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Red Pony Clock: First-Generation Mexican-Americans

Most of Red Pony Clock’s 10 to 13 members are first-generation Mexican-Americans.
Most of Red Pony Clock’s 10 to 13 members are first-generation Mexican-Americans.

Tropi-Cali act Red Pony Clock has a fluid lineup ranging from 10 to 13 members, and they describe their music as “clarinet and xylophone–driven vaudeville-a-delic joy pop, influenced by mariachi and seething with the eternal teenage spirit.”

“Most of the members are first-generation Mexican-Americans,” says bandleader Gabe Saucedo, “and we listen to a lot of stuff, including music native to our homelands. Eventually, though, everything we like makes its way into our music — it all runs through the same filter of barely adequate musicianship.” The band is working on a music-based animated children’s story, The Legend of the Red Pony, featuring multimedia images and filmed sequences, planned for release on DVD.

Featured respondents include Gabe Saucedo (guitar, vocals), Gerry Saucedo (bass, vocals), Melina Saucedo (violin), Dave Menchaca (drums), Samantha Abraham (vibraphone), and Normandie Wilson (marimba, piano, vocals).

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Gabe: “Lake, Giving & Receiving. They’re the new Fleetwood Mac.”

Samantha: “Electric Light Orchestra, A New World Record. Seriously awesome and full of sweet jams.”

Normandie: “Koop, Koop Islands. It’s a duo from Sweden that makes sample-built jazz, with original vocals on top.”

MOST EMBARRASSING SONG IN YOUR COLLECTION?

Gerry: “Rihanna, ‘Umbrella.’”

Dave: “My stash of Coldplay B-sides.”

Samantha: “I got nostalgic for the ’90s a few years ago and downloaded a bunch of Gin Blossoms songs.”

Normandie: “My huge collection of 1970s musical theater.”

BIGGEST LIE YOU EVER TOLD?

Gerry: “I once performed ‘You Won’t See Me’ from Rubber Soul to an ex-girlfriend and told her that I wrote it.”

Dave: “‘I’m at work.’”

Samantha: “I like to lie to myself and say it wasn’t a mistake to pursue a doctorate.”

FIRST TIME DRUNK?

Gabe: “I was 28 years old and got in a shoving match with a pushy transvestite at a bar in Copenhagen’s red light district.”

Melina: “I got drunk with my best friend in her bedroom when I was 18. We couldn’t control our gas and thought it was the funniest thing in the world.”

Dave: “I was 16, in Newport Beach with three of my best friends, and we each drank a bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and rented a Quad Cyclone bike.”

Samantha: “A crazy-hat party at UCSD when I was 18. I can’t remember what type of hat I was wearing, but it might have been an empty case of Squirt.”

BEST FREE HANGOUT?

Gabe: “Homeless shelter.”

Melina: “Eating free samples at Costco.”

Dave: “A Dumpster.”

Samantha: “Welfare line.”

Normandie: “Goodwill.”

FAVORITE CONCERT?

Gabe: “Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control at a warehouse in San Francisco in 1998. That I went to that show is the reason Red Pony Clock exists.”

Gerry: “The Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise tour.”

Dave: “In late 2002, I saw Beck supporting the Sea Change album at Copley Symphony Hall.”

Samantha: “The Stooges in Lucerne, Switzerland, 2005. They played the hits and then called the audience onstage for ‘No Fun.’ Oh, and I jacked a set list.”

Normandie: “The Flaming Lips. I laughed, I cried, and I left feeling more hopeful about life.”

WHAT SONG BEST DESCRIBES YOUR LIFE?

Gabe: “‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man,’ by Chuck Berry.”

Gerry: “‘He’s a Rebel,’ by the Crystals.”

Dave: “‘Party All the Time,’ by Eddie Murphy.”

Normandie: “‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,’ by Daft Punk.”

SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Dave: “I’m the most Mexican-looking guy in my circles of friends, but I don’t speak Spanish.”

Samantha: “I love Garfield the cat.”

Normandie: “I used to be a professional dancer. G-rated.” ■

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Most of Red Pony Clock’s 10 to 13 members are first-generation Mexican-Americans.
Most of Red Pony Clock’s 10 to 13 members are first-generation Mexican-Americans.

Tropi-Cali act Red Pony Clock has a fluid lineup ranging from 10 to 13 members, and they describe their music as “clarinet and xylophone–driven vaudeville-a-delic joy pop, influenced by mariachi and seething with the eternal teenage spirit.”

“Most of the members are first-generation Mexican-Americans,” says bandleader Gabe Saucedo, “and we listen to a lot of stuff, including music native to our homelands. Eventually, though, everything we like makes its way into our music — it all runs through the same filter of barely adequate musicianship.” The band is working on a music-based animated children’s story, The Legend of the Red Pony, featuring multimedia images and filmed sequences, planned for release on DVD.

Featured respondents include Gabe Saucedo (guitar, vocals), Gerry Saucedo (bass, vocals), Melina Saucedo (violin), Dave Menchaca (drums), Samantha Abraham (vibraphone), and Normandie Wilson (marimba, piano, vocals).

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Gabe: “Lake, Giving & Receiving. They’re the new Fleetwood Mac.”

Samantha: “Electric Light Orchestra, A New World Record. Seriously awesome and full of sweet jams.”

Normandie: “Koop, Koop Islands. It’s a duo from Sweden that makes sample-built jazz, with original vocals on top.”

MOST EMBARRASSING SONG IN YOUR COLLECTION?

Gerry: “Rihanna, ‘Umbrella.’”

Dave: “My stash of Coldplay B-sides.”

Samantha: “I got nostalgic for the ’90s a few years ago and downloaded a bunch of Gin Blossoms songs.”

Normandie: “My huge collection of 1970s musical theater.”

BIGGEST LIE YOU EVER TOLD?

Gerry: “I once performed ‘You Won’t See Me’ from Rubber Soul to an ex-girlfriend and told her that I wrote it.”

Dave: “‘I’m at work.’”

Samantha: “I like to lie to myself and say it wasn’t a mistake to pursue a doctorate.”

FIRST TIME DRUNK?

Gabe: “I was 28 years old and got in a shoving match with a pushy transvestite at a bar in Copenhagen’s red light district.”

Melina: “I got drunk with my best friend in her bedroom when I was 18. We couldn’t control our gas and thought it was the funniest thing in the world.”

Dave: “I was 16, in Newport Beach with three of my best friends, and we each drank a bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and rented a Quad Cyclone bike.”

Samantha: “A crazy-hat party at UCSD when I was 18. I can’t remember what type of hat I was wearing, but it might have been an empty case of Squirt.”

BEST FREE HANGOUT?

Gabe: “Homeless shelter.”

Melina: “Eating free samples at Costco.”

Dave: “A Dumpster.”

Samantha: “Welfare line.”

Normandie: “Goodwill.”

FAVORITE CONCERT?

Gabe: “Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control at a warehouse in San Francisco in 1998. That I went to that show is the reason Red Pony Clock exists.”

Gerry: “The Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise tour.”

Dave: “In late 2002, I saw Beck supporting the Sea Change album at Copley Symphony Hall.”

Samantha: “The Stooges in Lucerne, Switzerland, 2005. They played the hits and then called the audience onstage for ‘No Fun.’ Oh, and I jacked a set list.”

Normandie: “The Flaming Lips. I laughed, I cried, and I left feeling more hopeful about life.”

WHAT SONG BEST DESCRIBES YOUR LIFE?

Gabe: “‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man,’ by Chuck Berry.”

Gerry: “‘He’s a Rebel,’ by the Crystals.”

Dave: “‘Party All the Time,’ by Eddie Murphy.”

Normandie: “‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,’ by Daft Punk.”

SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Dave: “I’m the most Mexican-looking guy in my circles of friends, but I don’t speak Spanish.”

Samantha: “I love Garfield the cat.”

Normandie: “I used to be a professional dancer. G-rated.” ■

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Outtakes: FAMILY MEMBER YOU MOST TAKE AFTER? Gabe: “Got the spicy Latin temper from my Dad.” Melina: “I got my awkwardness and good skin from Dad. Everything else, I got from Mom.” Normandie: “My Grandma. I can’t run errands without a huge glass of iced tea, and I watch birds all the time.”

WHO MAKES OUT IN YOUR WILL? Gabe: “I gotta leave Melina all my stuff, not just because she’s my wife, but ‘cause I owe her money.” Gerry: “My PlayStation 3 goes to Gabe, even though he swears he doesn’t want it.” Melina: “All my stuff is going back where it came from; the thrift store.”

ANY FEARS OR PHOBIAS? Gabe: “My brain dying before my heart does.” Gerry: “I don’t like silence. It weirds me out.” Melina: “Being ripped to shreds.” Dave: “Salmonella.” Samantha: “That I’ll get trapped in or knocked over by a revolving door.” Normandie: “I’m very afraid that I’ll be the target of a serial killer.”

Oct. 20, 2011

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