As we move further along technologically, more and more people feel left out in the cold. People's iPods and cell phones may well turn on them one day and take over just like James Cameron predicted. Until then, though, we have Beatrix*JAR, who aim to take a bit of revenge before our televisions swallow us whole as we sleep. Mastering what they dub "circuit bending," they make music out of a slew of modified Speak & Spells. As far as we know, they still can't get them to say a swear, but with the help of a shitload of other equipment (a mixer, a keyboard, assorted A/V equipment, etc.) they put on quite a show. The Speak & Spells talk, sing, and laugh (a noise that is somehow more harrowing than amusing), and the beats resemble a stripped-down Daft Punk as Beatrix (Bianca Pettis) and JAR (Jacob Aaron Roske) push buttons, twist wires, play with your emotions, and generally seem like the embodiment of a hipster glee club as they implore the audience to dance, cheer them on, and trade coy glances at each other on their way to another victory.
Fri., May 21, 9 p.m., 2010

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