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Skitso-Convo becomes Cellphone

reasonably smallToday we continue our roll-out of previews for our CMW showcase with another song premiere, this time from electro-horror-punks Cellphone. If you’re not familiar with the band that may have a little to do with their defiantly unGoogle-able name, but it’s actually their second moniker. The band recently rebranded from the more descriptive Skitso-Convo.

“It’s still the same band,” says Eric Farber. “We just weren’t down with the loaded 7/11 screwball-self-talker implications of Skitso-Convo. I want us to keep changing the name every few months to keep it fresh.”

That’s not the strategy of a band that cares much about mainstream success, but that hardly seems like Cellphone’s goal. Though they still have a Skitso-Convo YouTube channel with a few songs (one of which debuted on NME), they’re willing to let that live under a different name while they continue to follow and record their every musical whim.

Their songs to this point have often been categorized as “dance-punk,” which seems like a somewhat accurate description, but it definitely doesn’t fit into the category of more indie rock leaning groups like Bloc Party or Franz Ferdinand that are typically put under that banner. Instead it sounds like what would happen if the Dead Kennedys got really into Kraftwerk, a style that Farber categorizes as “aggressively smoked out.”

“It’s like backwards dance punk,” he says. “Instead of putting twitchy guitar on long dance grooves, we put a lot of trance and techno sounds in to concise punk structures.”

Cellphone have just finished their first six-song cassette, which they plan to release soon, and already have their following release planned. Here is the debut of a track off that upcoming EP, entitled “Everybody Shits, Everybody Dies”

Resonancity, Buzz Records and Dan Burke present CMW with smoke and grime at the Comfort Zone


Saturday, March 24 will be a landmark day for Resonancity. That’s the day we extend our reach from the comfortable confines of the internet to the sinister, oft-raided, and, if we’re being totally honest, kind of creepy (but awesome) Comfort Zone. The infamous den of iniquity will be the setting of our very first live Resonancity showcase, a Canadian Music Week bill of skuzzy, attention-grabbing rock and roll.

Resonancity and CMW may seem like strange bedfellows, but we’ve found a way to fit our skewed attitude into the industry-friendly festival schedule. We started this website with a simple goal: to spotlight the beautiful, heavy and often strange bands hiding in plain site, beneath the often-covered, usually PR-assisted batch of boilerplate pop-rock that hogs most of the media attention. How did we reconcile that mindset with a festival whose major coup is reuniting Treble Charger and I Mother Earth?

That’s simple: We teamed up with Dan Burke. Never one to settle for the safe choice, the legendary Toronto promoter collaborated with us and scrappy local DIY label Buzz Records to come up with a lineup that would sidestep the temptation of mediocrity. Burke initially started his NeXT series as a direct challenge to CMW, but the event eventually picked up enough steam that the festival wisely incorporated it into its own schedule.

Burke’s managed to raise as much hell from within, and credit CMW for letting him and a few other left-of-centre promoters to follow their own vision, but even he’s unsure how we managed to sneak this one under the CMW (CMF?) umbrella. While big-name breadwinners like Passion Pit and Atlantic Records Rolling Stone cover stars the Sheepdogs are hobnobbing at the Royal York’s “Indie” Awards, we’ll be tucked below the Waverly Hotel with a five-band lineup that might be a bit off, but definitely won’t be forgettable. No one’s going to pick up a sponsorship deal or record contract here, but if you’re looking for a good time then this will be the place to park for the night.

Post-industrial noisemakers Bad Party have a reputation for crowd-disturbing antics in their live shows (which might be why they’re so rare), and since they’re visiting from Detroit they have a total blank slate.

We’ve also managed to snag Absolutely Free for their third hometown show. You may recognize the guys as four-fifths of Resonancity-favourites DD/MM/YYYY. Their new incarnation brings the same percussive, instrument-switching fervour, but with less focus on spazzy popcraft and more on gorgeous, spacey drone.

Buzz Records kindly lent us one of their house (or, more accurately, Garage) bands, Connoisseurs of Porn. As you may glean from the moniker, these Captain Beefheart, Mr. Bungle worshipping youngsters are less about blog-friendly renown and more about glorious dissonance, with some skewed melodic songcraft poking underneath the jagged edges.

Skitso-Convo have rebranded under the less Googleable name, Cellphone, but they’re the same loveably noisey-but-danceable electro-horror-punks they’ve always been.

The bill is filled out by one more mystery act that we’re excited to share, but we can’t announce them until closer to the show date. We can tell you they’re a attitude-filled bunch of shit-kicking punks that have been making a lot of noise (both literally and figuratively) on the Toronto scene.