#Iwanttodrawyourband does CELLPHONE/ TONSTARTSSBANDHT/ DOLDRUMS @ Comfort Zone
It’s Saturday night, and I’m almost at the venue when I bump into a co-worker from last summer’s day job. He’s just finished his shift and he has no plans for the evening, so he asks me where I’m going. “The Comfort Zone,” I tell him. Are you serious? “Yeah, there’s a really cool show. You wanna come?” No, he admits, and gives me a bit of a stern look.
But if these are the kind of reactions a night at the Comfort Zone garners, I’m not particularly disturbed. The quest for truly incredible experimental music takes you to some unusual locales at times, and fortune favours the bold. And so following the tip of a friend, I walk down the steps into the notorious venue.
The inside of the Comfort Zone is really dark, and really loud- especially with the 4 members of Cellphone on stage. The band has been a highlight of my NXNE experience the past 2 years- so I’m pretty stoked to see them on what is already a pretty stacked bill. At least as far as my personal taste goes, Cellphone hit the trifecta of musical ingredients- punk, psychedelic, and synth. The boys look like an electronic act, but sound like hardcore music for stoners. It’s a winning combo that I’d like to hear more of.
The psychedelic seems to be the overarching theme of the music curation tonight. TONSTARTSSBANDHT are 2 brothers transplanted from Florida, to Brooklyn and Montreal- who make a style of music they call “boogie rock”. While we’re doing the genre thing I’d like to add the following adjectives; psych pop/ psych hymns. Of the 3 bands I see (I didn’t arrive in time for the opener)- TONSTARTSSBANDHT probably come the closest to what you imagine when you think about psychedelic rock, in the style of baby boomer dad rock. There’s even a delightful Southern twang that’s reminiscient of oldschool American rock- but with a heavy undercurrent of dreamy, devotional distortion. It tickles me as much to watch brothers Edwin and Andy perform, as it does to listen to them. I am pretty excited about that 12 string guitar that Andy plays, and the energetic way with which he handles it. I could happily watch this all night.
If TONSTARTSSBANDHT are psychedelic in a classic rock way, then locals Doldrums are mind-bending in a way that is completely contemporary. Musically, the youthful trio walk a fine line between light and darkness, and are appropriately named after the “colorless place” of the same name in “The Phantom Tollbooth”. Their set is a loopy, acidic blend of dance punk and noise, sounding at times chillwavey. The ephemeral, and darkly danceable music feels perfectly at home in this seedy, subterranean dance pit. The hype doesn’t disappoint, as all the elements really come together on this one, to pull a dance catharsis out of the shadows.
Taking into account my considerable bias towards experimental and psychedelic forms of music, this will definitely ranks as one of the more memorable shows I’ve seen this summer.
As for the pictures, I tended towards unrestrained colour sketches, pouring out of dark ink washes which I applied at home after the show. The sketches were made using Sharpie markers and ballpoint pen.