Filed under: Blogs, Ideas, Philosophy, Publishing | Tags: Barrios, critical attitudes, cultural criticism, dispositions, Flaneurie, Jamaica Plain, Josh Glenn, Matthew Battles, New Blogs
A number of weeks ago, a blip on the feed reader caught our attention at tirado/thrown: blog posts authored by Josh Glenn and Matthew Battles, a couple of fellow Bostonians from the JP barrio whose acquaintance we made while shilling ads for Glenn’s amazing periodical Hermenaut in the late 90s-early 00s. A little more digging outside the confines of the feed reader’s data stream revealed the existence of a new entity on the blogging landscape: HILOBROW.
From the looks of a number of the posts, hilobrow promises to be an exciting exploration of modes of (dis)engagement with cultural phenomena which advance a particular disposition. Its editors argue against the snobbishness attitude of the highbrow, the well-intentioned dishonesty of the lowbrow, and the middlebrow’s toxic sarcasm. Instead, hilobrow seeks to approach matters through a camp sensibility, which the editors identify as
…a manifestation of engaged irony. (When the cast of John Waters’s 1998 movie Pecker toast the “death of irony,” they’re toasting the death of middlebrow sarcastic hipsterism.) The engaged ironist is a hilobrow.
This, of course, continues Glenn’s long-standing interest in cultivating philosophic attitudes towards the phantasmic saturation of late capitalist existence. In the late 90s, Glenn devoted a double-issue of Hermenaut (#11/12) to the theme of “Camp”, which lays out the terrain he’s treading. The introductory essay and excerpts from that issue still live at the Hermenaut website (under “Print”).
We here at tirado/thrown couldn’t be more excited for hilobrow‘s debut!
Filed under: art, Music, Rock, Video | Tags: Jamaica Plain, Neptune, Rock, Video, Zea Barker
Neptune is more than just a local favorite at tirado/thrown. Yes, the band’s record, Gong Lake was the subject of one the firsts posts on this blog. But Neptune more than just represent Jamaica Plain, the neighborhood this publication calls home. They are ceaseless laborers and innovators, entirely committed to their craft of making music with the instruments they create: equal parts luthiers, drum makers, metal smiths, sculptors, creators of things from found and unwanted objects, circuit benders, and songwriters. Neptune are heralds of a present time perpetually displaced and deferred, though already here.
Performed and produced by multi-disciplinarian Zea Barker, the video for Neptune’s Grey Shallows is a piece documenting effort, motion, position, and gesture suddenly seized and frustrated within the confines of limited space. An easy visual analogy for an existence trapped inside a cubicle? That would be one way to approach the video, but a little too easy and practical a metaphor.
Another way to consider the video is through the use of the scenery’s limited space, which conditions and binds Barker’s movements and frames her exertions. Her movements are alternately manic and elegant, frenetic and graceful, energetic and exhausted. All the while, Neptune’s track moves along, suddenly setting itself at a humming idle to seek out the next direction to carry its sound. From there the verse acts as a means for the song to measure where it stands in the field of sound. The chorus offers a temporary resolution by propelling the song out of boredom and stasis.
What seems to matter most is the dynamism dwelling between the opposite poles of activity and manner represented in vision and sound. With Grey Shallows, Barker and Neptune summon a thoroughly tactile, and at times uneasy, relationship with the environments they dwell in, making something out of what is otherwise seen as nothing or useless, with marvelous results.
Filed under: Music, Rock | Tags: Jamaica Plain, Music, Neptune, New Release, Noise, Rock, Show
February 19 is the release date of Neptune’s long-awaited album, Gong Lake, on Table of the Elements imprint Radium. From the sound of the first single, Paris Green, they’ve spent their time on many tours and recording sessions honing and fine-tuning their mechanized attack. The quick, reference-laden comparison: it’s a marriage of mid-80s Touch and Go and Dischord post-hardcore officiated by the spirit of Devo.
If anything, Neptune are to be experienced live to appreciate the intensity and craft that goes into what they do with their self-made instruments- robust and intimidating bass guitars, a drum kit made from oil drums, guitars with trussed metal fret boards, and electric triggers activated by home light switches.
They’re celebrating with a show a few days beforehand (Feb. 16th), accompanied by fellow J.P. comrades Helms. These are Powers and Animal Hospital will be rounding out the solid bill. It all goes down Lower Allston’s rock chapel, Great Scott, with festivities commencing at 9:00.