MAY 11

“I believe with all my heart, that I could rule the world if I could get my car to start,” Chuck Cleaver sings on the opening track to the Ass Ponys’ latest, The Known Universe. “But what would I do then?” Coming from almost any other indie-pop band, the question would smack of cliche, but the Ass Ponys are a strange sort of indie-pop band. Comprised of four thirtysomethings from Ohio, the Ass Ponys have been at it long enough to know that ruling the world is only a minor reward compared to making sense of it. To achieve their goal, the Ponys’ learn simple lessons from the world’s more peculiar inhabitants, such as the elderly woman with strange collections (“a clothespin duck and a FunFur cat…Earth to grandma, what the hell is that?”) or the guy who offers blowjobs in exchange for cigarettes (“If I get my pecker sucked, it sure won’t be by him”). The value in the Ponys’ songs is mostly musical—each two-to-three minute gem sounds like an epic. Still, there’s something hefty to be said about a band whose MO is to be ambivalent about nothing and truly serious about even less. With Spider Monkey and Q-South at 9 p.m. at the Bayou, 3135 K St. NW. $6. (202) 333-2897. (Brett Anderson)