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It took just a couple years for the original Check Yo Ponytail concert series to fizzle out in 2008, but in that same amount of time, its rebirth — Check Yo Ponytail 2 — has made Franki Chan one of Los Angeles’ top independent event promoters.
Since late-2010, the Tuesday-night concert series has hosted some of the world’s top-name talents in the relatively intimate 700-person Echoplex, including Skrillex, Justice, Diplo, Blonde Redhead, Trash Talk, Grimes, Andrew W.K., The Drums, Crystal Castles and, most notably, a recent secret show by The Rolling Stones.
Nestled into the heart of L.A.’s hipsterdom under a bridge in Echo Park, Check Yo Ponytail 2 has grown to become the go-to show for music’s best and freshest to cannonball into the Los Angeles market. From live visuals to live recording for later premiere on Pitchfork, CYP2’s top-notch production extends far beyond the average weeknight concert.
To celebrate CYP2’s first two years, Chan and the team at his IHEARTCOMIX record label and media group have produced the fittingly titled seven-minute mini-documentary, More Than a Show. In it, he and his collaborators look back at the restart of their winning formula, blending aesthetics of the DJ and indie scenes with a finger on the pulse of new, exciting music.
Chan says on More Than A Show they were “in a state of disbelief ourselves with how much had been accomplished.” But he also felt CYP2 could be better understood and saw this as an appropriate method of explaining it. “We treat these shows and the experience in the same way any other artist would treat their art form,” he adds.
Separately, Chan reveals they have been working on a feature length documentary as well, called Get Amongst It: The Story of the First Check Yo Ponytail Tour. As the title suggeststhe film will chronicle the brand’s first national tour with Spank Rock, Big Freedia, Pictureplane and the The Death Set, “which, for the most part, was a total disaster,” he says. “Luckily we filmed the entire tour and, in the end, it turned into a success. Kind of. But the road to get there was extremely rocky.”
A Kickstarter campaign to finish and release that film should launch in a couple weeks. “But first we really want to educate and excite people on what Check Yo Ponytail is before selling movie to them,” says Chan. “And that is what you have in More Than a Show.”
Watch a trailer for More Than a Show in the video above.
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