Ponytail vocalist Molly Siegel bucks and runs in place for most of her band’s set, yelps, yowls, and trills through every number, and does a frighteningly good impression of an epileptic who’s accidentally wandered into a rave. Last summer, the trio from Baltimore released Ice Cream Spiritual!, proving that careful production can elevate the band’s thrashing pop tracks to new levels of sonic sophistication. Compared to their noisy, jagged, and loud debut, Kamehameha, Ponytail’s sophomore effort reveals thoughtful experimentation taking place beneath all that blending of Television-inspired art rock and Fugazi-tinged anthemic postpunk. With songs that arpeggiate and meander while deploying enough subtle, traditional melody, everyone in the crowd—finicky indie snobs, pop-rock princesses, or catatonic singers—is sure to find something to latch onto and ride until the set ends.
PONYTAIL PERFORMS WITH IMPERIAL CHINA, AND THE GAGGED AT 9 P.M. AT DC9, 1940 9TH ST. NW. $10 (18 and up). (202) 483-5000.