Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sword Fight

The Sword / Slough Feg
Slim's, San Francisco
April 19, 2008

That Little Ol' Band From Austin blew into town again and, ironically, Umlaut friend Miatomic has been locked in a secret laboratory in Austin recently. That's ironic, isn't it? I think so... maybe not?

For whatever reasons, The Sword are like politics: You can't seem to talk about them in mixed company 'cause people either love 'em or hate 'em. So unless you're in the mood for some fisticuffs or a wrastlin' match avoid them in conversation and talk about something safe..... Man, can you believe the price of gas these days?!

I dig how The Sword do things the old fashioned way and tour their asses off. Tonight was the 4th time I've seen The Sword at Slim's in the past 642 days. The Umlaut Nation made up around 1% of the sold out packed audience on this night; our numbers were like a black tide washing over the room! Or maybe a puddle... or actually a drop.. or less.. Anyway, I'm doing one of those Hip Hop Nation "Hit my chest with my fist and then point at you" things to Timo, Joey, Mike, Johnny, David, T-XIII, Allison, and Raymond. Yo-Yo Ma, Yo.

Best Random Conversation: T-XIII and Umlaut geeking out over the 70's Aurora Tar Pit model kit that we had as kids. It's frightening how I remember every detail of it... Like how the Woolly Rhino had a chunk of flesh missing from its back and how there was a chunk of meat that you could put in the vulture's beak. I also had the Saber Tooth Tiger kit! The Geeks shall inherit The Earth!

As The Sword glinted onstage, I couldn't help but notice how the lads have changed over the past 2 years... Like how Kyle has ditched his glasses and now wears contacts.. That's a bummer, Kyle; 4-Eyes should ALWAYS fly their flags high! Contacts are for pussies! I also noted that over the past 642 days J.D.'s onstage guitar evolution has been as follows:
  • 2006: Red B.C. Rich
  • 2007: Red Les Paul
  • 2008: Brown Explorer
I predict that on the next tour he will be wielding a guitar shaped like a dragon.. maybe something like this:

What hadn't changed was Trivett having drum problems just like he did at their debut Slim's show 2 years ago... Me thinks a witch has cast a cursing spell thingamajig on his drums in San Francisco.

I have to say that the new song 'The Black River' was probably my fave song of the night, although the boogie groove of 'Maiden, Mother, & Crone' (Umlaut LOVES how The Sword embrace their Inner Swords & Sorcery Geekdom in song!) was another fave. As with all good bands, hearing the new songs made me appreciate them and I can now say the band's new album will be in heavy rotation at Casa de Umlaut.

Trivia: Evidently several of The Sword's songs were inspired by Fantasy writer George R.R. Martin. Umlaut tends to be into bands who read books.. but that's the way he rolls.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to The Sword over the next year.. They're still an Indie band, but they were recently anointed as Metallica's new favorite band and will be supporting the Millionaire Rocks Stars in Europe this Summer... and Old Metalheads know what that meant for Anthrax back in The Day.

Anywho, after seeing the band live again I have that same I feeling I had after seeing a band when I was 16: I want to wear their t-shirt to school the next day! I also want to find one of those Aurora Tar Pit model kits and put it together while listening to the band's new album.

Iron Maiden shirts = 2. I didn't even bother trying to do a merch audit because of the crowd crush. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Man, Umlaut is tired right now.. maybe I'll take a nap. To quote The Sword: "We shall build a cairn beyond The Black River, where no one will disturb your rest.."

Dudes.. The band used the word "cairn" in their new lyrics.. How can you not like that!? Oh yeah? Fuck gas prices.. bring it on, mofos! Wait.. let me take my glasses off first..

Later that week...

Chatty Kathy said: I really like the part about the Tar Pit model kit! I used to work at the La Brea Tar Pits in the lab and pits. It was really fun. There was a telephone in the pit and we used to call the local country radio station and request 'I've Got Friends in Low Places'. I guess the fumes made us a bit stupid....

Reynolds said: Dude, I CANNOT BELIEVE you mentioned that plastic model kit of the Tar Pit. I had that ... and I think my parents might still have it. I played with that toy so much when I was a kid. Looking back at it, there was probably so much lead paint on that toy that rubbed off on my hands and into my bloodstream, that it may explain how I can listen to Debussy and Slayer in succession =) Warped, man

The thing I remember about the piece of flesh that the vulture had was that I would always lose it. Then a month later, I would dig under a couch, feel this plastic thing and be like "Hey! I found the flesh!". Good times!

Umlaut says: Why was Tar Pit the subject of conversation at The Rock Show?? Because T-XIII had revealed the inspiration for his latest amazing art piece:

Tar Pit © MMVIII XIII Design, LLC

It's probably Umlaut's fave T-XIII creation so far! Click HERE to find out when Tar Pit will be available on a killer t-shirt.