Published Apr 01, 2010Out-of-towners are generally confused when they arrive at a dingy loft-space after playing a whole tour's worth of legitimate venues. Still, no matter how small, out of the way or seedy Friendship Cove may be, Montrealers are sticklers for Internet-hype bands and came out in full force for MIDI-loving acid hip-hop newcomers Javelin and electro-trash dub aficionados These Are Powers
Javelin, made up of Brooklyn-based cousins Tom Van Buskirk and George Langford, started the night off with a bang, albeit a distorted one. Although Friendship Cove's sound system made them come across more like the Jesus and Mary Chain than their quirky selves, the duo diplomatically played on, racing through 8-bit-influenced tracks from their new record, No Mas.
Van Buskirk's stage presence resembled an early solo Justin Timberlake, surprising his audience with polite but flashy impromptu R&B dance moves. But Langford is the machine behind this band, expertly holding down their intricate rhythm section. Javelin's crowning moment came when they played their much-blogged-about, Salt-N-Pepa-referencing hit, "Oh! Centra," to a singing, dancing crowd.
These Are Powers' performance was significantly louder and more moody than Javelin's colourful one. The New York three-piece, made up of former Liars bassist Pat Noecker, percussionist Bill Salas and front-woman Anna Barie, were better suited to the venue's generally poor sound equipment and acoustics, presenting intricate but concise electro-dub.
Barie is a hypnotizing front-woman, her stage persona a toxic mix of easy talent and unattainability, exalted by her male band-mates with their vicious and clanging musical technique. With more beer in their bellies, the crowd danced freely. At one point, Barie, threw herself among them, perpetuating the all-around feeling of a house party that dominated the entire night, in a good way.