Friday, January 30, 2009

Team Pony

Team Pony at Hubertus Lounge, Berlin; photo by Val PhoenixHubertus Lounge
30 January

Smoky rooms, dogs sleeping on threadbare chairs, a disco ball. Such was the setting for a late night gig by the post-modern Wohnzimmer (trademark pending) performance trio Team Pony.

Two singers and a pianist make up the threesome, who de-construct misogynist pop culture via an array of 20th (plus a smidgen of 21st) century songs mostly on the theme of love, from Billie (no, not Piper--Holiday) to Britney. That's a lot of de-constructing in 30 minutes but the topic's ripe for it, and in their own inimitable way, they do a remarkable job, given the limits of time and space. Giving one's all to a torchy ballad is difficult when the bar staff are dropping glasses and chatting away in the background.

The two women, who also perform as Julia + Julia, take turns at the mic, delivering straight-faced lyrics of betrayal, desertion and obsession while subtly undermining the song's intent. "Toxic" was brilliantly staged, with the two twirling like marionette ballerinas before shuddering to a halt.

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