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Psychedelic Trifecta: Sunwatchers, Bodhi Jar, w/ Bex and the Disappointment



Tonight’s CMW feature at the Monarch Tavern was a night of four different acts associated with psychedelia in one way or another. Unfortunately, we had arrived late and missed the Blackberries, but fret not, as we are planning a feature on them in the near future!

Once we settled, Bex and the Disappointment was due to go on. They’re a four piece band from Toronto, that gathering from the chatter, were put in this lineup as a last minute switch-up. They are a relatively new indie band who are working on an EP due to be released later this year. The style is reminiscent of artists like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the B-52s. The lead singer is talented, and carries the band well with her strong vocals. They concluded their set with a soulful cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” which was certainly a welcome rendition. They gave their own spin to the song, which was both light and delightfully maladroit. They are definitely a band on the rise, and I predict you'll be seeing them more in local show circuits in the near future.


Bex and the Disappointment at The Monarch Tavern for CMW 2018 (Photo by Elijah Shark)
Bex and the Disappointment at The Monarch Tavern for CMW 2018 (Photo by Elijah Shark)

The second band that went on was Bodhi Jar out of London, ON, and they were just incredibly rad. The genre they profess is psychedelic punk, and deliver on it in the best way possible. They are like a mixture of Rage Against the Machine, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, with elements of 60s bands like The Doors, and Zeppelin. Even though they possess these qualities they are incredibly unique and unlike a lot of their contemporaries. The guitarist is definitely drawing from 60s inspirations with his Fender Stratocaster and cascading riffs and solos that are just all consuming. The lead singer definitely has Jim Morrison qualities in his saunter, but had such an explosive temperament that was enthralling to watch. They ended the set with a cover of "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys which although was fitting and a favourite, they had strong enough material of their own. Watching Bodhi Jar was like being transported to another dimension where you were in attendance of a post-apocalyptic concert consisting of songs about the remaining ideologies of humankind. It was incredibly exciting, and fresh to watch. They are performing tonight at the Bovine Sex Club as part of CMW, so make sure to come out and see them while you can! They are truly intense and incredible.

Bohdi's Jar at The Monarch Tavern for CMW 2018 (Photo by Elijah Shark)
Bodhi Jar at The Monarch Tavern for CMW 2018 (Photo by Elijah Shark)

The last band of the night was Sunwatchers, who were the truest to psychedelia of the night. They are out of Brooklyn/Queens, New York and made it out to CMW for this performance. The set up in itself was a treat to watch because the instruments were unique. They had drums, bass, a small keyboard, a saxophone, a Fender telecaster, a twelve stringed electric guitar with a missing pickup, and finally a double necked Thai phin. The phin was undoubtedly an aesthetically gorgeous instrument, but the style of playing with a metal slide exceeded the aesthetic power. There was only one guitarist who played the latter three instruments, and switched them out frantically when needed throughout their instrumental set. The music they played was drawing inspiration from Northreastern Thai folk music combined with avant-garde jazz, and classic rock sensibilities in the era of hippy psychedelia. The talent in this band is immeasurable. They are musicians in the purest and truest sense of the word. The saxophone had a range of soothing and dense to wonderfully abrasive. Not to mention the saxophonist played the keys at the same time, so much of the sax playing was one handed. They were otherworldly, and it is clear that they have sophisticated ideologies behind what they do, even with song titles like "Nose Beers". They are a band for the people, and it is highly recommended to check out their albums self-titled Sunwatchers, and II, in which they Stand In Solidarity with the Dispossessed, Impoverished, Embattled, People of the World.

 Sunwatchers at The Monarch Tavern for CMW 2018 (Photo by Elijah Shark)
Sunwatchers at The Monarch Tavern for CMW 2018 (Photo by Elijah Shark)