Neptune: Grey Shallows
January 5, 2009, 11:25 pm
Filed under: art, Music, Rock, Video | Tags: , , , ,

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.


Neptune: Gong Lake
February 13, 2008, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Music, Rock | Tags: , , , , , ,


gong-lakeFebruary 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.