December 22, 2014

Blythe Sword – ‘Maybe It’s Begun’ Live at Cameo

Maybe It’s Begun – perf. by Blythe Sword at Cameo Gallery, Williamsburg, NYC, Sat 13 Dec 2014. Debut show, with Brian Wolfe on drums and Kristofer Widholm on guitar.

November 7, 2014

Blythe Sword Debuts

Blythe Sword large w text

When singer Blythe Gruda and I met in rehearsals for Kate Loves Bryan, the Kate Bush/Roxy Music double cover band (that’s playing, by the way, at Bowery Electric on Saturday Nov 22), we knew at once that new imaginary land could be won by uniting her white light with my trembling questing. A spark arced in the dark, spelling Blythe Sword in candleflame: ballads on piano in scarlet, funereal black and brooding blues, gently etched with electronic textures at the edges. Comparisons to Portishead, Dead Can Dance, and other things like that will inevitably be made, but none will be quite accurate.

Come see what it is for yourself. We’re debuting on Saturday December 13 at Cameo Gallery, 93 North 6th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (L Bedford stop). Joining us that night, and also debuting, are our friends the Anderson Family Singers Featuring David Driver, and our favorite DJ Marmon. DO NOT MISS or I will be sad and pout at you. Tickets are available here .

If you positively demand a sort of preview before coming, here are some snippets of our rehearsals.

more background:

BLYTHE GRUDA and her expressive, versatile four-octave voice have already hit both The Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall stages several times, most notably performing, recording and touring the American and UK Premieres of Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulveus’s Pop Opera, Kristina. She also starred as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar in several productions around the world. She enjoys traipsing with her entourage of composers, visual artists, educators, mad scientists and friends across Tuscan hillsides, in various Cathedrals, in elegant and eclectic rooms, in the woods, in various types of parlours dressed in gowns and outrageous costumes, as comfortably accompanied by Symphony Orchestras as by thrash guitarists or a single bass clarinet. She rocks the mic regularly with The Losers Lounge, her RUSH Tribute band The Rush Project, Kate Loves Bryan, and other projects.

ANTON SWORD you already know. He is me.

THE ANDERSON FAMILY SINGERS
FEATURING DAVID DRIVER
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This evening marks the world debut of an exciting and inspiring new musical project known simply as The Anderson Family Singers Featuring David Driver. Its members are Chris Anderson and David Driver.Anderson Family Singers

CHRIS ANDERSON has been delighting, confusing and disappointing audiences for nearly 21 years. He has fooled enough people to land composing jobs with ‘Inside Amy Schumer,’ ‘The Heart She Holler,’ ‘Delocated’ and ‘Wonder Showzen,’ as well as “band member” status with Tragedy: the #1 All Heavy Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees and Muckafurgason. This is his 11th Artistic Venture with David Driver since the pair realized each other existed.

DAVID DRIVER has toured the US, Europe and the Middle East with Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Debbie Harry, Richard Butler, and Roy Nathanson & The Jazz Passengers, among others, and was in the original Broadway cast of the musical ‘Rent.’ He’s released music with his bands Lux Rd., Driver Quartet, Meow, and Phillips&Driver, and been featured on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The David Letterman Show. He owns a t-shirt with Chris Anderson’s face on it, which he only washes by hand.

This evening’s performance will feature classics from The Great American Songbook, some Notable Contemporary Pop Songs, and some material composed specifically for this event.

MARMON
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https://soundcloud.com/djmarmon
https://twitter.com/djmarmon

Bringing with him years of experience and general affinity for sharing a proper vibe, Marmon’s DJ sets are a free-form mix of deep house and disco, all filtered through a lens of love.
marmon

October 2, 2014

‘You Are Not So Smart’

A few weeks ago, on the recommendation of the excellent brainpickings.org, I read a glib little book called ‘You Are Not So Smart‘ (by David McRaney, based on his blog of the same name). Despite his over-reliance on Kahneman & Tversky’s important research, I found it convincing and pretty well documented with psych studies and experiments. It’s written, however, kind of like a website. So in case you’re curious, and also to remind myself of these points as I go through my day, I summarized and paraphrased the point of each of its 48 short chapters.

General thesis: you are just as deluded as everyone else, which paradoxically keeps you ‘sane.’

Here are my paraphrases of the various ways (there were 1 per chapter) you are deluded or ‘not so smart’ as you think you are.

-you are unaware of how you’re influenced by your unconscious and your environment
-you don’t know when you’re making up narrative fantasies or rationalizing about yourself
-your opinions are mostly irrational and biased, and only selectively fact-based
-your mistakes become invisible to you in hindsight
-you underestimate randomness
-you overestimate your willpower and underestimate the power of your unconscious impulses
-you ignore crises and catastrophes, reverting to habitual normality (becoming paralyzed)
-you don’t understand the sources of your own taste
-you think mostly in examples and stories, not statistics
-you are less likely to help someone when more people are around
-you are bad at estimating your own competence
-you invent meanings for coincidences
-your property becomes an extension of your ego once you’ve acquired it
-you are over-affected by the status of speakers as opposed to their arguments
-the fewer facts you know, the more likely you are to accept bizarre explanations
-you distort the positions of those who disagree with you
-you mistake messengers and messages
-you tend to assume existing outcomes are just
-you fantasize ‘natural’ states in which rules are unnecessary
-your negotiation positions are based more on your status than on any actual value
-you overestimate your uniqueness
-you underestimate your susceptibility to cults
-you overestimate your independence of thought
-you are easier to manipulate than you think
-you mis-measure risk, and over-value first impressions
-functional groups max out at around 150 people
-your supposed ‘non-conformity’ and status-seeking is the main fuel of consumerism
-you overestimate your skills and success
-you overestimate your importance to others
-you incorrectly think people who disagree with you are more deluded than you are
-you think venting anger helps dissipate it, but it doesn’t
-your memories are totally unreliable and change over time
-you have a strong instinct to conform
-your habits fight back
-in any team situation you will exert less effort than you will when alone
-you overestimate how well people can read you
-you learn helplessness as a way of conserving energy
-your physical setting strongly influences your perception of events and people
-the first information you get skews your subsequent decision-making
-your default perception is tunnel vision
-you will often handicap yourself to protect your self-esteem should you fail
-your future can be greatly affected by what your social group predicts it will be
-you are at least two selves, the current one and the remembering one
-you incorrectly imagine your past self had the same mental world as your present self
-you make predictions about people based on your internalized stereotypes of them
-your expectations greatly influence your perceptions and judgment
-you often imagine you have control over situations too random or complex to predict
-you overestimate people’s personalities and underestimate their situations when explaining their behavior

Keep these points, all supported to various extents by scientific research, in mind the next time you feel super-sure of yourself. I know I will try to.

 

August 21, 2014

New (Old) Tracks: ‘How It Never Was’ / ‘Out of the Hive’

Here are two newly rough-mixed recordings of hitherto unpublished songs. Both songs were written years ago, but haven’t found the inside of your ears until now…

How It Never Was –

(drums: the fabulous Kristin Mueller; acoustic bass: the excellent Jay Foote. Recorded partly by Kristin and Damon Whittemore at Tritone/Godelstring and partly by me at home)

and

Out of the Hive –

(everything played & recorded by me at home)

June 24, 2014

Anton Sword Remix: Release (Free Download) of Michael Knead’s ‘Springtime Rain’ Remix Album

I’m happy to announce the release of Michael Knead (Germany)’s remix album of his song, ‘Springtime Rain’ : 8 cool international remixes including mine (the first track). You can stream or download the whole album (or individual tracks) on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/michael-knead/sets/springtime-rain-remix-album Other remixes are by Claude Young Jr. (USA), Daniel Brown (USA), Irene Radice (UK), 1Undread (Bermuda), Lucky One (Belgium), Minoru (Germany), Yehezkel Raz (Israel). 

springtime rain cover

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