Anders Ponders at Big V's tonight


The elusive Chickadee Mountain Martyrs.

This town is full of secrets. Some are benevolent (Hidden Beach). Some are rather dark and seedy (Lee Lenore's Sauna House). And some have no right to be kept in the first place.

That's the case with Anders Ponders, the Minneapolis-based solo songwriter who performs tonight at Big V's. A sort of Andrew Bird in miniature, Anders Ponders performs with a miscellany of stringed instruments and a loop pedal, with which he rapidly builds elegant, complex loops that support his delicate vocals.

Unicorn Basement in full regalia at the 7th Street Entry, filmed by nickvb21.

It's the purity of his songwriting, the strict beauty of his melodies, and the heart rending lyrics he applies that make his craft so breathtaking. Go to his Myspace page and cut yourself a couple minutes to listen to "The Discus Incident."

Go ahead. We'll wait.

See what we mean? Rarely does so tender and simple a song involve so much movement, so much loving orchestration, and its chorus, which doesn't arise until the final minutes, is as uplifting and heartbreaking as anything in Gimme Noise's recent memory. Anders Ponders has been cutting his teeth at basement and house shows, and has just recently begun sticking his toe into the waters of our terrestrial venues. Here's hoping it's just the start of a long career spent in broad daylight.

Also on the bill is Chickadee Mountain Martyrs, a band we would give more press to if not for the fact that the majority of the places they play would have us tarred and feathered for so much as breathing their names. you know-- the kind of place you have to spell with a bunch of Xes. Are they a noise band? An American Gothic band? Roots? Folk? Rock? Jesus, who the hell can say? They cover more territory than a band should be allowed to. Suffice to say, they are a joy to see, even if it doesn't give you the luxury of keeping a foot on solid ground.

Oh, yeah, and some yahoos called Unicorn Basement. Our ears are still ringing from the last time we saw them, and they still owe us for the pair of Nike lowtops we blew out during the dance party that broke out during their set.

21+. 9:00 P.M. $5.00. With Crystal Math, Battle Napkin. Big V's, 1567 University Avenue, Saint Paul.