the ponys with the Deadly Snakes at the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina), Friday (May 16). $10. 416-763-9139.
The ponys have discovered that the best way to maintain a low profile in clique-happy Chicago is to stay away from the post-rock and alt-country crowd. Over the past two years, they've been able to develop their enjoyably jarring Voidoids-inspired angular thrash pop at their own pace, away from the prying eyes of the overbearing Chicago media.
In fact, none of the Windy City residents I surveyed - people who make a living playing and writing about music in that urban wasteland - have even heard of the Ponys, let alone heard their 7-inch swingers like Sorceress Of The Southside, or I Wanna Fuck You from their self-titled debut EP for Contaminated Records.
"Chicago's mostly known for the stuff put out by Thrill Jockey, Drag City and Touch and Go," reasons shouter /guitarist Jered, who prefers to go by his first name only. " So, really, that's all most people care about.
"But we've got a pretty good little punk scene going right now with groups like the Tirades, the Functional Blackouts - who both play a lot faster and harder than us - and this great girl band called Twat Vibe.
"A lot of shows happen at Cal's Liquors, this tiny downtown dive bar where bands just set up on the floor. It gets overcrowded fast, but it's really fun to play there."
The way Jared talks excitedly about the sweaty, packed shows attended primarily by people from other bands reminds me of the way Jack White and the Von Bondies' Jason Stollsteimer described the emerging Detroit garage band scene a few years back.
It should be no great surprise, then, that the Ponys feel a great camaraderie with their Motor City contemporaries in the Clone Defects and Piranhas, both signed to Los Angeles indie In the Red, which is also the home of our own Deadly Snakes.
And, as it happens, In the Red honcho Larry Hardy was in Chicago this weekend to check out the Ponys' action, so a deal is likely in the works.
"Larry spent the whole weekend here, and we had a great time. He seems like a cool guy. We played him some of our home demos, and he really liked what he heard.
"It would be great to be the first Chicago band on In the Red. They've already got most of my favourite bands.
"At the end of May we're going to Detroit to record our album with Jim Diamond. We've got a lot of great new songs, and Jim does amazing work, so I'm really excited about it."
Who knows? If the Ponys, like the Clone Defects, can use their In the Red signing to parlay a song placement in a Mitsubishi car commercial, they may be able to give up their day jobs for good. No more walking yappy dogs for Jered.
"Being with the dogs ain't so bad," he confesses. "It's all the driving involved in making the pickups that's stressful. Chicago drivers are the worst.
"Ever since the first day, when I lost a Jack Russell terrier, it's been great. He just shot out of the back of the truck and ran down the street. I had to call the owner about it and, naturally, she was a little freaked out.
"But I managed to find him a couple of hours later. My boss was really good about the whole incident, so everything's cool."