Coming up fast is Thursday night’s Hand Injury AntiFolk Night, in which Jesse Cannonball Statman puts together a night of acts who have had serious cuts, bruises and breaks on one of their playing hands.
Berth Control’s Brent Cole had a notable glass cut a notable swath across his hand during a Winter AntiFolk Festival back around this time in 2011 – heralding a hospitalization and the closing of the Sidewalk for renovations.
Phoebe Novak, meanwhile, had a a more permanent ailment: the loss of one of her fingers.
“It was caused by an infection in the bone called osteomyelitis from heroin use; shooting in my fingers because all my veins were tapped out – even the neck vein.
“It would’ve been another 6 months in the hospital and like hundreds of dollars of care. And I wouldn’t have been able to move it. So off they cut it.
I could’ve kept the finger cosmetically but I said ‘don’t waste anyone’s time, just cut it off. It’s already dead. I’ve made my peace’.”
The amputation was almost six years ago, and, for the most part, Novak’s performances have not suffered in the least. “Guitar?” she says, “There’s a change, but I can easily make due.
“Piano playing, I have to reteach myself some pieces. Others I just can’t play unless I get a prosthetic.”
Until that day comes, we’ll have to do with her perfectly capable playing and the powerful voice that makes it all worthwhile.
No one is free of the Hand Injury Night curse. Even the evening’s soundman, Alex P, wore a cast back in high school.
Jesse Statman had the most recent injury. Exactly a year before the show, “My left hand was almost completely chopped off by an evil kitchen knife.”
What caused the cut? “I’m pretty sure it was sleep-cooking / sleep-walking of some sort, and I’m the one who would know most, so that’s what I know. A blur of fainting, blood, vomiting, hospital rushing. Crazy!”
At the hospital, “it was put in stitches, until the next week when it was opened again for the amusement of a cruel team of plastic surgeons – also so they could repair two of my tendons in my left wrist. My hand was in a splint for two months, so I could only play guitar with one finger, and I wrote a lot of my Cannonball Statman songs so I could play them with one finger, in an alternate tuning similar to a sitar. My hand recovered after a few weeks of therapy, but I still play and write most of my songs in that tuning and with chords that can mainly be played with a broken hand.
“It was definitely one of the major factors that influenced how I’ve performed/written music in the past year.”
Experience the joy, the pain, the sunshine and rain, of all these injuries, at the only place it’ll be celebrated. Let’s just hope things don’t go out of… forget it.I just can’t my finger on the expression.