8/30/2016

Iconic avant rockers SWANS tour in September

    Iconic avant-rock ensemble Swans will be undertaking the second leg of a year- long, worldwide tour - the first leg ending this past weekend with two sold out concerts in NYC. The dates celebrate the recent release of The Glowing Man, the fourth and final studio album from this line-up since their reactivation by band primum mobile Michael Gira in 2010 after a 14 year hiatus. The touring line-up is: Michael Gira - guitar, voice (original Swans); Norman Westberg - guitar (original Swans); Christoph Hahn - guitar (mid period Swans and most Angels Of Light); Phil Puleo - drums, percussion, dulcimer etc etc (final Swans tour and most Angels); Chris Pravdica - bass and gadgets (Flux Information Sciences / Services/ Gunga Din); Paul Wallfisch - piano, organ, and Mellotron ( Botannica / Ministry of Wolves / Little Annie). After the tour, Gira says, "I'll continue to make music under the name Swans, with a revolving cast of collaborators... touring will definitely be less extensive." I hope you'll consider covering via advance feature, album review or preview. Please let me know if you need a CD or DL. I'm providing a streaming link for your editorial use. Please do not post:  https://soundcloud.com/swansofficial/sets/the-glowing-man/s-PsgIb
 
     The Glowing Man was produced by Michael Gira, performed by the touring line-up, recorded by the venerable John Congleton (St. Vincent, Amanda Palmer, Baroness...) at Sonic Ranch, outside, El Paso Texas. Further recording was made at John's Elmwood Studio, in Dallas, Texas, and at Studio Litho (Seattle, WA) with Don Gunn, engineer, and at CandyBomber (Berlin) with Ingo Krauss, engineer. The record was mixed by Ingo at CandyBomber and by Doug Henderson at Micro-Moose, Berlin. Doug Henderson mastered it at Micro-Moose.
 
     Swans previous album To Be Kind debuted at #36 on Billboard's Top 200 Sales Chart and #5 on their Independent Sales Chart; the album has been streamed 1.2 million times on Spotify. The group sold out 47 concert dates in their subsequent touring including back-to-back sell-outs in cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Paris, as well as single dates in cities like London, Berlin and Rome. The album garnered a huge amount of ecstatic coverage from a host of impressive outlets and the (2 hour long!) album stream was premiered by NPR. The Glowing Man has been greeted with equally rapturous reviews:
 
When Gira announced this Swans incarnation would end, he referred to "LOVE" (in all caps) as his reason for working with the musicians on The Glowing Man. Of course, Gira was not talking about the over-sweetened form we often get in pop music. The love in his music is as terrible as it is beautiful, a wrenching act of spiritual determination. Swans make this sound effortless, though, in a fitting end to a remarkable chapter of their career.
Saby Reyes-Kulkarni /Pitchfork.com 6/21
 
No experimental group has been able to so perfectly reflect the psychological turmoil of existence and the heavy burden of our pains and regrets. Their music acts as a grand descent and exploration into what we mortally fear and what innately drives us, and they've been able to do this in expert fashion over their past three records. Listening to Swans is an exhausting process to be sure, but it's rewarding in its self-analysis; you might not leave entirely sure of yourself, but you're sure as hell more in touch with the inner workings of the mind. And this is where "Finally Peace" comes in: While it's the happiest the band has ever been, it merely seems that this contentment is the original madness transformed. It's a way of saying that there remains unexplored territory and uncertainty ahead, but its also the best resolution Swans may ever achieve.
Sean Barry/ConsequenceOfSound.net 6/17
 
Apart from illustrating their overarching development from industrial weirdos to terrifying, experimental clairvoyants, the album combines the organic, acoustic tendencies of The Seer with the goth-rock showcased on Kind, acting as both linchpin and facsimile for their best body of work to date. Yes, Gira's poetry remains as creepy and intriguing as ever, its gravity matched only by the instrumentalists' steeled discipline. But where else can he go besides further into the void, towards the event horizon? Considering these inevitable existential plateaus, you can't blame the band for developing this epic trilogy as a triumphant summary of their storied career (and the troubling theses informing it), rather than one final progression.
Zoe Camp/Spin.com 6/17
 
     Michael Gira founded the seminal NYC band Swans in 1982. Quickly infamous for their punishing, brutal and repetitive onslaughts of sound, extreme volume levels, and the self-abusing, abject shouts and growls of Gira's sloganeering vocals, Swans gradually transformed over 15 years, ultimately venturing into harsh mechanical proto-industrial rock, to sprawling shifts of texture and perspective  (see the bucolic atmospheric folk idles and martial stomps of their much heralded Children of God double LP from 1987), to gentle acoustic-based songs, and finally on to their ultimate statement, Soundtracks For The Blind (1997) which somehow incorporated all of these elements at once, across well over 2 hours of music in one album. At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of relentless touring and productivity, and disbanded Swans.  He went on to release his music under the name Angels Of Light on a long series of critically acclaimed albums. Gira also produced and released music through his label Young God Records and was responsible for finding and nurturing such notable talents as Devendra Banhart, Lisa Germano, Akron/Family and Wooden Wand.
 
     In 2010, he reactivated Swans, releasing the studio album My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky to ecstatic critical response and touring the world for the better part of a year.  The Seer, a double CD studio set, came out in 2012 and was celebrated by a year-long tour as well. Both the live shows and album elicited still more media praise and album sales landed The Seer on Billboard's Top 200 Sales Chart. This was followed by the 2 hour long To Be Kind.

    Talking about his experiences with Swans these past six years Gira says: "On a few occasions - particularly in live performance - it's been my privilege, through our collective efforts, to just barely grasp something of the infinite in the sound and experience generated by a force that is definitely greater than all of us combined. When talking with audience members after the shows or through later correspondence, it's also been a true privilege to discover they've experienced something like this too."
 
 
SWANS TOUR 2016
North America
1 Sept - Tucson AZ, Rialto Theater
2 Sept - Los Angeles CA, Fonda Theater
3 Sept - San Francisco CA, The Regency Grand Ballroom
4 Sept - Portland OR, Wonder Ballroom
6 Sept - Vancouver BC, Venue
7 Sept - Seattle WA, The Showbox
9 Sept - Salt Lake City UT, Urban Lounge
10 Sept - Denver CO, Gothic Theater
12 Sept - Dallas TX, Trees
13 Sept - Austin TX, Mohawk Austin
14 Sept - San Antonio TX, Paper Tiger
15 Sept - Albuquerque NM, Sunshine Theater
16 Sept - Phoenix AZ, Crescent Ballroom
*with support from Baby Dee

0 comments: