San Francisco is for the weirdos. That’s what Ben Morrison, lead vocalist for The Brothers Comatose, says about his former home. The band used to call the coastal, cultural hub home before their practice space that Morrison and his brother Alex lived at was bought by new owners and their rent drastically increased. They saw their beloved city fall victim to gentrification so, being musicians, they decided to use their art to fight back.
“We saw [San Francisco] change from a place that was affordable with lots of artists and lots of weirdos,” said Ben. “It’s sad to see the city you love that’s associated with art, culture, music turn into something different.”
The band is currently touring to support the release of their statement and latest album, “City Painted Gold,” and are making their way to Harlow’s Restaurant & Night Club on Feb. 11. Tickets are available at Ticketfly.com.
The Brothers Comatose started as brothers Ben and Alex Morrison grew up. They came from a musical family — their mother sang in a folk quartet and there would be music parties their parents would throw. Ben and Alex eventually learned started the guitar and banjo respectively. They knew they wanted to start a band after recording a couple tracks in a friend’s garage, so they put up fliers around San Francisco looking for musicians. Luckily, the planned worked and they found the rest of their band.
“There’s so much musical history in that city,” said Ben about San Francisco being supportive of musicians. “There was music everywhere. It definitely had its time.”
They released their debut album “Songs from the Stoop” in 2010 and “Respect the Van” in 2012. “City Painted Gold” is a step in a different direction for the band as it has more of a social message than their previous output. The album has been out for just under a year and the band has toured all over the world to support it.
“I think we all kind of wish we were like a rock band and we do our best to do that with string instruments,” said Ben. “When I go see a show, I prefer a more engaging experience…we definitely try to provide that when we play for people.”
The Brothers Comatose isn’t a “just stand there and stare down at our instruments kind of band” as Ben puts it. Every member has much more of a rock background, aside from playing bluegrass, and bring that type of energy to their performances, whether it be at a club like Harlow’s or a festival like Outside Lands. They pull fans on stage, are constantly moving and make sure every room they play is filled with the vibe of their output. Every song is filled with emotion and every note they play has an intentional tone about it that other bands can not match.
“That’s what it’s about for us, getting the crowd energized because we want to feel that energy. That makes us perform better,” said Ben. “We do whatever we can to make that happen.”
When: 9 P.M., Saturday, Feb. 11
Where: Harlow’s, 2708 J St., Sacramento
Cost: $15 – $18