It's hard to believe, but downtown Tulsa's Soundpony lounge, 409 N Main, has been around for five years now.
The little bar just down the street from Cain's Ballroom opened in 2006 as the lovechild of bicycle buddies Josh Gifford and Mike Wozniak.
A shared love of bicycles and beer may have led the two friends to open the bar, but it's the friend's love of music that's made Soundpony a pillar of Tulsa's music scene.
Unlike a lot of clubs, Soundpony never charges a cover at the door and always makes sure the bands get paid for their work.
The Pony's free, non-smoking shows have always showcased the area's best local talent, and exposed patrons to some of the best touring bands from around the country and the world.
The place also has a damn delicious hotdog.
On Thursday, May 19, -- an Oklahoma City band that's been around three times as long as the bar -- will headline the club. The rock trio formed in the summer of 1996 when brothers Jason and Rob Smith formally joined forces with Chris Allen, a bassist from another band.
The group describes their sound as a mix of '90s indie and '70s rock -- somewhere between Fugazi and Rush.
"At this point, I'm not sure we're really in a genre," drummer Rob Smith said. "But what I think makes us unique is the mix of mid-'90s loud, intense, mathy rock with '70s/'80s rock and prog. For better or worse, I don't hear a lot of other bands doing that."
So why does Traindodge play what they play?
"We just write the kind of music that we'd want to hear as fans of music," Smith said. "I don't think it really goes much beyond that."
In its 15 years together, Traindodge has released five full-length albums (one a double album), two EPs (a third due in about a month), and a handful of split EPs and compilation appearances. The band has played more than 500 shows across 38 states and two continents.
"We made it a priority early in the band's history to get out of town as much as we can," Smith said. "Each time we release a record we make it to the east coast & west coast at least once, along with several runs around the Midwest. We've been to northeast Canada a few times, and Japan once."
Despite their extensive travels, the Traindodge musicians have only played Tulsa a handful of times. They're looking forward to Thursday's Soundpony show, and said there's something comfortable about playing close to home.
"The music scenes in Oklahoma City and Tulsa seem fairly similar to me," Smith said. "Not so much a scene in terms of similar sounding bands, but a bunch of bands that are friends and play shows together and support one another."
Traindodge has been on the St Louis-based Ascetic record label since 2002. The act has also worked with a Japanese label and Oklahoma City's Little Mafia Records.
The band's many years on the road together haven't diminished the joy of playing. The members hope it's a feeling that listeners will pick up on in their music.
"Honestly, I just hope people get enjoyment out of it," Smith said. "If someone is willing to shell out their money to see one of our shows or buy one of our records, that's pretty great."
Traindodge shares the bill with Tulsa indie rockers Lizard Police.
Visit traindodge.com for more information.
Share this article: