Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Swans resurrected

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 3:51 PM

According to Young God Records Michael Gira is resurrecting Swans. Although he’s quick to point out that this is not “some dumb-ass nostalgia act,” but a new beginning for the beastly and masochistic outfit’s ecstatic and post-industrial strum, sturm and dang. The new lineup features original Swans members Gira (guitar, voice) and Norman Westberg (guitar), along with later period Swans personnel Christoph Hahn (guitar) and Phil Puleo (percussion), joined by Chris Pravdica (bass) and Thor Harris (percussion, etc.).

Michael Gira

… there was a point a few years ago during a particular show when I was on tour with Angels Of Light, with Akron/Family serving as the backing band. It was during the song The Provider. Seth’s guitar was sustaining one open chord (very loudly), rising to a peak, then crashing down again in a rhythm that could have been the equivalent of a deep and soulful act of copulation. The whole band swayed with this arc. Really was like riding waves of sound. I thought right then, “You know, Michael, Swans wasn’t so bad after all....” Ha ha! It brought back – in a flood – memories, or maybe not memories, more a tangible re-emersion in the sensation of Swans music rushing through my body in waves, lifting me up towards what, I can only assume, will be my only experience of heaven. It’s difficult – and probably pointless – to try to describe this experience. It’s ecstatic, I suppose – a force of simultaneous self negation and rebirth. Really, I probably only experienced this a handful of times to such an extreme extent during the entire 15 year history of Swans. All the elements have to align perfectly, and you can’t force it, though you might constantly strive for it. I don’t mean to be too lofty here, but it’s a fact. I’m talking about my own experience of the music (though I’d hope people in the audiences along the way might have experienced a similar episode). When I ask myself if I believe in God, I start to say NO, but then I remember that sensation, and I’m not so sure. So I want more of that, before my body breaks down to such an extent that it won’t be possible any more. So I’m doing it.

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