There are more bands using the name Javelin than you can throw a javelin at. The Javelin kicking off the initial MidPoint Indie Summer series on Fountain Square is a pair of beat-boxing cousins from Providence, R.I., who have completely transformed the concept of sampling and Hip Hop mix tapery into a full-blown art project.
Tom Van Buskirk and George Langford began Javelin seven years ago as a means to explore their brand of experimental Pop but their taped musical constructions actually date back to their childhood. The pair has been recording together since 2004, but their profile has risen dramatically since they began playing out beyond the confines of their current Brooklyn base.
Over the past couple of years, Javelin has managed to release a handful of acclaimed works; their self-released Jamz n Jemz snagged an honorable mention on Pitchfork’s 2009 best album list, which was followed by a pair of custom silk-screened EPs for Thrill Jockey and their 2010 full-length No Mas, the duo’s best album to date and their debut from World/et al powerhouse label Luaka Bop.
In performance, Javelin utilizes a stacked tower of brightly painted boomboxes, christened “boombahtas,” that either rise from the stage or descend from the ceiling. The boomboxes are fed by an FM transmitter, which means that someone bringing their own boombox could conceivably add their own unique flavor to the proceedings.
Just as amazing, the beats that Van Buskirk and Langford offer at any given gig could be as fresh as the drive into town; the car they tour in is tricked out with a mobile studio, so that one of them can bust out some rhythms while the other one drives. Now that’s the way to put your time-and-motion skills to work.
Javelin will change your opinions on sampled Pop music. And if you bring your boombox, you might just change theirs.
JAVELIN plays the free MidPoint Music Festival Indie Summer Series opener at Fountain Square June 3 with headliners YOU YOU’RE AWESOME and opener LYDIA BURRELL. Check out performance times and get venue details here.