Monday, February 26 with System & Station, Lewis and Ester Drang
To Conquer possesses the power to lull listeners into a semiconscious state, and while that's not always a compliment, it's intended as high praise in this case. Painful, excruciating boredom can turn spectators into drooling zombies, but so can soothing, throbbing repetitive stimulation, the kind provided by a trained masseuse or a talented drone band. Featuring such decorated local musicians as Keanon Liggatt (Haloshifter), Brad Hodgson (formerly of The Hillary Step) and Mike Myers (thestringandreturn), To Conquer crafts pulsing ebb-and-flow instrumentals that lure those within earshot into a dreamlike trance. When the band's set ends, the spell breaks, leaving listeners refreshed, as if they've just awakened from an early-evening nap. While slightly more tangible, the songs of the Wisconsin-based System & Station (pictured) are also enchanting, particularly its King Crimson-style "?," which rouses the hypnotized with a squawking saxophone that serves as a blaring alarm clock.