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April 3, 2012

Small Beast #150 – Sword & Slave, And The Wiremen, Skatebirds

Sword & Slave / And The Wiremen / Skatebirds

Sword & Slave / And The Wiremen / Skatebirds

Small Beast reaches its sesquicentennial! It may be small, but it lasts longer. FREE. The latest in Paul Wallfisch’s long-running series of Monday night eclectica with a Euro aura at The Delancey, 168 Delancey Street, NYC between Clinton & Attorney. Monday April 9

9 Sword & Slave

Anton Sword, Gina Marie Rodriguez & Michael Lawson on piano, bass, guitar, clouds of sound, and blind cool. Neo-glam synthpop and indie-electronic music for cynical yet inwardly tenderhearted bookworms. Drawing on British crooners, 80s synths, cocktail piano, krautrock, prog, and glitchy electronics, Sword combines his influences to create “Interesting, musically subtle, tasteful, original, witty music…infectiously rhythmic and impossibly memorable.” ( And you’ll hum it in the shower as well. Assuming you take a shower. You may not want to afterwards.

9:45 And The Wiremen

And The Wiremen is a Brooklyn-based ensemble led by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lynn Wright. As the primary songwriter and lyricist, he specifically works and collaborates with core members Paul Watson (Sparklehorse) on trumpet, Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu) on bass, and longtime partner in crime Jon Petrow (Cloudroom) on guitar (with whom Wright also shares time in another laudable Brooklyn-based outfit, Bee and Flower). The experience, ingenuity, and craft this collection of musicians brings to the table is further enhanced by their collective willingness to defy genre. They are improvisatory, whimsical, and pleasurably good at leaving a listener playing a song-to-song guessing game. At times heavily Latin-influenced–with strokes of cumbia and an underpinning of Colombian and Brazilian percussion–these songs comfortably move into jazz, avant-pop, or blues–sometimes within the same number–despite a deceptive minimalist approach to song structures. Lyrically, Wright is cogent, funny, and literate; a virtuoso, really. He has a knack for catchy one-liners (hardly throwaways) and passages that sound indebted to some wily trident of Faulkner, South American Surrealism and film noir–aspects which combine to push both the music and Wright’s smooth, cool-as-a-cucumber delivery into the lofty realms of fable.

And The Wireman FB page

10:30 Skatebirds

In 1984, during the late new-wave period, the public of Longwy, a steel town in Lorraine, France on the Luxembourg/Belgian border, discovered a young band as swift, as edgy and as peculiar as its name : “La Toyota Fantastique.” The trio toured throughout the three-border area in 1985, but was stopped in its tracks by the passing of its drummer. However, the other two members and a replacement drummer went on playing together in various bands, getting stronger, edgier, and more peculiar, and here they go again! In 2009. Martin Calou, Ricky and Baârkus Daddly reformed a new trio and started playing songs composed by the original, but the original sweetness is now informed by twenty years of hard living, Lorraine style. The influences on Songwriter Calou’s raw, catchy, charming melodies are obvious — Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Beach Boys, Kevin Ayers — tinged with the dark and raging neo-garage of the early nineties: Yo la Tengo, Nirvana, Daniel Johnston. After a warm-up tour and several great shows in Paris, the Skatebirds — their new name — now feel ready to test their mettle against the sidewalks of New York. Come check their NYC debut.

Skatebirds Myspace page

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