2015 i was unusually silent. It was a big year. One year ago today (December 23) was the last time I saw my mom in fine mental fettle. It was her 78th birthday, and she was having an unexpected respite from her legion of physical ailments, and our family sat around the old wooden dining-room table and read our poems to each other, commenting on them. She and my dad pulled out a few I’d never heard before, and I was taken aback by how moving they were. She seemed unusually, even uniquely lucid, and present, and I let myself think she was improving. But in any case, it was a beautiful evening, and I think we all felt it was special at the time. A week or two later she began a downward spiral, and I was touring Europe with Blythe Gruda and Julian Maile a month after that when I had to cut the tour short and return in time for her sudden death. Ten days after that, my wife conceived, and about five weeks ago our son appeared. Somehow, since that interrupted tour and her death, my year became a sabbatical year from music. Few gigs, no releases, just a lot of mulling, meditating, faint whiffs of melodies, half-songs, ideas drifting up to the surface of consciousness, and sinking again beneath the swaying flow unsaved. Nothing seemed urgent enough to act on – nothing else needed to be born or be slain. Today on what would have been her 79th birthday I remember her and feel an inevitable re-flowering of the surfaces stirring. I want to thank the people who’ve asked me for the next music, those who have encouraged me to continue, and those who have encouraged me to take my time. I hope in the coming year to meet you other players and listeners again on a stage or two or in an earbud. I think she would have preferred that to happen. I’m also sure she wouldn’t want it to happen for any other reason than that it felt right. Duty to her inner muse was her first principle in life.
Yes, a few crazed people captured fragments of our show last month at The Church (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). Thanks to Yael for capturing this one, to B.A. Miale for the background projections, and thanks to Gina & Leane Clifton for the encouragement to cover this tune. Sometimes you need a push to follow the bliss, in this case Darondo’s 1973 song, ‘Didn’t I’. Personnel: Anton on vox, keyboard & programming; Gina Marie Rodriguez on bass, backing vox; Michael Lawson (grooving in the darkness on the left), guitar.
My recent pessimistic obsession with things ecological congealed last week into an idea for a dystopian science fiction movie/series: in the future, the population has exploded and all resources (food and fuel, which by then are basically the same things) are running out fast. However, habitable planets have by then been found in other solar systems. The race is on to transport humanity to these planets using the remaining fuel and food before it runs out and strands us on Earth forever. Simultanously, an alternative strategy is being pursued: staying on Earth, but shrinking everyone (using a new shrink-ray invention, of course) so that the ratio of population to resources improves. Of course, if this is done, we still have to contend with monstrous insects. And the evil few who stay unshrunk in order to lord it over the tiny new people. It could be a whole series! Go ahead, make the movie. I’m too lazy.
Meanwhile, on planet Earth, Sword & Slave is playing a trio show Friday December 14 at midnight at The Church, the most excellent loft at 142 Manhattan Avenue (Brooklyn) that was once a pentecostal church or something like it. $5 gets you 5 bands: Sword & Slave, Ichicuts, Public Speaking, Sprinkles, and Martin Lucifer. Doors at 8:30. Also psychedelic visuals will be provided by B.A. Miale. Sword & Slave play at midnight.
Saturday Dec 22, 7:30 pm – playing a duo or trio set at Bowery Electric’s Map Room. 327 Bowery, NYC
Friday, Jan 11, 11 pm – playing a duo or trio set at Branded Saloon. 603 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn (Prospect Heights).
European Tour Post-Mortem
I played several shows in Europe in October & November, all by my lonesome self, and I enjoyed playing solo and seeing the friends who turned up, as well as making many new ones:
Saturday Oct 20: Liege, Belgium: L’An Vert, with Belleclose – Liege turned out to be a lovely town with a new train station that looked like something from a 1960s French Sci-Fi movie. Belleclose, also known as Catherine, kindly took me on a tour of the charming old city, its huge flight of stairs to the old fortress/park, and its cafes. L’An Vert is a lovely club too, run and patronized by nice, cool people.
Thursday Oct 25: Bern, Switzerland: Cafe Kairo – Trina, Queen of Kairo, harangued me into reading Kinky Friedman, the Jewish Redneck Detective author. I’m still absorbing the shock. I slept and ate well in Im Klee, the B&B on Bern’s outskirts, which I recommend highly. Kiss the staff for me.
Friday Oct 26: Zurich, Switzerland: BundesHaus zu Wiedikon – Tom Rist kindly had me play at his other club in Zurich (other than Helsinki) and treated me to a tasty pancake and some whiskey. Frank and I discussed the joys of playing music in a band when it all goes well.
Saturday Oct 27: Longwy, France: L’Appartement, with Skatebirds – the Skatebirds and I performed the Stephin Merritt’s adorable song ‘San Diego Zoo’ together, and the crowd of Lorrainers there made me play “Here in the Hurricane’ again at the end of my set, even though I’d already played it at the beginning. Everyone danced. I also had some excellent political discussion with Metahri & friends.
Friday Nov 2: Berlin, Germany: Mandy’s – despite having to assemble my own makeshift P.A., which didn’t manage to fill the room of revelers with sufficient sound, I had a great time, as I always do at Mandy’s. I don’t think the other patrons or staff were too offended either. I kept Miss Koala up too late and got her too drunk.
Oh Yes And
Hurricane Sandy happened. Taking an excellent suggestion from a perceptive friend, i decided as a publicity stunt to donate all $ from any bandcamp sales of my EP or single ‘Here in the Hurricane’ (presciently written two years before) to Hurricane Sandy relief (The Red Cross, Humane Society, Foodbank NYC, and Occupy Sandy). So far several kind folks have downloaded the tracks and paid money to do so. Aside from the 15% that goes to Bandcamp, I guarantee that ALL of the revenue goes to charity, though the end of 2012. Donations have already topped $500. Here’s the link to the EP to download it: Here in the Hurricane (http://antonsword.bandcamp.com/album/here-in-the-hurricane-ep) .
Finally, I will return to Europe in the late spring or summer, and bring some other musicians this time. If you simply must have us play your club or ballroom or theater or livingroom, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Don’t forget to ‘like’ the Facebook page for Anton Sword (https://www.facebook.com/antonsword) . to get more up-to-date updates to update yourself.
Posted by antonsword in Music, New York, News, Nightlife, Strange Blurting, Travel and tagged as "gina marie rodriguez", "here in the hurricane", anton sword, bundeshaus zu wiedikon, cafe kairo, church, hurricane sandy, Hurricane Sandy Benefit, l'an vert, longwy, mandy's, Michael Lawson, Occupy Sandy, skatebirds, Sword & Slave, sword and slave