cleveland shreds through surf lines as effortlessly as if she were brushing her teeth."
"During the two live shows that I've seen La Luz play so far, I've heard 'This band is totally gonna be famous' or 'Dude, they're gonna be so big' yell-whispered over to me."
Ned Lannamann (Portland Mercury): "With a new single on Portland-based Water Wing Records and a cover story in Seattle's The Stranger, La Luz is proverbially blowing up."
Shana Cleveland (La Luz): "We all sing, and most of the band has some pretty wicked dance moves."