Oh my goodness, I can hardly control my excitement (I am using understatement to emphasize my point).
Your friend and mine, Michael Gira, has reformed the band that made us all love the sound of abjection, Swans. I was sadly unaware of the brilliant music of Swans until some time after they first disbanded (after 1997’s final full-length Soundtracks for the Blind), so I am super-hella-crazy-mega-pumped to finally see them live.
Of course, the unfortunate thing about it is that, at least as of now, it doesn’t seem that Jarboe is going to be a part of this reunion. It was probably overly wishful thinking to hope for such a thing in the first place, but I guess I’ll just have to be content with the fact that Jarboe has continued to make excellent and challenging music, both on her own, and, especially, with an extremely notable list of collaborators throughout metal’s avant-garde: Neurosis, Justin Broadrick, Byla, Phil Anselmo & Atilla Csihar on the astonishingly good Mahakali, and Kris Force on the soon-to-be-released soundtrack to some random video game.
Anyway, if you have a love for all that is good and righteous in music, you would be well-advised to seek out the music of Swans, and to attend their upcoming concerts. Here’s the complete list of tour dates for the U.S. leg of their tour this fall, with more information on European dates available at Gira’s label, Young God Records:
Sept 28 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero Theater
Sept 29 Washington, DC – Black Cat
Sept 30 Boston, MA – Middle East downstairs
Oct 01 Montreal, QC – Le National – Pop Montreal fest
Oct 02 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
Oct 04 Detroit, MI – Crofoot Ballroom
Oct 05 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
Oct 06, Columbus, OH – Outland Live
Oct 08 Brooklyn, NY – Masonic Temple
Oct 09 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
I’ll be kicking it Swans-style here in Chicago October the 5th. In the meantime, how’s about a few videos to whet your interest?
Here’s a rather unfortunately seizure-inducing video for the title track off of Love Of Life (interesting tidbit: try to see how many of these photos will end up being used as cover art for Gira’s albums as Angels Of Light):
And if that one was a bit soft for your taste, have a nice little palate-cleansing bludgeoning from the much rawer Swans circa 1987:
Go get your tickets, before the tickets get you. Or whatever.