TONSTARTSSBANDHT at the Blk Box (1087 Queen West), tonight (Thursday, June 13), 1 am; and at the Comfort Zone (480 Spadina), Saturday (June 15), midnight. Both NXNE wristband or $15. nxne.com.
As you may have already guessed from their unwieldy name, Tonstartssbandht (pronounced TAHN-starts-bandit) aren't particularly concerned with doing things the easy way. For one thing, Florida-bred brothers Ed and Andy White have only lived in the same city for a few months since they formed the duo in 2007.
"Currently, one brother [Ed] lives in Brooklyn and one brother [Andy] lives in Montreal," explain the Whites from Halifax via email because they're touring without a cellphone (of course). "From November 2012 to June 2013, we were both in Brooklyn, but now it's back to being split again."
Despite the distance between them, Tonstartssbandht's sound has progressed greatly since their early recordings. There used to be a disconnect between their sensitive cosmic pop songs and their freewheeling psychedelic noise-boogie jams. In their recent Russian Tour Tape 2013, however, those two tendencies come together into something resembling the Velvet Underground covering the Grateful Dead with a bit of help from Syd Barrett. And yes, this was an actual cassette tape, a split release with their tour mates Dirty Beaches.
The new material sounds far less lo-fi and much more professional than their previous offerings, but they claim they haven't changed their approach. Given the methods they use, it's a mystery why it works at all, let alone this well.
"No new techniques on the new tape. It's 4-track and laptop recordings, recorded at home, mixed on the computer and mastered by us non-professionals. As always."
If you like Tonstartssbandht, also check out THIGHS at Handlebar, Friday (June 14), 1 am, NXNE wristband or $15, and at the Tranzac Club, Saturday (June 15), 9 pm, NXNE wristband or $12; or Odonis Odonis at the Garrison, Friday (June 14), 1 am, NXNE wristband or $15, and at the Bruise Cruise, Saturday (June 15), 2:40 pm, NXNE wristband.