Ben Lee/Pony Up! – Split 7”
Dim Mak, 2004
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2008
I know two things about Ben Lee: 1.) He was in a quasi-supergroup with Ben Kweller and Ben Folds called the Bens. 2.) According to the Ataris, he sucks. I know lots of things about bands I’ve never even heard. This is the first time I’ve ever heard the music of Mr. Lee, and while I wouldn’t say he sucks, perhaps his clumsy-trying-to-be-cute snoozefest cover of Modest Mouse’s “Float On” probably isn’t the firmest ground to stand on when casting judgement. After all, I used to think Ben Kweller was lame until I realized he was a brilliant pop-smith. So I’ll just leave the forgettable “Float On” cover alone for now. Besides, I bought this 7” for the Pony Up! side. This is the Canadian all-girl twee group’s very first release, and it’s a bit rough but as endearing as all of Pony Up!s stuff. The track “The Truth About Cats and Dogs (Is That They Die)” from their 2006 debut LP Make Love to the Judges With Your Eyes was a fixture on my twee-based radio show Pop Rocks! in the late 00s. In the two years between this 7” and their full length, the band grew from ramshackle Riot Grrrl meets Jonathan Richman novelty to a magnificently tuneful pop group.
Ben Lee - "Float On"
Pony Up - "I Heard You Got Action"