Show Review: Javelin and Jamaican Queens at The New Parish, 5/5/2013

by OJ Patterson on May 15, 2013

Javelin by Tim Soter

Lazy Sunday haze seeped through circumvallate pane. Showtime seemed everything but. Javelin and Jamaican Queens were scheduled to perform at eight. New Parish’s hallowed walls ached, hollered for bodies to enter its hollow hall. As the magic hour eclipsed, the static domain was a far cry from the neighboring Fox Theater, teeming with tacky teens. By 8:26, the promise of a show remained questionable as sparkling funsters trickled into the openness.

Nine — in a resounding, defiant, Deutschy “no” — finally bore revelry en masse.
Jamaican Queens blustered with poised, poly-dimensional gusto. All fire, no warm up, beat-on-the-brattle drums augmented by digital posh-modernism. Huge wafts of intrigue emerged from the trio’s calculated-yet-unpretentious ingenuity. Programmed background singers chimed along as Ryan Clancy performed assisted, one-man harmonies and “strummed” rhythm MIDI. Adam Pressley revved behind bass and beats, an ambidextrous cyborg handling his duties like a father of quintuplets. Their technicality, and improvisational versatility was akin to the best of them. Jamaican Queens evoked an hallucination of a famished squatter in a cluttered garage under hot florescent lights overdosing on prescription hope. Even keel, chopped and screwed cosmos droned with haunting sensitivity. Heads and hands bounced to the psychedelic bangers. It was all incredibly brief and incredibly impressive.

Javelin, touring in support of their new album ‘Hi Beams’, were essentially a celebration in a travel-kit. Neatly unpacked, cordially arrayed, unassuming until too late. Sounds summoned a flash mob of shuffling, groovy, frolicking like an LED alphorn. Our evening’s heroic duo, fronting a crucifix of martyred ghettoblasters, were frenetic evangelists. Their message: “spring break forever”. Most of the performance already blared out of the speakers, the hard work was over, it was time to play. Javelin acted as joy-surrogates, hype men to their own creations, high-definition remixes for a perennial pool party. Audience became as beguiling and galvanizing as their leaders, the energy and entertainment symbiotic and all encompassing. Slinky, four-on-the-floor, sophisticated disco trampolined between Ferngully-gully arena rock and Americanized World music with characteristic hip-hopesque deftness. The passion on display at the New Parish revealed a poignant truth: Javelin — while catchy and cool — isn’t for fake-feelers. Each anthem facilitated by the humble hosts was recognized as a call to the weirdos, a platform for uninhibited expression proving the geeks come out at night. At one point an openly invited stranger vocalized over Javelin’s kinetic gumption; at another instance band vocalist Tom Van Buskirk rapped “A Milli” atop idiosyncratic cacophony. How many more adjectives, allusions and metaphors can I throw at this review? None, I’m done.

OJ Patterson

OJ Patterson is a Bay Area Native, who grew up on a diet of scathing satire and absurd surrealism. He is a comedy writer, performer and promoter. He has the best laugh in the room and loves you very much. Serving Size = 1.

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