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Food Pyramid plays Gardner again, this time with Javelin

By Elise Gallant

This Saturday, Feb. 6, Gardner Lounge will yet again play host to the electronic beats of Food Pyramid, this time appearing with Javelin, another electronic fusion band.

Some might remember Food Pyramid from their show last semester, when they played with Larry Wish, or perhaps from last spring, when they played with One for the Team. Food Pyramid is based in Minneapolis and comprised of M. Weather, C. Hontona, M. Alfonse and Grinnell alum Chris Farstad ’09. On their website the band describes their music as a cosmic experience—“We use sound to activate space & work out the infinite modes of rhythm in the cosmic dance of universal creation, preservation, and dissolution.”

In the fall, Food Pyramid certainly activated the space by setting up their equipment in the middle of the floor of Gardner, instead of performing on the stage. The audience crowded around them as they experimented with a table of electronics ranging from complicated pedals to gutted toy keyboards. On the band’s Myspace page, they describe their sound as experimental/healing & easy listening/live electronics, which accurately describes their mood—full of driving beats with fleeting or sustained melodic elements floating above.

Javelin is also based in electronic music, but they feature a lot of different elements, such as hip hop, R&B and world music. Thomas Van Buskirk and George Langford make up Javelin, which is based out of Brooklyn, New York.
They have released two albums and two EPs since 2008. Their first album, “Jamz n Jemz,” received honorable mention on Pitchfork’s best album of 2009. Since then, Javelin has signed with David Byrne’s label Luaka Bop, which is most well known for bringing world music from Brazil and Cuba to the states. They are also signed to Thrill Jockey, who report that the band has toured with a collection of painted boom boxes which can be stacked to make a pyramid of sound.

Javelin often broadcasts their live performances with an FM transmitter, so audience members with access to radio channels can add their own speakers to the mix.

Currently Javelin is touring behind their 2010 release “No Mas” which has a slightly cleaner sound than “Jamz and Jemz.” It boasts more isolated melodies, while still maintaining different layers of instrumentation.

Javelin’s sound spans many different genres but still manages to maintain a light-hearted sense of humor and a good dance rhythm. Songs like “Oh Centra” mix flutes and keyboards with retro beats, and “Vibrationz” suspends a feel-good harmony over different synth progressions.

Both Food Pyramid and Javelin are going to bring amazing sounds to Gardner. Be prepared to embrace your inner electro-hipster—paint your face, wear your best kicks and come to bop.

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