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Pony Death Ride: the Unthemed theme

Bringing a little holiday cheer to people who like weirdo-sarcastic musical comedy

Pony Death Ride is now stabled in Vermont.
Pony Death Ride is now stabled in Vermont.

“We’re in Vermont,” says newly relocated comedic rock duo Pony Death Ride. “Seems neat. Met some musicians. We’ll never like the band Phish or the Patriots football team. We’ve made these promises to ourselves.”

The married couple, Jaye and Joe MacAskill, moved to the New England town of Burlington after closing the deal on a building that once served as an artist’s co-op, which they hope to repurpose as a collectibles shop. “I’m learning what real rain really looks like,” says Joe, who has so far remained mostly homebound. “Because of social distancing, we haven’t had the opportunity to meet all that many musicians, but basically everyone we have met is a musician. Burlington is a big music town, which is one of the reasons we were attracted to living here. We’ve met other local musicians online, and it turns out some of them live really close to us, so even though we can’t really get together, at least we’re meeting some great people and established musicians who we can also call neighbors.”

“We haven’t been to any live music shows since we’ve been here because of the pandemic. There isn’t a lot going on, but we’re looking forward to getting back into the swing of going to shows and performing once it’s safe. It feels very unnatural to not be doing all of that now. It’s a big change from the bustling pre-covid San Diego music scene.”

The pair recently dropped their fourth full-length, Unthemed. “We finished recording 99 percent of the new album in San Diego right before the pandemic lockdown started,” says Jaye. “We have such an awesome relationship with Mike Kamoo of Earthling Studios, who has engineered and played drums and other instruments on all three of our previous albums, we couldn’t imagine recording with anyone else. We knew we’d be moving to Vermont sometime in 2020, so we went into high gear to record almost all of our previously unrecorded songs. We were finishing off the last few tracks in the days just before the lockdown, so we were already getting a little freaked out and hesitant, but we got all of it done except for a few little random bits that had to be recorded on the phone and sent to Mike at the studio via a digital file.”

Adds Joe, “Since the country has been in a dark place for much of the year, we thought we’d hold back releasing the album until the end of the year, hoping that we could bring a little holiday cheer to people who like weirdo-sarcastic musical comedy.”

Unthemed is an aptly-titled follow-up to their two previous releases, both of which were heavily themed, 2017’s feline-obsessed Cat Sounds and last year’s homage to holiday dysfunction, The First LEON. Among the 14 new tracks are songs such as “Ben Stiller, Movie Killer,” “Crispen Glover Be My Lover,” “Where Were You When Buddy Holly Died?” “Don’t Be a Pussy,” “Shut Up, Ted Nugent Is Talking,” “Let Me Tell You ’Bout My Bike” (which comes with a hyperactive music video featuring guest locals the Schizophonics and Jason Hanna), and the autobiographically inclined “We Don’t Have Any Kids…Awesome.”

Asked which new song he’d most recommend for someone who’s never heard a Pony Death Ride track, Joe’s choice (after difficult consideration) is “Cuddle Party,” for which a video was put together using vintage public domain footage of family gatherings and accordion playing. “This song is a good representation of the heart of the band, although there are a lot of more rockin’ tracks on this one for those who like to bounce around and rock out.”

“However, if this person who has never heard a PDR song before is a child, they should probably listen to none of them.”

So will being nearly as far away from San Diego as possible while still remaining in the continental U.S. transform Pony Death Ride? “Becoming New Englanders probably won’t change us much,” says Jaye, “but at least we get to be some of the most attractive and best dressed people now when we go out places. We’re a strictly no-pajama-pants-when-we-go-out kind of couple.”

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Pony Death Ride is now stabled in Vermont.
Pony Death Ride is now stabled in Vermont.

“We’re in Vermont,” says newly relocated comedic rock duo Pony Death Ride. “Seems neat. Met some musicians. We’ll never like the band Phish or the Patriots football team. We’ve made these promises to ourselves.”

The married couple, Jaye and Joe MacAskill, moved to the New England town of Burlington after closing the deal on a building that once served as an artist’s co-op, which they hope to repurpose as a collectibles shop. “I’m learning what real rain really looks like,” says Joe, who has so far remained mostly homebound. “Because of social distancing, we haven’t had the opportunity to meet all that many musicians, but basically everyone we have met is a musician. Burlington is a big music town, which is one of the reasons we were attracted to living here. We’ve met other local musicians online, and it turns out some of them live really close to us, so even though we can’t really get together, at least we’re meeting some great people and established musicians who we can also call neighbors.”

“We haven’t been to any live music shows since we’ve been here because of the pandemic. There isn’t a lot going on, but we’re looking forward to getting back into the swing of going to shows and performing once it’s safe. It feels very unnatural to not be doing all of that now. It’s a big change from the bustling pre-covid San Diego music scene.”

The pair recently dropped their fourth full-length, Unthemed. “We finished recording 99 percent of the new album in San Diego right before the pandemic lockdown started,” says Jaye. “We have such an awesome relationship with Mike Kamoo of Earthling Studios, who has engineered and played drums and other instruments on all three of our previous albums, we couldn’t imagine recording with anyone else. We knew we’d be moving to Vermont sometime in 2020, so we went into high gear to record almost all of our previously unrecorded songs. We were finishing off the last few tracks in the days just before the lockdown, so we were already getting a little freaked out and hesitant, but we got all of it done except for a few little random bits that had to be recorded on the phone and sent to Mike at the studio via a digital file.”

Adds Joe, “Since the country has been in a dark place for much of the year, we thought we’d hold back releasing the album until the end of the year, hoping that we could bring a little holiday cheer to people who like weirdo-sarcastic musical comedy.”

Unthemed is an aptly-titled follow-up to their two previous releases, both of which were heavily themed, 2017’s feline-obsessed Cat Sounds and last year’s homage to holiday dysfunction, The First LEON. Among the 14 new tracks are songs such as “Ben Stiller, Movie Killer,” “Crispen Glover Be My Lover,” “Where Were You When Buddy Holly Died?” “Don’t Be a Pussy,” “Shut Up, Ted Nugent Is Talking,” “Let Me Tell You ’Bout My Bike” (which comes with a hyperactive music video featuring guest locals the Schizophonics and Jason Hanna), and the autobiographically inclined “We Don’t Have Any Kids…Awesome.”

Asked which new song he’d most recommend for someone who’s never heard a Pony Death Ride track, Joe’s choice (after difficult consideration) is “Cuddle Party,” for which a video was put together using vintage public domain footage of family gatherings and accordion playing. “This song is a good representation of the heart of the band, although there are a lot of more rockin’ tracks on this one for those who like to bounce around and rock out.”

“However, if this person who has never heard a PDR song before is a child, they should probably listen to none of them.”

So will being nearly as far away from San Diego as possible while still remaining in the continental U.S. transform Pony Death Ride? “Becoming New Englanders probably won’t change us much,” says Jaye, “but at least we get to be some of the most attractive and best dressed people now when we go out places. We’re a strictly no-pajama-pants-when-we-go-out kind of couple.”

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