Swans: Classic or Dud?

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I'm only starting to get familiar with their really early stuff, which seems like it could be just the right medicine when you need it--and also seems like it could literally wrench loose your bowels. I'm very intrigued by the guitar/drums/bass interplay (Does that mean I like beating my head against a cement wall by analogy?), and as of yet I can't decide how to treat Gira's vocals. I'd like to have your opinions on these guys... what about their later stuff, too?

Clarke B., Saturday, 17 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Classic of course. I have a live-album "Kill the Child" that catches Swans in full glory, almost religious music in that you expect the sky to open up and turn red, or something like that. Musically impecable, although Gira as a lyricist can be somewhat of a whiner. Later stuff is allright but not as shocking, it's a interesting take on psychedelica.

Omar, Saturday, 17 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

CLASSIC. Not only classic, but in a class all by itself. What compares to "Children of God/World of Skin" or "Soundtracks for the Blind"? The latter feels more like movies than music. You listen to it in awe a few times when you first get it, straight through. Then, you rarely have to listen to it again. Not because it's not good, just because it was so powerful. Like with a good movie, you don't want to overwatch it.

SWANS albums for repeat listens: "Omniscience" is a great live rockgoth thing, as is "Swans Are Dead". "The Great Annihilator" is one of my all time favorite CDs. The recently released "Various Failures" is fantastic. The earlier industrial Swans stuff I can do without.

Newer Michael Gira stuff like "Body Lovers" and "Angels of Light" continue to dazzle and delight in ways similar but different from Swans. I recommend Body Lovers, at least. It's one continuous album with 9 reference points, so you can fast forward or rewind, but there are no breaks in the music. Perfect for zoning out or on the subway. Gets freaky, of course. Angels of Light were fantastic when I saw them live, unfortunately the LIVE cd they released of the show had pretty poor production. The studio release by Angels of Light called "New Mother" was okay, but some of it, though amazingly produced, just bored me.

Them fellers sure can be oppressive, though. That's why I go through phases. In all actuality, I really don't listen to them too much anymore just because it's so depressing. I'd rather be happy.

, Saturday, 17 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Saw them in 1985 supporting the Fall at Heaven. Possibly the most extreme gig I've ever seen. They deserve some respect for going that far.

I have heard few of their albums. Those that I have heard have been among the most negative, miserable, pointless pieces of music that I have ever encountered. No doubt Gira would in some way approve of this reaction. I couldn't care less. Dud.

Dr. C, Saturday, 17 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The first two records are all I really need, though it's all good.

Otis Wheeler, Saturday, 17 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Pfft...I dunno. I have "The great annihilator" but I must have listened to it twice. I got another album of thiers years ago (cant remember the name of it but it had a long title and there was a rabbit on it)and it was shite. Maybe there earlier stuff is better, I'm not too pushed.

Michael Bourke, Saturday, 17 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Classic but ever-evolving -- meaning that the early stuff is no indication at all of how most of the later material is. They have a definite nadir -- _The Burning World_, perhaps unsurprisingly also the only major label album they did -- but the high points are numerous. _Various Failures_ nicely excerpts the one or two good tracks from _Burning World_ plus a slew of stuff from _White Light..._, _Love of Life_ and _Ten Songs From Another World_, which shows the band moving well into the realm of more conventionally dramatic, folk-influenced music -- an oversimplification, but you'll be able to hear the contrast. _Soundtracks for the Blind_ was the last studio album and is worth it as both a kind of career overview in terms of sonic approach and for the bemusing fact that "The Helpless Child" essentially invents Godspeed You Black Emperor. ;-) Etc. etc. -- my reviews at the AMG go into all this if you'd like to find out more.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 17 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Don't listen to the naysayers. Swans can't be judged by one or two albums, anyway, and it sounds like the people who hate them are only familiar with about that much. Perhaps their earlier, more abrasive work is considered "classic" by some, but it's my absolute least favorite. You never hear people saying, "I got Beatles' "Rubber Soul" and it's the gayest piece of crap I ever heard" and effectively dismissing all beatles music, right? Later Swans material is some of the most intricate and best-produced music there is. It's on the oppressive/ depressive vibe, but nowhere near the earlier "Holy Money" kind of stuff. It's more melancholy-- and there's plenty of melancholy bands out there. You choose to listen to it when it suits you. I'd suggest "Children of God/World of Skin" as your very next Swans purchase. The variation in that album from the first song to the second song, alone, will probably suprise you. But, there's also a dramatic difference from disc one to disc two. Disc one is a little more rocking and disc two is a little more spiritual, almost gospel sounding. "Breathing Water" is one of the creepiest, beautiful songs there is. Must be heard to be believed.

, Sunday, 18 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Ever felt that the music you always hear is too full of warmth, liveliness, humor, rocking and melody ? Well, the Swans get rid of all that useless baggage, which I'm sure is a relief to some people. A monster dud.

The Burning World had a few, uh, songs on it. Bet their cult thinks it's a sell-out.

Patrick, Sunday, 18 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Ahem. I don't consider _Burning World_ a sellout, just dull -- a far different thing, if only because sellouts should at least theoretically show *some* sort of commercial appeal. The fact that your sweeping statement regarding the band's work in general appears to be based on a listen of only the stuff they recorded up through 1986 or so as opposed to perhaps listening to anything from _White Light..._ onward I'll let pass without mentioning.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 18 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

True, Ned, I haven't heard anything from them since The Burning World (1989, right ?) so I grant that they might have improved since then. I don't have much hope for Michael Gira's sense of humor, but maybe they found a way out of the doom-and-gloom ?

Patrick, Sunday, 18 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

classic for the relentless grind of _body to body job to job_. early swans is some of the most cathartic music ever. _children of god_ is great if you're in the mood, ridiculous if you're not. jarboe was an unfortunate addition to the band. i actually liked _burning world_, though i couldn't imagine listening now. i have less interest in what i've heard of the 90s stuff.

sundar subramanian, Sunday, 18 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Michael Gira is fucking hilarious. Taken past a certain point, humorlessness becomes its antithesis. The 80's needed him just to counteract the 'humor' of They Might Be Giants.

Otis Wheeler, Monday, 19 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Actually, Gira is pretty humorous and has a sense of humor, too. At least, live he does. I think the music is supposed to be dark and humorless. You know, like, happy bands don't usually write death songs? It's the same kinda thing. Gira gets points for making the starkest, most oppressive music I've ever heard and making it still sound "pretty". If you don't think Swans sound pretty, it's because you're still judging them by their earliest work, which, in my opinion, hasn't aged well, but is still the best industrial music I've heard (comparing only to the little I know: Skinny Puppy, NIN, Ministry, Einsterzende Neubauten, Front 242... I hate industrial music with a passion).

But, it is funny that humorless music can be "hilarious" since "humorous" music can really piss me off- like Ween for instance. Sometimes they're annoying as hell.

, Monday, 19 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I doubt that They Might Be Giants were so pervasive in the 80s that they necessited a reaction all on their own. Maybe Mr Mister did. Actually, since the Swans were around before TMBG, maybe TMBG *was* the counteraction. But yeah, bands that set out to be humorous at all times are as much of an annoyance as the ones who are about being dark and depressed at all times. Whether it's laughs or anger or sadness, I kinda prefer when they're just sorta part of the package, rather than something entire genres are based on.

Patrick, Monday, 19 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Forgive me for wandering in from the Killing Joke debate, but SWANS are local legends around my part of the woods, so I couldn't stop m'self from chiming in. Actually, I'm not here to praise nor damn Gira's gang, but rather suggest checking out a couple of bands largely spawned by Swans' influece, Brooklyn's late-lamented COP SHOOT COP and Tod Ashley's Firewater.

alex, Thursday, 22 March 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...
cop shoot cop sounded like gary numan doing springsteen numbers

bob snoom, Tuesday, 6 November 2001 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
saw gira live in london last nite. i understand now. crushes like churches

zemko (bob), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 11:50 (11 years ago) Permalink

thought this might have been revived.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 13:14 (11 years ago) Permalink

no one else went? andrew l?

zemko (bob), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 17:38 (11 years ago) Permalink

yeah he told me at the last FAP that he was.

(I didn't as I'm working late for this stupid presentation tomorrow therefore I am jealous: did gira scream the word 'mother' at any point during the gig?)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 17:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

"Grindin" is like a vintage Swans song, not just sonically (drums like an endless row of scrap-metal monoliths collapsing on a burnt and barren wasteland) but thematically. Both Clipse and Swans find social reality at the intersection of sex, money, and power. They view everything else as pretty fluff, designed to obscure the harsh truth.

The difference is, Gira and Co. sound traumatized by this discovery, whereas Malice and Pusha T sound like they're doing a gleeful dance.

EC, Wednesday, 12 March 2003 18:03 (11 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
Classic. Most of what's been mentioned is their refined stuff.

Being a masocist I especially love the brutal Cop/Holy Money
period - most people would find this stuff horrible, but given
a bit more listening one may be able to experience this amazing
feeling of ? - too hard to describe, but it compliments such
painful things like exercise, washing dishes etc.

Anyone heard the live disc 'Public Castration is a Good Idea'?
This out-heavies anything I've ever heard...

KF ., Tuesday, 8 February 2005 12:28 (9 years ago) Permalink

I can't believe I didn't say anything on this thread...surely there must be another one somewhere on the board, because I vaguely remember saying that I'm a White Light From the Mouth of Infinity man, but that I still love the grind of the early stuff, and even the ultrapolished The Burning World. I really have to be in the mood to get into the early early early stuff though.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 17:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

I own the double disc Cop/Young God/Greed/Holy Money and the live albums Public Castration Is A Good Idea and Feel Good Now. I like all of 'em, especially PCIAGI, which really needs to be played as loud as your stereo will possibly go. One of my favorite Godflesh songs, "Love, Hate (Slugbaiting)" is like this album condensed down to ten minutes in an attempt to climb the charts. That, too, should be played at absurd volume. I used to own Soundtracks For The Blind and didn't like it that much - it seemed like capitulation to me. Never heard anything from the in-between years.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Tuesday, 8 February 2005 17:21 (9 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
Classic. But you must be in the mood for some of their work.

J.H. Malerman (xada_hgla), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 19:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

Completely classic. Anyone who likes music of ANY kind could find something to like in their broad, vast array of sounds and moods. One of my top three groups ever, in every incarnation. And I started at BURNING WORLD, working backward and forward and deep into all the solo stuff - it can be done!

Gira's book THE CONSUMER also so, so recommended.

matt the queeg (veal), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 21:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

If Swans lyric sheets make me roffle, am I a sick fuck?

Marmot (marmotwolof), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 21:59 (8 years ago) Permalink

No, especially if you're laughing at the story that came on the insert to Cop.

Utterly, timelessly CLASSIC.

sleeve version 2.0 (sleeve testing), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 22:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

I just have Cop on the double disc comp, no story - is that online somewhere?

I just mean all the terse little statements of complete hopelessness in the lyrics. I get about three lines in and completely lose my shit.

Marmot (marmotwolof), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 22:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

If Swans lyric sheets make me roffle, am I a sick fuck?

No, it means you're the right audience.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 22:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

You can't get much more hopeless than "god damn the sun."

Butt Dickass (Dick Butkus), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 22:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

THE SEX IN YOUR SOUL WILL DAMN YOU TO HELL

latebloomer scrabbly dabbly doo (skawreeng) (latebloomer), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 22:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

Random thoughts:
Gira and Jarboe are 2 of the musicians I could easily imagine being psycho killers.

When I saw Angels of Light play Tonic, he drank a full pint of whiskey in a glass filled from behind the bar and didn't seem in the least bit drunk. After the show, he went and got a refill and mingled like he was at an art opening or something.

His writing is pretty disturbing.

Jarboe seems to have severe mental problems. Oh yeah, and so does Gira.

Butt Dickass (Dick Butkus), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 22:59 (8 years ago) Permalink

Look, you people don't understand. I saw Jarboe at Bumbershoot a few weeks ago. She was fucking fantastic. In the daytime even. She came out into the audience and sang to a few audience members personally one at a time, including me. I was so embarassed to realize everyone was looking at me. She held her hand out and I held her hand. Then her voice got louder and she looked into my eyes and sang louder and I was afraid. I was really afraid in that moment.

-- Ficky Stingers (bimble87...), Sunday 1:33 AM. (Bimble...) (later) (link)

best/scariest/best thing ever.
Weird that two completely different Swans C or D threads just got revived a few days apart. Here's the other:
Classic or Dud: Swans

Marmot (marmotwolof), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 23:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

(Haha ok, they were revived by the same guy)

Marmot (marmotwolof), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 23:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...
I've pulled out my vinyl copy of Greed. I haven't heard it in ages. But I remember Holy Money being better and that is going to be played next.

Bimble, Sunday, 18 March 2007 02:05 (7 years ago) Permalink

holy money is maybe better but the song 'greed' is perhaps the best thing swans ever did.

stirmonster, Sunday, 18 March 2007 03:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

I CUT OFF MY RIGHT HAND...AND STAND IN YOUR SHADOW!...I CRAWL ALL OVER MYSELF AND STAND IN YOUR SHADOW!...

Such uplifting music, hah!

I was remembering that Holy Money was the first record I ever bought of the Swans. I bought it on a sheer whim for a few bucks, used. The first time I heard it I was sure I'd wasted my money. It was like "what is this crap?" But gradually I started to understand it. I didn't go nuts over them until Children of God, though.

Bimble, Sunday, 18 March 2007 04:33 (7 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

OK...Happy Ned...Did this already...but isn't exactly what I was looking for anyway...

Screw this....

I'm gonna give up on the Swans...

Aja, Monday, 28 May 2007 05:55 (7 years ago) Permalink

Filth is one of my all-time favorite albums. I'd recommend that one, but it may not be the best convince-me-otherwise album.

Ivan, Monday, 28 May 2007 06:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

Its Aja!

Trayce, Monday, 28 May 2007 06:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, hi....

I find it funny that my thread was locked so soon...

Anyway, I was bored and wanted to see what was up in these parts...I really should be getting to sleep though...

Aja, Monday, 28 May 2007 06:45 (7 years ago) Permalink

I think it's funny that you say "screw this" because Swans have a song called A Screw don't they? Heheh.

Bimble, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:04 (7 years ago) Permalink

Also there is some really fantastic Swans stuff on You Tube. But in all honesty, Swans are not a band I would likely try to argue with someone into liking the way I would, say, Led Zeppelin or even the Fall. I find it perfectly understandable that some folks will never get Swans.

Bimble, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

I think it's funny that you say "screw this" because Swans have a song called A Screw don't they? Heheh.

-- Bimble, Monday, May 28, 2007 7:04 AM (5 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

They do? Gosh...is it any good? Or is it really slow and weird...

Aja, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:11 (7 years ago) Permalink

Well there are two different versions I found.

This one is a more beefed up version of the album version with horns and a heavy industrial beat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqiEmNaG5QY

This one is a live performance, and more bare-bones, truer to their early material and I prefer it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHES9YAGGkU

Bimble, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

Of course this is before they became a lot more listenable, pretty and mellow.

Bimble, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

Ok................

Interesting. I'll leave it at that.

Aja, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:19 (7 years ago) Permalink

I got into the first couple of albums for a while, saw them live, then gradually decided that life was just too short for Gira's schtick. Haven't listened to them for ten years.

I have a promo copy of 'Cop' which was issued to Radio Forth, our local top forty station, a thought that makes me laugh every time I flick past it on the stack.

Soukesian, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:23 (7 years ago) Permalink

Aja, you can say you hate it, I don't care! It's ugly music. Soukesian, I think that's part of their appeal that they make you laugh in the end.

Here's something called "Love of Life" from later on when they'd mellowed out more:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=girFIccfmBU

Bimble, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

Fuckin goths

President Evil, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

I took about a 15 year break from them, but lately have been filling in what happened after 1990, and I'm impressed at how consistent they've been, and it's all hitting me with a renewed force. Yeah, they're as funny ha-ha as they are funny strange, but I find that I can't doubt what Gira was reaching for. And when they hit, wow, beat and message and emotion come together equally. And the beauty really does start poking through the ugliness.

bendy, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

Having said that I'm planning to buy some of their shit pretty soon. BUT. They are goths.

President Evil, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:59 (7 years ago) Permalink

Goths perhaps, but of a different stripe. I don't think black clothes are really necessary with them or their fans.

Bimble, Monday, 28 May 2007 10:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

Gosh...is it any good? Or is it really slow and weird...]

or? OR? OR?!?!

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:10 (7 years ago) Permalink

have been filling in what happened after 1990

Some of their best and most rewarding work, IMO. I wish somebody would reissue "Die Tur Ist Zu" because I still haven't heard it. Also check out those Gira and Jarboe solo records that Alternative Tentacles did.

sleeve, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:38 (7 years ago) Permalink

part of their appeal that they make you laugh in the end

Yeah, I don't see this happening at all.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:38 (7 years ago) Permalink

I believe this was the second ever thread I contributed to, back in the day (when the earth was young and the seas were hot and the skies were filled with pteradactyles).

SWANS were untouchably brilliant and will always remain so. But GOTHS they are not. Not in the slightest. And I know two ex-Swans who would happily bludgeon anyone who dared refer to them as such.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

i always thought swans were funny. and they are one of my favorite bands. in my top four anyway. when i first got internet in 1999 i joined a swans list and i confessed that i always thought that the song failure was really funny. i expected to get yelled at. but nobody yelled. and jarboe agreed that lots of swans had very dry humor too it, but that a lot of people didn't see it. or didn't want to see it. and if you ever went to a swans show you would see these deadly serious fans. they were the ones who loked like the memebers of controlled bleeding. they weren't in it for the funny.

scott seward, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:43 (7 years ago) Permalink

Were Live Skull goths?

x-post

Tim Ellison, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

LOTS of goths love swans though. that's why the two get connected. and goths LOVE world of skin and angels of light and jarboe too.

scott seward, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

no, live skull were not goths.

scott seward, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

or didn't want to see it.

or actually didn't think it was funny maybe - you have to allow for that.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:45 (7 years ago) Permalink

and they were a HUGE influence on goth bands. just as they were on metal bands and all kinds of bands. i like to call swans "traditional folk music".

scott seward, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i mean, you might think that public castration is a good idea is a funny album title or you might just think that public castration is a good idea. too each his own.

scott seward, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:48 (7 years ago) Permalink

Swans from Circus Mort to Cop is absolutely classic. It's sad the CD versions of Filth and the eponymous EP were remastered so badly, but they're still worth getting.

libcrypt, Monday, 28 May 2007 20:58 (7 years ago) Permalink

could you elaborate a bit? Not that I plan on replacing my vinyl, but I'm curious as to what went wrong. Is this also true of the Cop and Children Of God remasters?

sleeve, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:03 (7 years ago) Permalink

Scott's right, it's because lots of goths like Swans that they get tagged that way.

Bimble, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:06 (7 years ago) Permalink

The remasters are cleaned up with reverb added and EQ bent toward the ends. If you've heard original Teenage Jesus or Mars vinyl and compared it to the CDs of the same, it's a similar effect, although not quite as reverb-chamber-in-hell as it is on the TJ remasters.

libcrypt, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

I don't know whether the Cop remaster has a similar issue, since I don't have it, and I'm not sure whether I have a remastered or original Children of God.

libcrypt, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:09 (7 years ago) Permalink

Thanks. That TJ&TJ remaster gets my vote for "worst job ever", so I'll steer clear of the Filth CD.

sleeve, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

which version of filth is supposed to have this problem? the single cd jewelcase one from a long time ago or the somewhat more recent 2cd reissue?

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:26 (7 years ago) Permalink

Here's 25 seconds of a track from the Filth/body to body, job to job double CD:

http://rapidshare.com/files/33942016/filth_reissue_-_06_-_Right_Wrong__25_second_clip_.mp3.html

hope this helps?

StanM, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:27 (7 years ago) Permalink

Live Skull were VERY decidedly NOT goths. Hurrumph!

Alex in NYC, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

I have the Zensor vinyl version of 'Filth' - always thought it was meant to sound, well, filthy. What would/does cleaning it up reveal - the melodies?

Soukesian, Monday, 28 May 2007 21:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

Alex, they had a heavy goth streak

just because it's really really good doesn't mean it's not goth man

J0hn D., Monday, 28 May 2007 21:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

which version of filth is supposed to have this problem?

My CD from around 1990 is poorly-mastered. I dunno about any later versions.

libcrypt, Monday, 28 May 2007 22:03 (7 years ago) Permalink

Would it really be SO bad if your favorite band turned around and said "Yeah, actually, we were always Goths. At the end of the night, it was always all about getting with those Siouxsie clones. So kill us. The records are still OK though? Aren't they? Aren't they?"

Soukesian, Monday, 28 May 2007 22:10 (7 years ago) Permalink

Alex, they had a heavy goth streak

Live Skull? No they fucking didn't.

Look, I LOVE a lot of unapologetically Goth bands -- from Alien Sex Fiend through Theatre of Hate through the Mission through Fields of the Nephilim -- but the fact remains that Live Skull and SWANS simply WERE NOT members of that flock.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 28 May 2007 22:13 (7 years ago) Permalink

Well, at the time, goths sure as hell wanted nothing to do with Swans. This is true. It'd be more apt to call the Misfits goth, 'cause they were loved by every goth in (my) town.

libcrypt, Monday, 28 May 2007 22:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

ANYWAY.

i confessed that i always thought that the song failure was really funny.

One of my favorite Swans moments ever -- I'm DJing at KUCI during my grad school years and someone calls me up during finals week or just thereafter. Turns out it's another grad on campus, like me a TA. He goes, "I've been looking at all these student papers and I have a request -- can you play the Swans' "Failure" for them?" And so I did, and I would have also bought him a drink if I could.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 28 May 2007 22:23 (7 years ago) Permalink

As soon as Jarboe joined Swans (the Time Is Money 12") it became fair to call them goth. If you saw them during the Jarboe period you know that was a proper goth throwdown.

Snuffer counts as goth. However, the only evidence I can offer for this proposition is "it sure seemed goth to me at the time, and that is in fact why I bought it."

J0hn D., Monday, 28 May 2007 22:59 (7 years ago) Permalink

it became fair to call them goth

If by "fair" you mean "abjectly wrong," then yes.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 28 May 2007 23:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

ilm must've wandered into a wormhole, this is like 2005 all over again

Edward III, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 00:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

Did anyone else there at the time refer to Swans as "tribal"? Swans, Savage Repubic, (new EP is good BTW), Test Dept, anything with a bunch of blunt percussion we called tribal, tribal industrial. In Pittsburgh, circa 86-89.

bendy, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 00:58 (7 years ago) Permalink

Alex I'm older than you, don't make me come over there

J0hn D., Tuesday, 29 May 2007 00:59 (7 years ago) Permalink

Or to be more exact: circa 1985 on the west coast, there was not a goth that lived and breathed who didn't love or at least respect Swans. Their audience was largely goth (still "death rock" in some quarters) people, and industrial lovers who were more or less goths without so much makeup, and some punks. Your crowd defines you, to some extent. Certainly Swans are nothing like Fields of the Nephilim. But their lyrical themes, their relentless darkness, and THAT WOMAN WITH THE GOTH-ASS MAKEUP YOWLING ABOUT THE YUM-YAB KILLERS OR WHATEVER makes them goth whether one likes it or not.

J0hn D., Tuesday, 29 May 2007 01:02 (7 years ago) Permalink

Ah, west coast.

dlp9001, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 01:24 (7 years ago) Permalink

Alex I'm older than you, don't make me come over there

You're older than 39? Bring it on, old man.

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 02:27 (7 years ago) Permalink

Oh, god...old men fighting about what is goth...

OH!! Will you two wear black lipstick and long black trench coats???? Oow. That would be interesting....

Aja, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 02:52 (7 years ago) Permalink

guys I totally support the sudden surge of goths on ILX, keep it up 2007

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 02:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

Aja, that's just a FAP invitation.

libcrypt, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 02:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

Um...I feel stupid...what is FAP?...I know I learned this like 2 years ago, but I don't remember what it means....

*Blushes*

Aja, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:03 (7 years ago) Permalink

"Fancy A Pint" but I don't think the pints are required, it's just a generic term for irl meetings of ILXors.

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:05 (7 years ago) Permalink

Ok. Now I remember.

Yes, pints would be appropriate I guess. But I want to watch too...Can I have a Roy Rodgers?

Aja, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:06 (7 years ago) Permalink

*chuckling trying to imagine Alex in black lipstick*

Bimble, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

HAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alex in black lipstick and with EYELINER!

Aja, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

guys I feel like this is an appropriate time to mention that "fap" has never meant anything to me other than the sound of masturbation

bernard snowy, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

Well I've always felt the appeal of the term is that it does also call to mind that meaning. It's a double entendre, and I'm sure many jokes have already been made about it here.

Bimble, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

yeah

it was really weird and off-putting for me at first, though, like moving to some foreign land where everyone referred to cars as "cunts" and thought nothing of it

bernard snowy, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

WAHT IS THE HEN FLAP AND WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP ASKING FOR IT???

libcrypt, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:52 (7 years ago) Permalink

Wait..."Hen Fap" I've heard that before. What does it mean?

Bimble, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 04:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

It's the name of the server ILX runs on. Nothing more. Now go about yr bidness, citizen.

libcrypt, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 04:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

Hahah! I see! The things you learn!

Bimble, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 04:47 (7 years ago) Permalink

LOL @ Ned's story. Once I requested "Raping A Slave" on my hometown college station because it took me forever to find that EP, and after the DJ played it he said "Well, my girlfriend has called me to demand that I never play that song again".

sleeve, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 15:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

I have so much to say on the topic that it's tempting to say nothing.

as a college dj I did a 3 hour swans show. at one point some guy called up and said "I'm going to come up there and kill you" and then started laughing hysterically. so I got on the mic and dedicated "coward" to him. he didn't call back (or show up, obv).

around '99 gira was selling the master tapes to the labor e.p. on his website. wonder if that's why it hasn't been remastered.

Edward III, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 16:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

I am still missing one Swans live album in particular -- Anonymous Bodies in an Empty Room. So if anyone has a full burn of it around...

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 16:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

hold on

StanM, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 16:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

The hotmail address ILX tried doesn't work, I tried the k**i.*rg one I remembered, is that one ok?

StanM, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 17:10 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yup.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 17:11 (7 years ago) Permalink

the new angels of light is fucking awesome by the way

J0hn D., Tuesday, 29 May 2007 17:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

I love SWANS.

Alex in NYC, Friday, 7 September 2007 23:39 (7 years ago) Permalink

Alex in NYC OTM.

I refuse to be forced to choose between any of their sounds/periods (early! cathartic! melodic! apocalyptic!) though. They all rule in their own way.

StanM, Saturday, 8 September 2007 00:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

Cheers, Alex! I was just thinking of Swans today while walking around outside on my lunch break, funnily enough. I started singing that lyric "Nothing inside you is real" from "You're Not Real, Girl". It was the only thing that kindof shook me out of a bad mood, today.

Bimble, Saturday, 8 September 2007 01:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

A few months ago at work, I was immersed in "Holy Money" when my coworker appeared at the door of my cube, grinning. I removed my headphones, and she said, "Didn't you hear the fire alarm? Didn't you leave the building?"

Immolated in a sterile grey cubical, while the coworkers wander off... Would have been a Giraesque way to go.

bendy, Saturday, 8 September 2007 10:58 (7 years ago) Permalink

COP!

I know, right?, Saturday, 8 September 2007 11:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

The sex in your soul will damn you to hell

Bimble, Monday, 17 September 2007 08:04 (7 years ago) Permalink

Feel Good Now version of "Sex God Sex" is epic.

Ivan, Monday, 17 September 2007 08:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

Feel Good Now version of "Sex God Sex" is epic.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 17 September 2007 08:21 (7 years ago) Permalink

Just to be clear again, Swans were not Goths. Ever.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 17 September 2007 15:54 (7 years ago) Permalink

Classic. Personally their one of the most important bands in regards to what I’m interested in. Children of God and Filth should be in everyones collections.

Mr. Goodman, Monday, 17 September 2007 16:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

I'll say it again...

I LOVE SWANS

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 00:33 (7 years ago) Permalink

Just to be clear again, Swans were not Goths. Ever.

While this is technically true, I never knew an 80s goth who didn't have much love for Swans, and Jarboe brought the goth flavor to the stage throughout The Great Annihilator tour. They certainly transcend the genre, but the overlap is pretty undeniable.

J0hn D., Tuesday, 18 September 2007 02:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

Swans are less goth than Killing Joke, but like Killing Joke, they're still only a few steps away from goth proper.

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 03:04 (7 years ago) Permalink

the first two world of skin albums were totally goth. in a good way. i think i talked about the goth/swans thing on some thread. maybe this one. swans/gira still one of the few acts where i love/loved EVERYTHING they/he did. can't say that about too many people. jarboe on her own can be hit or miss (depending on who she is collaborating with), but she's put out some amazing post-swans stuff too.

scott seward, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 03:11 (7 years ago) Permalink

Scott, have you heard the Blackmouth disc that's her and two of the guys from Trust/Obey? V. good, been a while since I've listened -- might dig it out here tonight!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 03:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

nope, never heard it. she has lots of stuff i haven't heard. i still want to get her mystery of faith swans/skin comp too. and i'm curious about her men album. had blixa on it and alan from low doing a song with her. i really liked her anhedoniac album. crazy stuff. the early stuff i wasn't that big on. the 13 masks album and the beautiful people ltd. album. kinda patchy.

scott seward, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 03:31 (7 years ago) Permalink

i liked the neurosis/jarboe album too. i thought that was really cool.

scott seward, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 03:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

my love is for the Sacrificial Cake album that Alternative Tentacles put out. Anhedonic is cool too, only listened to it once so far. I saw her in a church on this tour:

MOBILIZATION TOUR 2006 (Blixa Bargeld, Jarboe, Savage Republic)

She had a piano player and another guitarist, played some Swans songs even!

also she has great early cassette noise stuff like on the first Dry Lungs comp.

sleeve, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 04:15 (7 years ago) Permalink

I think it's hilarious the way Alex always feels the need to play Goth Police around here. It's even more hilarious because honestly I don't care if EVERY band is goth, Swans included! But you know, to each his own.

I met a guy last week at my work who had a Neurosis/Jarboe shirt on. Ah, the benefits of no dress code.

Bimble, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 04:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

While this is technically true, I never knew an 80s goth who didn't have much love for Swans

I knew a bona fide Goth that liked Chris DeBurgh --- does that make Mr."Lady In Red" a goth too, then?

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 12:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

you knew one bona fide goth who liked Chris DeBurgh

you & I both went to Swans shows and saw the places packed out to the walls with goths

in your heart you know I'm right!

J0hn D., Tuesday, 18 September 2007 13:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

"I knew a bona fide Goth that liked Chris DeBurgh --- does that make Mr."Lady In Red" a goth too, then?"


It was late at night on the open road, speeding like a man on the run
A lifetime spent preparing for the journey.
He is closer now and the search is on, reading from a map in the mind:
Yes there's that ragged hill and there's a boat on the river.

And when the rain came down, he heard a wild dog howl
There were voices in the night
(Don't do it!)
Voices out of sight
(Dont't do it!)
Too many men have failed before, whatever you do;

Don't pay the ferryman!
Don't even fix a price!
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side.

In the rolling mist, then he gets on board, now there'll be no turning back
Beware that hooded old man at the rudder.
And then the lightning flashed and the thunder roared,
and people calling out his name,
And dancing bones that jabbered-and-a-moaned on the water.

And then the ferryman said "There is trouble ahead,
So you must pay me now."
(Don't do it!)
"You must pay me now."
(Don't do it!)
And still that voice came from beyond, whatever you do;

Don't pay the ferryman!
Don't even fix a price!
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side.

scott seward, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 13:24 (7 years ago) Permalink

J0hn D., Tuesday, 18 September 2007 13:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

what happened to mine image, BB code is totally non-goth

http://swans.pair.com/GALLERY/87/1987jarboe2.html

J0hn D., Tuesday, 18 September 2007 13:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

i joined jarboe's swans e-mail list in 1999 and most of the people on it were definitely more on the industrial side of things than the goth side. i have to say, they were almost all very brainy folks who listened to all kinds of music. but definitely HUGE love for the whole current 93/coil/NWW world on there. and also swans-like crescendo-rock like mogwai and godspeed and the like. and godflesh. what you would expect, i guess. probably lots of goth stuff too. i can't remember. beauty = darkness, etc. i have no problem with swans being goth-friendly or goth-identified. call them whatever you like. i prefer the term "freak folk" myself.

scott seward, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 13:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

The second I hit "submit response," I *JUST KNEW* someone was going to cite "Don't Pay The Ferryman." CHRIS DEBURGH IS A GOTH, OKAY, I ADMIT IT!

I also knew a kid in college who was a total hardcore punk, but also loved Rush -- i.e. DOES THIS MAKE RUSH A HARDCORE PUNK BAND???

The answer: Fuck no.

Look, yes -- Swans' audiences were crawling with Goths, certainly. Does that make the band goth? Not necessarily. I'll admit that Jarboe added an element to the proceedings that leant uncomfortably towards that crowd, but Michael Gira is no goth -- never was, never will be.

At the end of the day, I suppose it really depends on one's definition of "Goth." As far as I'm concerned, wearing black and having a less than cheeful sensibility shouldn't *AUTOMATICALLY* render one a "goth."

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 14:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

Michael Gira is no goth

Well, of course I agree with this; as I say, I think they transcend the label, which carries all kinds of only-and-exclusively-about-itself connotations. But in the goth family tree, they're a near branch - nearer than the Gun Club, say, but a little further out than the Fields of the Nephilim. The old saying about knowing a man by the company he keeps applies. If we wanted to posit a Non-Silly Goth category that would help, but really all we'd be doing is repeating the old saw about 90% of everything being crap. I mean: emo sucks, right? But Rites of Spring didn't suck at all, even though they're emo as fuck.

J0hn D., Tuesday, 18 September 2007 14:34 (7 years ago) Permalink

Fair enough.

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 14:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

i think for almost anything that was at one time labelled "industrial" you've got a goth fanbase of some size. skinny puppy, neubaten, etc.

scott seward, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 15:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

crescendo-rock

Ha ha! Is Southern Gothic goth? That one's always confused me.

Matt #2, Tuesday, 18 September 2007 15:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

I wonder if anyone remembers "Public Castration Is A Good Idea", another live (and double) album like "Feel Good Now". Strangely I don't remember anything about it at all, except that it had material from the first part of their career. I do remember that the sleeve was gray at its base with yellow and silver put in or something like that. Damn I wish I had that LP now!

I saw someone recently somewhere on the net who said they couldn't concentrate on Cop if they tried or some paraphrased thing like that, and I totally agreed. Cop is hard to bear, even though I love everything else they've done. Except I admit the first EP is a totally different thing and rather dull, as it happens.

Bimble, Saturday, 29 September 2007 07:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

yep - just listened to it about a month ago too

StanM, Saturday, 29 September 2007 07:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

Fuck goddamnit yeah
HOW I MISS THE VINYL!
I MIGHT CRY!

Bimble, Saturday, 29 September 2007 07:47 (7 years ago) Permalink

( review by Mr. Ned)

StanM, Saturday, 29 September 2007 07:48 (7 years ago) Permalink

Who doesn't like Cop?!?!?!?

I know, right?, Saturday, 29 September 2007 11:52 (7 years ago) Permalink

Public Castration... is now quite rare (as are -- sadly -- many albums in their catalog).

Alex in NYC, Saturday, 29 September 2007 12:06 (7 years ago) Permalink

...but, I should point out, it can be had it its unwieldly entiretly (sonically, at least) via iTunes.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 1 October 2007 12:41 (7 years ago) Permalink

entirety

Alex in NYC, Monday, 1 October 2007 12:41 (7 years ago) Permalink

Does anybody get made very very sleepy by early Swans (which is so beautiful I could never force myself to listen to the later stuff, I only have an imagined version in my head but some things can't be corrupted). Seriously, Cop is really relaxing, the louder the better, obv.

I know, right?, Monday, 1 October 2007 18:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

Haven't listened to it for years, but, yes, I can see what you mean. Works like massage.

Soukesian, Monday, 1 October 2007 19:02 (7 years ago) Permalink

I fell asleep at a bus stop once with it on my headphones. I had to walk three hours in the dark to get home (I got cold hitching) with a bag.

I know, right?, Monday, 1 October 2007 19:10 (7 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

probably of interest:

http://www.theomegaorder.com/s.nl/it.A/id.18990/.f

J0hn D., Friday, 15 February 2008 20:20 (6 years ago) Permalink

Nice.

Yesterday a copy of Anonymous Bodies sold on eBay for $160...

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 February 2008 20:23 (6 years ago) Permalink

I couldn't really get in to the J2 album. Not like I got into the Neurosis/Jarboe album. I think I was hoping for more rock and less Justin as beatscaper stuff.

scott seward, Friday, 15 February 2008 22:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

has anybody seen that youtube video where some guy has put Cop to a slideshow of Paris Hilton photos

I know, right?, Thursday, 27 March 2008 21:15 (6 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

I FINALLY GOT SWANS ARE DEAD I FINALLY GOT SWANS ARE DEAD I FINALLY GOT SWANS ARE DEAD I FINALLY GOT SWANS ARE DEAD I FINALLY GOT SWANS ARE DEAD I FINALLY GOT SWANS ARE DEAD I FINALLY GOT SWANS ARE DEAD I FINALLY

Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Saturday, 9 August 2008 07:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

Good, innit?

StanM, Saturday, 9 August 2008 07:52 (6 years ago) Permalink

Fuck yeah are you kidding? I'm flipping my lid.

Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Saturday, 9 August 2008 08:18 (6 years ago) Permalink

Swans Are Dead is fucking great, one of my favorite live collections ever. nice choice Bimble.!

stephen, Saturday, 9 August 2008 16:52 (6 years ago) Permalink

Cop is hard to bear, even though I love everything else they've done. Except I admit the first EP is a totally different thing and rather dull, as it happens.

this is fucking crazy talk. granted the remixed version on the filth cd is garbage, but have you ever heard the original vinyl release?

Edward III, Sunday, 10 August 2008 05:44 (6 years ago) Permalink

Classic!

I remember when I first heard Children of God and I thought it was creepy and I guess 'over the top' but listening right now I only hear the beautiful.

sonderangerbot, Monday, 18 August 2008 22:21 (6 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

Hi ya people,

I've got these SWANS shows,wanted video shows I don't have

AUDIO
CIRCUS MORT(pre-SWANS) E.P. 1981 20' *

Danceteria,NYC ?-?-84 20Â’

Danceteria,NYC ?-?-84 40Â’

The Roxy,L.A.,CA 14-3-86 45'

LA,CA 21-12-85 30Â’

Burgerhuis,Deventer,Holland 24-2-85 40Â’ CASS

electric banana,Pittsburgh,PA 6-10-83 35'

sin club,NY 1982 50'

the rat,Boston,MA 3-5-86 60'

live at sin club/CBGB/Pyramid club,NY 1982-1983 80'

kitchen,NYC 1982 or 1983 25'

Holy Money Tour,Live in Europe 1986 50Â’

Berlin ?-?-84 5Â’

the loft,Berlin? 24-2-97 75Â’

Amsterdam ?-?-88 50Â’

BRNO radio? 2-9-87 40Â’

Warszawa,Polsnd ?-?-86 or 87 45Â’

Variety Theater,Atlanta 29-1-97 75Â’

Errols,Sweden 21-8-87 20Â’

Ljubljana,Yugoslavia FM radio 16-3-86 or 85 35Â’

At the Limelight,NYC(Great Annihilator Tour) 4-7-1992 90Â’

VIDEO
(V)Paradiso,Amsterdam x-x-1986 40Â’

(V)Philadelphia,PA ?-?-1986 40'(Incomplete) DVD

(V)Holy Money Tour DVD

(V)long low screen (o) 1985 60'(33) DVD

(V)Interview+live acoustic 1985 2 songs,snubTV 10'(51)

(V)24-2-86 Nurnberg,West Germany 50Â’ DVD{10}*

(V)15-8-87 konopf,Music Hall,Hamburg,Germany 15'(97) NTSC

(V)x-x-87 Warsaw?,Poland 55'(97) NTSC

(V)Arena,Vienna,Austria 6-8-88 65Â’ DVD

(V)29-8-89 Reading Fest.,UK 60'(97) NTSC DVD{10}*

(V)21-8-89 PowerHouse,Islington,UK 80Â’ DVD

(V)x-6-89 Arenna,Vienna,Austria 80' (97) NTSC

(V)Los Angeles 1989 or 90?? 30Â’ DVD

(V)15-9-95 Markthalle,Hamburg,Germany 60'(97) NTSC

(V)Paradiso,Amsterdam 13-3-97 70Â’ DVD

(V)Schlachthof,Bremen,Germany 12-3-97 65Â’ DVD

(V)Love will tear us apart clip 5'(97) NTSC

(V)Love of life clip 5'(97) NTSC

(V)Skin clip 5'(97) NTSC

(V)Screw clip 5'(97) NTSC

(V)Love of Life 1992 MTV Special clips+Amnesia live Edinburgh 14Â’ DVD{10}*

(V)Int.+Live HideawayÂ’s,Toronto 1995? 10Â’ DVD

almudeno, Thursday, 6 November 2008 13:10 (6 years ago) Permalink

You know there's a ton of live CDRs for sale here, don't you?

http://swans.pair.com/prod_frameset.html

StanM, Thursday, 6 November 2008 15:10 (6 years ago) Permalink

good taste in music, poor judgment

RIP

Edward III, Thursday, 6 November 2008 15:18 (6 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

Digging this new track!
http://thequietus.com/articles/04724-michael-gira-review-new-swans-album-my-father-will-guide-me-up-a-rope-to-the-sky

This is gonna be real nice I believe....

Hadrian VIII, Monday, 2 August 2010 13:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

fragments of all the tracks here: http://younggodrecords.com/Releases/Detail.asp?C=2343

StanM, Monday, 2 August 2010 13:45 (4 years ago) Permalink

5. You Fucking People Make Me Sick (5:08)

lol

(e_3) (Edward III), Monday, 2 August 2010 16:20 (4 years ago) Permalink

psyched for this

bug holocaust (sleeve), Monday, 2 August 2010 16:28 (4 years ago) Permalink

This should be AWESOME. I have very high expectations.

ilxor has truly been got at and become an ILXor (ilxor), Monday, 2 August 2010 17:07 (4 years ago) Permalink

if the album art and this are any indication, it's going to be fucking epic

␆␆␆␆␆␆␆␆␆␆␆␆␆␆␆ (LOLK), Monday, 2 August 2010 17:08 (4 years ago) Permalink

Swans were the most important band of my life in the 80s and 90s and I can't express in words how much this resurrection, which I never expected to happen, means to me.

There's a more active thread here:

Classic or Dud: Swans

margana (anagram), Monday, 2 August 2010 20:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

I love those headshots, that is one fucking band you don't want to meet in a dark alley.

Merdeyeux, Monday, 2 August 2010 22:37 (4 years ago) Permalink

That top middle photo is *really* like a Lucien Freud painting.

disastrous sixth series (MaresNest), Monday, 2 August 2010 22:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah that's Christoph Hahn who played guitar on my favourite Swans album White Light from the Mouth of Infinity.

margana (anagram), Tuesday, 3 August 2010 10:11 (4 years ago) Permalink

What the fuck happened to him?! He was fairly handsome 20 years ago, he can't be that old...

A prog venn diagram for you to think about (Matt #2), Tuesday, 3 August 2010 13:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

top right is actually one of the nicest dudes on the entire planet

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 3 August 2010 13:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

bottom middle is a peach too

(e_3) (Edward III), Tuesday, 3 August 2010 13:51 (4 years ago) Permalink

I love those headshots, that is one fucking band you don't want to meet in a dark alley.

a girl I knew roadie'd for both swans and sonic youth back in their early years, she said the sonic youth van was usually quiet + somber whereas in the swans van they were always cracking up and having a good time

(e_3) (Edward III), Tuesday, 3 August 2010 13:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

in the swans van they were always cracking up and having a good time

Concur, I was a crew member for Swans in 1997 and a good time was indeed had on the tour bus.

margana (anagram), Tuesday, 3 August 2010 14:00 (4 years ago) Permalink

Which one is Thor? none of those guys look like the smiley happy dude I saw playing with Shearwater/

disastrous sixth series (MaresNest), Tuesday, 3 August 2010 21:29 (4 years ago) Permalink

God, I am just so completely out the top of my head with anticipation at seeing them.

disastrous sixth series (MaresNest), Tuesday, 3 August 2010 21:31 (4 years ago) Permalink

Thor is first row, all the way to the right

markers, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 21:53 (4 years ago) Permalink

Is Thor still in Shearwater? They're touring in October and November as well, presumably on the days Swans aren't playing?

StanM, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 04:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

saw thor play with lisa germano years ago and it was one of the best shows ever. never saw him with AOL.

scott seward, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 05:00 (4 years ago) Permalink

new album is so good. not knocking soundtracks for the blind but this is in the same sublime league as white light from the mouth of infinity and love of life. how is this man 56 and still getting better?

kamerad, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 23:21 (4 years ago) Permalink

pretty much what i said on the other swans thread. not as good as white light or LOL but its got that same sound that i love.

scott seward, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 23:27 (4 years ago) Permalink

didn't see the other thread. in hindsight those two albums sort of play like akron/family precursors, and working with those guys in angels of light has left its mark on him, for sure. still, i may miss jarboe. no complaints though about this new one whatsoever

kamerad, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 23:49 (4 years ago) Permalink

it's great. i never really listened to akron/family. like i said on other thread, i respected the AOL stuff and thought it "sounded" great, but i never played the albums much. hearing new swans just reminds me how much i've played my swans albums over the years. the sound is so addictive to me. new album has a little more digital-ness than i like. when i turn it up loud it starts to break up a bit, but i still dig it. in the past, i always thought gira was one of the most underrated producers/arrangers/engineers of sound that i can think of. i never read things where people rave about the sound of the stuff he does - yes, how "heavy" it is or whatever - but i can't think of many people who have made better sounding records over the last 20 years or so. in the "rock" field anyway. and definitely VERY few people in the u.s. that i can think of.

scott seward, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 23:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

gira's been sort of the eno of the 90s/00s. his talent scouting and producing since swans closed shop is pretty mind boggling, and how silly the ubiquitous devendra can be has kind of cast a pall on the awesome angels of light-akron/family collaborations. but anyways, be that as it may, to my ears this new one amplifies what he's been up to with akron/family. it expands on we are him, takes the gloves off. i'm almost scared to listen to it again

kamerad, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 00:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

conversely, I can't stop listening to it. f'kn brilliant.

(e_3) (Edward III), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 02:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

I can't wait to hear it but this is one album I'm not gonna take advantage of the fact that it's leaked. I've been praying and hoping for a new Swans record for 14 years and I'm gonna do it properly this time. go into town on release day, jump on it in the store, read the sleeve on the bus home, and play it loud and alone.

margana (anagram), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 05:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

man. just listened to this all the way through. nothing new to add, will join the chorus: it's fucking GREAT. can't wait to see these guys for the first time ever.

was a little skeptical about Devendra Banhart being on a track, but it works wonderfully.

circa1916, Wednesday, 18 August 2010 07:17 (4 years ago) Permalink

so last night i listened to children of god, after only having heard filth, cop, the young god ep and soundtracks for the blind. so basically i had heard them at their most abrasive and (what must be) their nicest. like, the first swans song i had ever heard, the first track on filth, "stay here," is BURNED INTO MY MEMORY because i was so shocked by it.

children of god is good and all, but i gotta say, it's PUSSY SHIT. their earlier releases imo are heavier and darker than most metal i've heard; children of god isn't the complete shift into post-rock "soundtracks" is; it's the same genre of music, post-punk i guess?, but just generally tamer. there are songs with a goddamn chick singing really sweetly over a piano.

i guess this is a pretty pointless post but i am making it anyway.

marc i marc ii marc iii (marc iv), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 19:33 (4 years ago) Permalink

Random thoughts:
Gira and Jarboe are 2 of the musicians I could easily imagine being psycho killers.

loool man this is so hilariously true.

marc i marc ii marc iii (marc iv), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 19:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

oh right i have to say whether i think they're classic or dud. they're pretty goddamn classic. anyone who says otherwise is a fool. their early shit like i said is REALLY impressively dark; so dark, that i've only heard cop and filth maybe twice each, because it is so difficult to listen to. listening to dark music when you're in a dark mood is cool and all, but i've tried this with swans and it just doesn't work for me! it totally hurtles me over the edge.

marc i marc ii marc iii (marc iv), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 19:37 (4 years ago) Permalink

marc iv, there is nothing on Cop or Greed or Filth that's as completely "you will never forget the first time you listened to this" as "Beautiful Child." imo Children of God is a masterpiece. The harshness of the early stuff is amazing no doubt but nothing hits as hard as "Beautiful Child" the first time, that performance is for the ages.

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 19:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

I'm just pleased somebody's prepared to take a stand on goddamn chicks singing sweetly.

'ray Clamence (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 20:30 (4 years ago) Permalink

marc iv, pick up a copy of Feel Good Now, which is basically Children of God live. Waaaaaay heavier sound. Granted I heard it first, but the studio lp sounds so neutered in comparison...

dlp9001, Thursday, 19 August 2010 02:31 (4 years ago) Permalink

is that the one with "beautiful child - the town and country club cowardice backstab" or whatever, the one where the sound guy kills the power to the house but not the monitors and gira just keeps screaming "I WILL KILL/THE CHILD"? because that shit is monstrous

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Thursday, 19 August 2010 02:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

their new album deserves its own thread. more here: Classic or Dud: Swans

Bee OK, Thursday, 19 August 2010 02:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

wow "your property" is one huge, raging, frenzied destroyer of a song. brutal and unyielding even by the band's impossibly violent standards around that time. apparently this song is going to be re-worked on the upcoming tour. that would be something.

charlie h, Sunday, 26 September 2010 21:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

they already reworked it on the 1995 tour

margana (anagram), Monday, 27 September 2010 08:20 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i'm aware of that. though this tour is going to be the first time i'll see them perform, so i'm anticipating it on a personal level.

charlie h, Monday, 27 September 2010 08:39 (4 years ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

They were absolutely stunning at both Supersonic 2010 on Sunday and then in Glasgow on Monday night. I was utterly destroyed. It was crushing and beautiful and masterfully done.

Supersonic 2010:

Arches, Glasgow:

krakow, Tuesday, 26 October 2010 22:22 (4 years ago) Permalink

10 months pass...

Probably coming over for Swans/Sir Richard Bishop on Friday. Crüt, J Fever, interested in meeting up?

Halal Spaceboy (WmC), Saturday, 10 September 2011 18:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

they were great as usual on Thursday. seemed more, uh, stretched out and jam-y than last year? like fewer recognizable "songs" and more extended workouts. anyway, awesome. Gira's quite an affable guy, isn't he? he was all smiles at the merch table.

circa1916, Saturday, 10 September 2011 19:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

i never liked most of their records too much, but they were (are?) exceptionally good live the couple times i've seen them

messiahwannabe, Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

I interviewed Gira recently; some of it is here, that and more will be in the print edition of Burning Ambulance, soon.

that's not funny. (unperson), Monday, 12 September 2011 11:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

THREE MORE DAYS until my show. It's my first time seeing them. Really excited.

some lady (La Lechera), Monday, 19 September 2011 12:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

Anxious to hear your report! I really wanted to see that show, but it'll be awhile before I hit up any more concerts.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 19 September 2011 13:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

great interview unperson

trying to imagine public castration era gira saying this, haha

It’s been really rewarding, because people really seem to get something really true from the music.

black metal version of "the boy with the thorn in his side" (Edward III), Monday, 19 September 2011 13:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

Gira's a sweetheart, albeit a very, very intense one.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 19 September 2011 15:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

The show was AMAZING. I regret that I overestimated the venue's procrastination, and we got there too late to see Sir Richard, which sucked because he was one of the reasons I was going to the show, but whatever, can't rewind time, etc. Plenty of ladies at this show too, which made me happy.

Swans played for 2.5 hours and everyone was covered in sweat. I was particularly happy that they played "Jim". In general, the performance was primordial and volcanic. At one point Gira called the audience "a handsome bunch of Polacks" and "girls". He seemed pretty affable, though, and very very sweaty.

Swans!

some lady (La Lechera), Friday, 23 September 2011 15:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

Sounds awesome, glad you enjoyed the show! Pity about missing Sir Richard though.

jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 23 September 2011 15:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

It was. For some reason it took us over an hour to actually arrive at the venue. Je55e took too long deciding which black tshirt to wear ;)

some lady (La Lechera), Friday, 23 September 2011 15:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

yesterday's show was decent, but they were much better last year. the songs were way too long and got dull quickly...and I love their brand of minimalism! the opening tune this time around topped last year's easily.

Ivan, Friday, 23 September 2011 22:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

I didn't go to the show last year because I was too cheap. I liked the opening tune too. When Gira said they were going to play two more songs I was thinking we would be there til 3am, but it was only ("only")1am or so. Lots of people left before the encore when Gira put on the hat.

some lady (La Lechera), Friday, 23 September 2011 22:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

ATP schedule conflict of Swans vs Ultramagnetic MCs and I am totally torn.

▂▂▅ dr. whiney says brush your teeth ▂▂▅ (Whiney G. Weingarten), Friday, 23 September 2011 22:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

x-post
hahah, I had the same thought. I was expecting two more half-hour jams.

what surprised me most about last night's show was how much the crowd seemed to enjoy the band. I got the feeling that their performance was meant to be divisive, in the sense that they were trying to weed out a demographic of the audience (similar to how Michael disliked the metalheads they were attracting during the mid-80s). but the crowd dug it!

Ivan, Friday, 23 September 2011 22:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

hey La Lechera -- I missed Sir Richard Bishop too. Really pissed off about that, actually, and it's not because I was farting around or anything. I checked the Bottom Lounge website earlier in the day, and they had something called "Daniel Knox" listed as the opening band. So I figured that clown goes on for a half-hour, and SRB prolly takes the stage somewhere around 9:45. called the venue at about 9:30 as I was about to depart (trying to decide whether to take a cab or not) and they said SRB actually started at 9:20. So annoying. What, this Daniel Knox played for 10 minutes?

Anyway, great Swans show ... loved the free-flowing improvisatory feel of the whole thing. First song was a 25 minute "No Words/No Thoughts", right? Complete with 15 minute tubular bell intro from Thor, haha. That was amazing. I guess I have more of an appetite for that stuff than Ivan. I thought the whole show was great, longer jams the better!

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 September 2011 00:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

but yeah, 2 1/2 hour show, sheesh. nowhere near that long when I saw them back in February

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 September 2011 00:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, and OTM about all the sweat onstage. Bottom Lounge always feels like a sauna, another reason I dislike that place.

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 September 2011 00:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

You are so OTM about that Daniel Knox business -- what a crock. Part of the reason I went was to see Sir Richard and I totally missed his set? Like, completely? That's messed up.
On the other hand, Thor's intro (and his work generally) was AMAZING and I like super long jams too, that was not really a problem for me (though I was apprehensive when I heard "two more songs", I admit -- they were worth it!). The whole percussion team was part of what made the show so bone-rattling and awesome. By the time I realized what the first song was, I felt like I had already been through the ringer (not in a bad way). I was standing about four people deep on the right hand side of the stage. I would have said hi if I had seen you!

some lady (La Lechera), Saturday, 24 September 2011 04:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

Seeing them tonight (this'll be #11 but the first time since they've debuted new material) with Pelican, Rick Bishop, Horseback, and Secret Chiefs III. Yep, at a festival. Luckily I at least like all of those bands.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

Saw this bill in minneapolis on wed, bishop was amazing

the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

re: the heat
I wouldn't be surprised if Gira asked the venue to kill the AC again. those open doors during the encore were fabulous.

Ivan, Saturday, 24 September 2011 19:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

I was perfectly comfortable fwiw. Heat didn't bother me in the slightest, but I'm always cold. Going to a show like that and shivering would have sucked.

some lady (La Lechera), Saturday, 24 September 2011 19:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

The swans was an incredible thing. Very glad I went but there were times I was kinda bored

the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 24 September 2011 19:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

La Lech -- sorry I missed you! i should have dropped you a note to say I was going, would've been nice to say hi (although I got out of there fast given it was 1 AM!)

those that *did* see Bishop, what kind of set did he do? was it the surf-arabic stuff, a la The Freak of Araby? if so, I'll feel better about it, since I saw him tour that

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 September 2011 21:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

Solo gibson hollow body, clean tone, guitar, some more drone some leaning towards fahey.....so gorgeous. Also did a strange and hilarious absurdist comedy spoken word piece about having sex with his girlfriend wearing a kennedy mask while she was wearing a marilyn monroe mask

the 500 gats of bartholomew thuggins (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 25 September 2011 01:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

o yah that's a Sun City Girls thing from Dante's Disneyland Inferno, love it. they were doing that on the Brothers Unconnected tour too.

(sorry for derail)

sleeve, Sunday, 25 September 2011 02:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

devastatingly awesome performance tonight. new stuff is unbelievable.

bishop played electric and smoked as always. killer.

also, I heart secret chiefs

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Sunday, 25 September 2011 06:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

new band is so goddamn locked into the whole thing -- interesting to watch Gira act as 'conductor. anyway, so much fun

Stormy Davis, Sunday, 25 September 2011 06:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

OPTIONS TO BUY LIVE 2XCD AND TO HELP SUPPORT NEW SWANS STUDIO ALBUM TITLED “THE SEER” IN PROGRESS:
1. buy hand made web only 2x live swans cd with original signed and numbered woodblock print sleeve made from drawing by m.gira - $30
2. as above AND RECEIVE 2xcd deluxe digi-pack signed version of Swans The Seer immediately upon release: $45
3. as in option 1 AND RECEIVE 2xcd deluxe digi-pack signed version of Swans The Seer, website/tour exclusive package that includes live swans dvd from 2010/11 tours - $55
4. OPTION 3 AND RECEIVE “executive producer” credit in upcoming swans studio album - $100
5. OPTION 3, AND 4 PLUS an original unique drawing by m.gira dedicated to customer (see example below) - $150
6. OPTION 3, AND 4, 5 PLUS be on guest list and meet band for one show on upcoming swans tour(s) 2012/13 - $175
7. OPTION 3, AND 4, 5, 6, plus, AND YES THIS IS REAL m.gira will record a simple, short, original song, acoustic guitar and voice, with customers’ name in the song, praising the customer, and send customer an mp3 of the song - $500
8. OPTION 3, AND 4, 5, 6, 7 and contribute an additional $100 or more over option 7, and receive undying gratitude, and a secret gift.

YOUR PURCHASE OF ANY OF THE ABOVE OPTIONS CONTRIBUTES DIRECTLY TOWARDS THE CONSIDERABLE (AND EVER EXPANDING) RECORDING COST OF THE NEW SWANS STUDIO ALBUM, THE SEER, IN PROGRESS)

wut?!

La Lechera, Thursday, 2 February 2012 17:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm happy to see Uncle Mike is no longer offering fingers as rewards.

I'm totally doing #3.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Thursday, 2 February 2012 17:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

me too
if only the site was up :-/

StanM, Thursday, 2 February 2012 17:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

Had to try for more than an hour, but I finally did it. Option 3 it is.

StanM, Thursday, 2 February 2012 18:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Would have loved to do option 3 but option 1 it is for me. And finally happily purchased too, that took...2 hours?

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 February 2012 19:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

I remember when I first heard Children of God and I thought it was creepy and I guess 'over the top' but listening right now I only hear the beautiful.

I liked it at the time because I liked "goth" music....but it has mellowed with age.
I am quite enjoying Children of God / World of Skin right now!

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 13:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

I've only gotten into Filth/Cop/Young God but man, do they really put me in a bad place. I wish I could see my own face when I'm listening to them.

frogbs, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 13:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

The early stuff sounds so tame by today's standards.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

not sure what standards (bands?) you're referring to there, but whatever they might be, it's a dead cert they owe a debt to Swans.

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean Slipknot are a million times louder and millions of kids listen to them.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah but Slipknot doesn't have Michael Gira so it doesn't really affect me like that

frogbs, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

they strike me as a spectacularly obvious cabaret act these days what with gira's preacher costume / guilt shame redemption damnation schtick. sandra bernhard does flannery o'connor.
the records sound good but they feel insubstantial.
they're touring rock band on the circuit - you can pay to see them play a drinking hole near you.
admittedly, nobody does slave-ship johnny cash better, but some guys in a van playing singer songwriter songs or pretty much all music in general leaves me cold now.
consume it. enjoy it.

iglu ferrignu, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

not sure abt that, early Swans were reputedly the loudest band ever. in a contest between early Swans and Slipknot to determine who was the most "tame", early Swans would lose.

xxp

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean Slipknot are a million times louder and millions of kids listen to them.

this is the absurdest of all absurd comparisons in the history of time

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm just asking why Slipknot aren't considered extreme. But you're right, I'm sorry about my lack of clarity.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's like saying james brown sounds so tame compared to today's funkmasters like the red hot chili peppers

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

What I mean to say is, the proverbial mom of yesterday would say, "turn that extreme underground industrial music off". When a lot of it is rhythmic and less abrasive to my classically trained ears. Whereas the same type of mom twenty years on says, "oh look at my cute punk rock kid." Some of today's music is really loud, but sell a lot of product and it's okay.

I do think the Red Hot Chili Peppers are less tame in the presentation and in the actual texture in the music. It's not a qualitative comparison. I mean, my grandmother likes James Brown. She would find the Chili Peppers "too noisy".

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

if a kid was listening to a slipknot record a proverbial mom of today would say "turn down that emo mall metal, kid", if they were listening to public castration is a good idea she would say "please don't kill yourself, do I need to call someone"

also what do you have against moms moms can be cool too

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

I kinda see what you mean though. I know a bunch of people who are into bands like Slipknot or other metal and I've tried to turn them onto Swans. One of them really liked it - the rest without fail would say something like "this is really, really horrible"

frogbs, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah so they don't like it b/c it's too extreme, not b/c it's too tame

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah let's compare

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Of course not, this is art band, so it's probably not their thing.

Sorry to invoke so much attention. I'll leave the thread to wrongly enjoy something.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah but when you describe them as "industrial frowncore" their ears perk up

frogbs, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

you don't have to leave, it's just there were a lot of bands who seemed weird and scary and oppressive back in the day, swans are one of the few whose recordings haven't aged a bit, that purity of vision still smashes all comers imo

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

Maybe they haven't aged because they weren't that "scary". Some people found angry hardcore "scary". Some people found Satan references in heavy metal "scary". So maybe not scary at all...just more thoughtful of how their work might sound in twenty years! Which is pretty listenable, actually.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeeeah, i don't think early Swans "sounds so tame by today's standards" at all. it's still kind of the gold standard for heavy, punishing stuff imo.

circa1916, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah see that's not what I'm getting, why you find early Swans more listenable than Slipknot

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

Punishing? It's awesome!

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

The early stuff sounds so tame by today's standards.

― โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Colored on TV! (Mount Cleaners), Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:51 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, i don't get this at all. shit was horrible, near-unlistenable dirge groan back then and still is today. slipknot are a funtimes metal band.

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 17:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

sometimes I see ppl discover swans and they subsequently ask "what else is like this" and the answer is, nothing really. you can point to stuff like godflesh or neurosis, but those folks capture the music but not the magic, nobody took sour brutality to the same primal places. what swans did transcended the intellectual or theatrical pretenses bound up in a term like "art band", delivering instead something very direct, visceral, and punishing. which is why they did ultimately have an effect on the hardcore and metal scenes, but all those bands are easily recognizable as hardcore or metal bands, whereas swans invented a type of music that didn't exist before and hasn't since.

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 17:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Saw them in 1985 supporting the Fall at Heaven. Possibly the most extreme gig I've ever seen. They deserve some respect for going that far.
I have heard few of their albums. Those that I have heard have been among the most negative, miserable, pointless pieces of music that I have ever encountered. No doubt Gira would in some way approve of this reaction. I couldn't care less. Dud.

― Dr. C, Saturday, March 17, 2001 1:00 AM (11 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Funny I was at this gig in 1984 I think. Have it associated in my head with the Black Flag Marquee gig & the first Bad Seeds show at the Electric Ballroom.
It's always stuck in my mind. Gira pulling himself up and down with a noose hanging slightly in front of the stage. Not sure how many people actually stayed for the full set particularly as the bar was elsewhere from what I recall.

Loved their material pretty much ever since.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 17:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

How's their live show nowadays? I am considering seeing them in Milwaukee but I'm not really sure what to expect or if it's even something I can enjoy. I feel like it's going to be the aural equivilent of banging my head against the wall but I kinda want to do it anyway.

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 June 2012 14:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

you seemed to get on okay w/the internet equivalent of banging your head against a wall so

blossom smulch (schlump), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 16:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol

current live show is amazing + transcendent, intense + pummeling, not nihilistic like the old days, more like the loudest tent revival meeting you ever saw.

diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Wednesday, 6 June 2012 17:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

my friend saw them in SF when they came through last year and he was on mushrooms and says that it was the most amazing, powerful experience he's ever had.

for reasons of sass (the table is the table), Thursday, 26 July 2012 05:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

8 months pass...

I saw them for the first time last night, p incredible. The first hour was the kind of brutal unrelenting assault I was expecting and great for it, but I suppose for the second hour my body gave up all resistance and I was 100% ~inside~ the sound, I felt like I could've gone on for hours more. My special blessings go to the maniacs not wearing earplugs (Gira included, I suppose his ears are like precisely but violently cut diamonds by now) and the shirtless guy next to me going crazy with his buddies.

(Mouth to Mouth was a really fun evening overall, if tough on the legs and back. Grouper and Xiu Xiu both beautiful and intense in their v different ways, Mercury Rev more enjoyable than I thought they'd be, if a bit corny and reliant on the same few tricks over and over. Didn't really get Ben Frost, sounded like little more than cheesy if massive EBM to me, but crowd reaction and twitter search suggest that I'm missing something there.)

a similar stunt failed to work with a cow (Merdeyeux), Friday, 5 April 2013 13:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

yeah, i don't get this at all. shit was horrible, near-unlistenable dirge groan back then and still is today.

― Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:08 AM (1 year ago)

been listening to we rose from Your bed with the sun in our head for a few days now, several hours a day. it's great. more groove-oriented than any swans i remember hearing before, immersive where i've previously found them repellent. after 20-some years trying, the door.

IIIrd Datekeeper (contenderizer), Thursday, 1 August 2013 16:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

try this next

this gtr climbed mt. washington (Edward III), Thursday, 1 August 2013 18:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol, i've still got public castration is a good idea on vinyl from way back when. should dig it out.

IIIrd Datekeeper (contenderizer), Thursday, 1 August 2013 18:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

their finest hour imo tho you may want to ease yrself into the bathtub w/ filth first

this gtr climbed mt. washington (Edward III), Thursday, 1 August 2013 18:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

holy money and children of god burned up in a fire years back. wasn't a fan, but enjoyed thinking about how much someone would pay me for them (song ideas for michael). now i wish i still had them around for actual listening to. are swans on spotify? wow, yeah, a bunch of stuff, anyway. surprises me somehow. gira doesn't seem to have much patience for freeloaders.

IIIrd Datekeeper (contenderizer), Thursday, 1 August 2013 19:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

wow, that no wave swans debut is kind of great. speaking of groove n all. never heard it before.

IIIrd Datekeeper (contenderizer), Thursday, 1 August 2013 19:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

one of my favorite things they did. lotta playback value since you won't feel like killing yrself after listening. unfortunately the original mixdown masters were lost and the subsequent 1990 remaster was terrible.

as a general statement their 80s stuff is best heard on vinyl, and the CD remasters pale in comparison, but that 1st EP is unlistenable on CD.

this gtr climbed mt. washington (Edward III), Thursday, 1 August 2013 19:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

ed what about the 1990 vinyl reissue? still from the same botched masters?

sleeve, Thursday, 1 August 2013 23:38 (1 year ago) Permalink

what's vinyl

markers, Thursday, 1 August 2013 23:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

filth was reissued on CD and vinyl in '90, the CD had the labor EP tacked onto the end. afaik there was no vinyl reissue of the EP by itself?

the '90 vinyl reissue of filth is not that great compared to the 80s pressings, it has the same master as the CD.

this gtr climbed mt. washington (Edward III), Friday, 2 August 2013 02:16 (1 year ago) Permalink

GETTING TAKEN TO THE BASEMENT GETTING FUCKED TO EASE SOME TENSION

didn't know bob pezzola also played with these guys round the same time

cock chirea, Friday, 2 August 2013 02:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

ok according to discogs there *was* a '90 vinyl reish of the labor EP on young god. I never heard it but considering the '90 young god reish of filth on vinyl had a less than optimal mix/master, I assume the EP is the same.

this gtr climbed mt. washington (Edward III), Friday, 2 August 2013 03:52 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol

Merdeyeux, Friday, 2 August 2013 12:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

what's vinyl

― markers, Thursday, August 1, 2013 4:39 PM (Yesterday)

IIIrd Datekeeper (contenderizer), Friday, 2 August 2013 12:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

poor markers

ok according to discogs there *was* a '90 vinyl reish of the labor EP on young god. I never heard it but considering the '90 young god reish of filth on vinyl had a less than optimal mix/master, I assume the EP is the same.

― this gtr climbed mt. washington (Edward III), Friday, 2 August 2013 03:52

Yeah this is what I was referring to, I trust yr judgment if u have heard the Filth reish.

sleeve, Friday, 2 August 2013 14:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

i used to have the Speak EP reissue on vinyl.. and it sounded ok to me at the time... but that EP has a much more brittle, tinny sound that the first LP - which sounds like it was recorded in a swamp..

now i wish i never sold it, and the Circus Mort 12" I had as well :-(

Stop the tape I got spittle all over my moustache. (Talcum Mucker), Friday, 2 August 2013 19:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

I interviewed Michael Gira a couple of days ago ahead of Swans' Irish shows next week.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Sunday, 4 August 2013 15:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

with those shows in mind, how loud are Swans live circa 2013?

Master of Treacle, Sunday, 4 August 2013 23:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

They get loud - last time I saw 'em was 2010 or 2011, and I was glad for earplugs.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Monday, 5 August 2013 08:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

Good interview!

Beatrix Kiddo (Raymond Cummings), Monday, 5 August 2013 11:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

Saw them within a month of seeing MBV earlier this year, and the two were comparably loud, but Swans were more physical. If that makes sense.

they all are afflicted with a sickness of existence (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 5 August 2013 11:14 (1 year ago) Permalink

Definitely glad of earplugs at both.

they all are afflicted with a sickness of existence (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 5 August 2013 11:14 (1 year ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

Man this looks like it could be interesting.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 7 January 2014 11:37 (11 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

So uh what's the deal with ANOTHER 2CD set? What does Michael Gira have against editing?

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:31 (10 months ago) Permalink

hey, no complaints here!

sleeve, Tuesday, 28 January 2014 16:02 (10 months ago) Permalink

Swans songs-albs have been long for....fifteen years or more now? Gira has never made any secret of his love for Floydian jams like 'Set the Controls..', and 'new' Swans have been working towards that for a while.

But as sleeve sez, bring it on.

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 28 January 2014 16:16 (10 months ago) Permalink

i still can't get over thor's stupid bossy "how to live" listicle
it's making swans difficult for me to like! how do i get over this?

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Tuesday, 28 January 2014 21:17 (10 months ago) Permalink

Where is this list?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 00:08 (10 months ago) Permalink

mostly pretty sensible tbh. I'm gonna assume the jerkier bits were contributed by she who shall not be named.

And why the fuck should we not all be excited by another two hours of fucking SWANS? bring it.

Simon H., Wednesday, 29 January 2014 00:15 (10 months ago) Permalink

i should just try to forget about it
it's not his recommendations themselves that bother me, but the writing of the list in the first place
just gonna try to unsee it

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 00:27 (10 months ago) Permalink

haha I thought you were talking about the "how to survive on tour" list, hadn't seen that one

sleeve, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 01:10 (10 months ago) Permalink

I dont know why the list bothers you that much, I thought it was pretty good.

Had no idea Palmer knew any Swans people.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 01:40 (10 months ago) Permalink

Other than speeding tickets and cirrhosis this seems... suspect:

16. PREVENTABLE EXPENSES - STD’S, ABORTIONS, DWI’S, LUNG CANCER, HEAD INJURIES, SPEEDING TICKETS, CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 02:03 (10 months ago) Permalink

Drummer named Thor has no sympathy for those who are not masters of their domain, film at eleven

da croupier, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 02:26 (10 months ago) Permalink

Yeah, some of rule 16 was a bit odd. I think most people try to avoid head injury.

Is cirrhosis easy for everyone to avoid?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 02:51 (10 months ago) Permalink

WRITE IN ALL CAPS, LIKE A BOSS

paolo, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 10:14 (10 months ago) Permalink

NEws of St Vincent and Swans teaming up - *falls down dead, goes to heaven*

The Robotic Policeman II (dog latin), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 11:10 (10 months ago) Permalink

the list is smug, misanthropic, quite up itself in a teenage-y way unbecoming a guy of his age tbh

rock nobster (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 12:32 (10 months ago) Permalink

Contributions from Amanda Palmer. God she gets everywhere doesn't she?

doglato dozzy (dog latin), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 12:35 (10 months ago) Permalink

9. If you like booze, drink at home with your neighbors.

10. Do people favors. It’s called Cooperation. It’s how the world worked before money.

^ so misanthropic

keiji cretins (NickB), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 12:52 (10 months ago) Permalink

So the recording of the new album was fan funded but it's being released by Mute? I'm all for Gira taking control of his career etc, but it seems like funding a Swans album would be pocket change for Mute, no?

Position Position, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 13:03 (10 months ago) Permalink

xp

i'm not gonna get into "don't have kids" on here

rock nobster (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 13:05 (10 months ago) Permalink

good point

xp

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 13:08 (10 months ago) Permalink

I think most of it was advice in an exaggerrated manner, I'm sure plenty of his friends and associates break plenty of these rules (especially about having kids. I doubt he sneers at Gira for having children).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 17:39 (10 months ago) Permalink

I don't want to overexplain this, but it's the simple fact that he wrote a presumptive aggrieved-sounding list of unsolicited advice -- it's that impulse that repulses me, not the content. Although that's pretty bad in some places too. Anyway, I am trying to say who cares and move on.

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 17:55 (10 months ago) Permalink

it's like the hardman version of "dance like no one's watching"

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 17:56 (10 months ago) Permalink

^^

Squidward Ka-Spel (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 29 January 2014 17:57 (10 months ago) Permalink

gonna go with "unbecoming for a man his age" here

another addition could be "work for yourself, don't be anybody's fucking paid employee"... oh wait

sleeve, Wednesday, 29 January 2014 20:28 (10 months ago) Permalink

guys, it's nothing to get offended at. it's jokey in tone

illegalblues, Thursday, 30 January 2014 16:40 (10 months ago) Permalink

I found it obnoxious too but it doesn't effect my enjoyment of the band at all, come on LL. I dont think I'd want to meet any of these guys in person anyway!

frogbs, Thursday, 30 January 2014 16:42 (10 months ago) Permalink

Yeah, this is Swans.

the drummer is a monster (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:10 (10 months ago) Permalink

Ok ok, I'm over it!

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:17 (10 months ago) Permalink

Seem like nice people to me, but maybe a bit grumpy.
When I saw the Swans a couple of years ago I saw Thor meeting someone who must have been an old friend or something, it was really sweet how excited he looked at meeting the person. For some reason this sticks in my mind.

I still think there is good stuff on that list (surely overpopulation is something that doesnt get talked about enough; science fiction authors were scared of it in the 60s-70s, so why arent there loads of movies about it now?); there is some advice about self-sufficiency that I should probably take but I'm too scared of hurting my hands doing diy stuff.
For every time I roll my eyes at some obvious overfamiliar piece of wisdom, I think that there is always going to be some people who have never thought about it.
I remember a girl on Devianart who was asking for help because her boyfriend beat her up and she blamed herself for it. The idea that she was being wrongfully abused seemed like a total revelation to her.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:55 (10 months ago) Permalink

ha, i enjoyed that list, thor seems cool. my brother hung out with all the swans on a recent tour, had dinner and breakfast with them through a mutual friend. said thor was super nice. gira was kind of a dick but that's no surprise.

marcos, Thursday, 30 January 2014 19:03 (10 months ago) Permalink

Thor is one of the sweetest people I've ever known. I dislike lists of what people should or shouldn't do though his how to be in a band one was funny because if you spend a lot of your life in a tour van a lot of it resonated. the strength of that piece was that it spoke from an experience many share but that's unusual for many. I don't think it's presumptuous for a guy who's been in a bunch of bands & is well liked by almost everybody he's worked with to write a "how to be in a band" list, but I think it's presumptuous for pretty much anybody to write a "here's how to live your life list" well there we have it I've shared my opinion about Thor's list have a nice day everybody

joe perry has been dead for years (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 30 January 2014 20:11 (10 months ago) Permalink

i'm glad to know we share the same opinion about thor and his list! he seems like a decent person, it's just the "how to live" list-making itself that i dislike but I'd feel the same way if my beloved or bff made a similar list. just kinda disappointed.

CARRY ON with the music-making, Swans

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Thursday, 30 January 2014 20:44 (10 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

listening to Filth first time ever, and yeah these guys have pretty much always been good. Yet another addition to the "I can't believe this happened in 1983" canon, and in a weird way, can see how this would have influenced extreme metal bands. Not in the speed department, but in the generally inhuman, grinding beats and guitars.

Dominique, Tuesday, 15 April 2014 22:34 (8 months ago) Permalink

oh dear lord Public Castration Is A Good Thing

Dominique, Friday, 18 April 2014 16:31 (8 months ago) Permalink

yes, that one

sleeve, Friday, 18 April 2014 16:35 (8 months ago) Permalink

"oxygen" is killer

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:13 (7 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

you guys

https://youtu.be/AKb88rSal6M

circa1916, Saturday, 17 May 2014 20:33 (7 months ago) Permalink

http://youtu.be/AKb88rSal6M

circa1916, Saturday, 17 May 2014 20:33 (7 months ago) Permalink

nnng. one day i'll do this correctly.

circa1916, Saturday, 17 May 2014 20:34 (7 months ago) Permalink

put an "s" after the http

KrafTwerk (sleeve), Saturday, 17 May 2014 20:41 (7 months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKb88rSal6M

circa1916, Sunday, 18 May 2014 09:22 (7 months ago) Permalink

thought i had it that time. why am i still here.

circa1916, Sunday, 18 May 2014 09:23 (7 months ago) Permalink

I think you actually need to remove the s after http.

overwhelmed with sweat (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Sunday, 18 May 2014 09:33 (7 months ago) Permalink

:)

circa1916, Sunday, 18 May 2014 09:47 (7 months ago) Permalink

is there another thread to talk about the new album?

i picked it up at their show in DC the other day. it was the second time i've seen them, and it was predictably great, albeit slightly less ferocious than the last time around (the seer tour).

Karl Malone, Sunday, 18 May 2014 14:40 (7 months ago) Permalink

4 weeks pass...

Meantime I looked back thirty years...

http://thequietus.com/articles/15465-swans-cop-anniversary-review

Ned Raggett, Monday, 16 June 2014 16:14 (6 months ago) Permalink

Ned I hate to tell you this but "Half Life" is the opener, not "Why Hide" ;)

polyamanita (sleeve), Monday, 16 June 2014 16:25 (6 months ago) Permalink

it sounds like you are describing the right track fwiw

polyamanita (sleeve), Monday, 16 June 2014 16:25 (6 months ago) Permalink


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