by carl wilson

Robot Ponies: This Year's Xmas Hit


I finally saw Laura Barrett, much talked about since her guest slot at the Final Fantasy gig at the Boat in November, perform in person last night for the first time. It was in the casually festive environs of the Greg Collins Christmas Concert (which wound up with a crazy mass-participatory dance-confetti-glitter-mosh extravaganza animated by Robocopp), but the scary-smart sparkle, warmth and stealthy humour of Laura's songs, beautifully sung and accompanied on kalimba, were more than evident. A little bit reminiscent instrumentally of Joanna Newsom, whose harp style is African-influenced (and Laura's kalimba style in turn is classically-influenced), but Laura's singing, while somewhat quizzical, is more straightforwardly pretty. And I was reminded that Laura's hit-in-waiting Robot Ponies, which you can hear on her MySpace site, is in fact a Christmas song, almost an entire stop-motion animated Christmas special in three minutes:

Christmas Eve, 2053
Underneath every little girl's tree:
A robot pony.
Comb their soft and luscious nylon fur.
Listen close, hear their clockwork hearts whir.
Robot ponies.
They feed on plastic bags cut up like lettuce
Right out of your hand. Things get out of hand
Unless you use one of 20 pre-set functions
To make them understand, make them understand:
You know best. You know best ...

Of course, it all ends badly. Or at least creepily. It's kind of a cyborg Velveteen Rabbit story. With swearing.

Laura is performing all over the place lately (provided that place is Toronto). This week you can see her Tuesday at the "band bakeoff" at Rancho Relaxo or Thursday at the holiday benefit show at the Silver Dollar. (See the gig guide.)

Also last night, far less seasonal but still terrific new material from Pyramid Culture, the all-female beats choir that sings about science. More in future (for instance a rumoured plan for a split single on which Pyramid Culture would cover Robot Ponies and Laura would cover P.C.'s Pantherdog), but for now I'll just say: Catchiest song of 2005 about parasitic fetal twins.

| Posted by zoilus on Saturday, December 17 at 11:54 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)



it's maybe the most endearing, lovable song, like, ever.

Posted by newpolluter on December 19, 2005 6:00 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson