The few native Angelenos reading this blog inevitably remember the Bob Baker Theater, the marionette show that you’d get dragged to on occasional school field trips, summer camp excursions, and birthday parties for the weird kid in your class who now works at Ernst & Young. As far as I’m concerned, the only worthwhile marionette is Franklin (fuck your Howdy Doody), and there’s something inherently weird about a grown-ass man lugging around wooden puppets for a living. Which is probably why I enjoy the surreal nature of Dublab’s footage of Javelin, playing master of puppets.
The Rhode Island cousins have come a long way since I saw them two years ago at the Smell, screaming abrasively into a microphone, minus their spray-painted boomboxes that had been taken in a van heist. I imagine the performance still reads bizarre for those uninitiated into their J Dilla crossed with Luaka Bop routine. Despite looking like RISDI graduate students, dem Javelin boyz are Wu-Tang disciples, sampling Tony Starks and hanging portraits of the RZA on their wall (no Polow Da Don). There’s a reason why Steinski decided to remix them — their approach to music is hip-hop, chopping samples, found sounds, and drum patterns into a blend of something new. The first rapper to get them to produce their full-length wins a gift certificate to the Bob Baker theater and some Dulce De Leche ice cream.