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Thread: SWANS + related projects

  1. #1
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    SWANS + related projects

    Because SWANS is almighty and needs a thread.

    Live album and new material in the pipes: cannot fucking wait.

    (Feel free to discuss Angels of Light, M. Gira solo, Jarboe solo and all the other side projects. It's all good!)


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    sorry to have missed this thread. definitely a powerhouse among powerhouses... tremendous and crushing and intense in a way very few bands can be, even with just an acoustic guitar and a minimal arrangement.

    i can't pick a favorite album. don't ask me to. i am looking forward to the new material.

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    Missed this thread as well. 2011 was the year of Swans for me. I still have a ton of their discography to go through. I've gotten through most of Angels of Light and really enjoyed that. I look forward to new material as well.

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    I got into them through the Cop/Young God/Greed/Holy Money compilation but my love was cemented when I nabbed Filth/Body to Body... and the latest album last year. I pretty much went on an archive binge and purchased everything else straight after. Soundtracks for the Blind is my personal favourite, closely followed by Filth. Their live albums are immense too. I prefer the versions of the songs captured Feel Good Now, Omniscience and Swans Are Dead to their studio equivalents. But having to pick favourites with this band is especially difficult.

    Gira's Drainland and Jarboe's Thirteen Masks + Sacrificial Cake are also well worth hearing.

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    the whipping boy in the catalog seems to be the burning world, both trashed by fans and by gira himself. i wasn't too into it at first, but i picked up a copy on vinyl some years back, threw it on the turntable, and it instantly clicked. among my favorites from them, though i couldn't really rank the catalog justly.

    also, the best live show i've ever seen: front row at the bowery ballroom last year. damn near blew my head off. there were times gira was bent over screaming far away from the mic, not meant to be picked up. the little i was able to hear of it terrified me more than any of the cacaphony coming from the stage proper...

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    I don't really mind that album too much. It had God Damn The Sun. Makes it ok in my book. Not sure why it gets the flack it does, but oh well.

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    No Swans release deserves flak at all. Flawless discography as far as I'm concerned. Also, fuck the Jarboe haters. She could be just as deranged as Gira at her peak IMHO.

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    ^ Powerful shit indeed. Swans' music is hypnotic and mesmerising in a way no other band has ever managed to emulate.

    Strongly disagree about Jarboe though. I love her both her work with Swans and her solo outings.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackholesun View Post
    Managed to order a bundle before they went out of stock. Can't wait. 2012 is going to be the year of Swans.

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    Gira solo dates
    3/15/2012 San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall w/ Sir Richard Bishop
    3/16/2012 Los Angeles CA Echo w/ Sir Richard Bishop
    3/22/2012 Seattle WA Triple Door w/ Sir Richard Bishop
    3/23/2012 Portland OR Mississippi Studios w/ Sir Richard Bishop
    3/24/2012 Denver CO Oriental Theater w/ Wovenhand

    My favourite Swans material is Love of Life/White Light from the Mouth of Infinity, though of course the first four are great too. The latest tour was incredible: this guy puts massive emotional intensity into his live shows.
    Last edited by aggroculture; 02-05-2012 at 10:19 AM.

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    i can't get down with the jarboe hate either. sometimes, she gets under my skin, but it's more a "not in the mood" thing than an overall irritation, which can be said about swans in general. she's definitely as powerful as gira, but in a different way. i love all of their albums, jarboe or no.

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    I bought Soundtracks For The Blind last week. "The Sound" is amazing. The entire album is great, but that song...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iran_Ed View Post
    I bought Soundtracks For The Blind last week. "The Sound" is amazing. The entire album is great, but that song...
    I used to hate that one. Didn't "get it". Listened to it again recently and it was amazing. Guess it's one of albums that have to grow on you. And I don't mind Jarboe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmd 5a View Post
    Strongly disagree about Jarboe though. I love her both her work with Swans and her solo outings.
    Quote Originally Posted by frankieteardrop View Post
    i can't get down with the jarboe hate either. sometimes, she gets under my skin, but it's more a "not in the mood" thing than an overall irritation, which can be said about swans in general. she's definitely as powerful as gira, but in a different way. i love all of their albums, jarboe or no.
    [related tangent]

    Of all things, it was the Neurosis & Jarboe cd that made her utterly click with me. She's so on the nail with that one. One of my favourite releases of the last few years for sure and never stops giving something new, in no small part due to her.

    [/tangent]

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    i reckon it would have gotten very boring, very quickly, if gira had stayed the course. repetition often leads to diminishing returns, even if the material is still up to par (see the fall, who annoy me with their knack for writing the same god damn record over and over and over again).

    what the mid-period and later material may lack in sheer brute force, it makes up for in haunting melody, which in many cases can be even more brutal and harrowing. 'blackmail' and 'in the garden' and 'mind/body/light/sound' cut me just as deeply as 'raping a slave.'

    factor in the new material, which sounds like a slightly heavier version of angels of light, while still focusing on silence, space, and dynamics. if jarboe was to blame for softening the band's sound, wouldn't gira be exploring the earlier, doomier style again now that she's not part of the band anymore? or is the consensus that he'll never be the same again? sure, the new material is heavy, but it's not cop.

    i get if people don't dig her voice, but the way some people go on about her ruining the band make it sound like some weird thinly veiled mysogynistic eve in the garden of eden/yoko ono kind of thing. what i'm getting at is this: it might very well have been gira that wanted to tone the band's style and image down over the years, with his distaste for his audience and the pre-conceived expectations of the band. i don't doubt that jarboe might have exerted some influence here, but given that her own material can be just as bleak and powerful makes me feel like she doesn't deserve all the finger-pointing.

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    Swans' first release, the self-titled EP, is notably a lot less intense than Filth, Cop, etc.

    I saw an interview with Jarboe somewhere when she said her favourite bands at the time she joined Swans were Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle. And also that she would've tried to join Einsturzende Neubauten (who, incidentally, also got less "heavy" after the mid-80s) if Swans rejected her. Additionally, if you listen to her solo and collaborative work outside Swans there are quite a few "brutal" pieces. Check Walls are Bleeding for instance. Scary shit.

    And I agree with frankieteardrop. There's only so long the band could've churned out Cop-esque material without reverting to self-parody. If anything, Jarboe's influence caused the band to experiment more as can be heard on Greed/Holy Money and Children of God. Obviously the more lush pieces on the latter album developed into the main direction of the band. Which is good, because Soundtracks for the Blind is easily one of my all-time favourite albums and every bit as intense as Filth IMHO.

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    From Jarboe's Facebook page:
    Michael sent me an advance copy of The Seer, the new Swans album. I heard it in its entirety last night.
    I'm very pleased with it and the songs where I did background vocals sounded ...well sounded like SWANS. Some tears rolled down my face in sheer joy. I am so happy to have contributed in some way to this album. It meant a lot to me.
    X,
    j.
    !!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmd 5a View Post
    !!!!!!!!!

    {sound of jaw hitting floor}


    Can I just second your !!!!!!!!! and add my own run of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! too

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    wait

    are you telling me there's new swans and it has jarboe in it? no shit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fillow View Post
    wait

    are you telling me there's new swans and it has jarboe in it? no shit?
    Yeah, I know. That was my reaction.

    In a list of 10 things I expected to see on a new Swans album that would have been about 73rd

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    This is gonna be great, judging from the live versions and demos of the new songs

  23. #23
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    Yeah, hearing Gira describe his vision for the demos on the bonus disc of We Rose from Your Bed... got me so pumped and with Jarboe and Alan + Mimi from Low involved how can this not be AOTY?

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    I have a feeling that a lot of the money I make this year will be going to Michael Gira.

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    It leaked too. About to listen.

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    Heard it leaked. Couldn't find it yesterday though.

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    Goddamn The Seer (the track) is immense. So far this album is blowing my mind.

  29. #29
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    having a spot of trouble tracking it down. if anyone can send me a present, please do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankieteardrop View Post
    having a spot of trouble tracking it down. if anyone can send me a present, please do!
    Second this.

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