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October 17, 2013 7:19 AM   Subscribe

The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones sits down with Michael Gira of Swans to discuss, among other things, Not Here/Not Now, the new Swans live CD hand assembled by Gira. The proceeds will fund the making of Swans' next album.
posted by MisantropicPainforest (15 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
For 500 dollars, "m.gira will record and send to customer a video of a simple, short, original song, acoustic guitar and voice, with customers’ name in the song, praising the customer, his or her ancestors, thoughts, dreams, and future or past lives, forever . This video will be made by m.gira, sitting at his desk, at home, singing directly to you, and you only."
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:20 AM on October 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eponysterical.
posted by acb at 7:41 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this. Haven't listened to them in ages, but interesting to hear how they have continued and still grind it out on something like No Words No Thoughts with the same intensity as 25 years ago. But it kind of weirds me out to see Swans in the New Yorker. The New Yorker? I'll have to ask my dad the lifelong weekly reader what he thought of that article and see if he connected it to that horrible shit noise he always hated me listening to.
posted by Gotanda at 7:53 AM on October 17, 2013


Thank you very much for posting about this! I just ordered my copy! (I went for the Option 4, which appealed to my vanity by being the same as Option 3, but also having my name in the album art for a Swans record!)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:37 AM on October 17, 2013


I think my ultimate nightmare would be playing to a bunch of potbellied guys in ... black T-shirts.

:(

but but but I buy all your records why won't you love me
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:19 AM on October 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


Gira, who often wears a cowboy hat and looks like a farmer who has not seen a good crop in a while, ...

I love this line almost as much as I love pretty much anything Gira has ever done.
posted by invitapriore at 9:27 AM on October 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ooh, thanks for this! Tomorrow is payday, great timing. Gira is peerless, Jarboe is a total badass, and Thor Harris is a mensch of the highest order and a wonderful creative genius. I can't wait to hear this, The Seer was mind-blowing. Would that I could afford to shell out for Option 7.

I feel very fortunate to have had an erstwhile mentor who put "Failure" on a mix tape for me when I was 17, which is an experience I would heartily recommend for any burgeoning young depressive. I've been fairly obsessed with Swans/Gira ever since -- they just trip all the right triggers.

Folks who are unfamiliar with their work (which is at turns beautiful, haunting, caustic, and pretty fucking scary) would do well to check out Stereogum's brief retrospective for an overview. Or just pick up a copy of The Great Annihilator or Soundtracks for the Blind... and don't forget to sleep with the lights on.
posted by divined by radio at 9:44 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Werent you in my Wrens FPP too? I never met anyone who liked both Swans and The Wrens.

Which is funny.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:59 AM on October 17, 2013


I do. And also Pelican. But not the Eagles.

I'm a huge fan of Swans and have seen them several times since Jira got the band back together, but while they're still pretty amazing live, I can't help but wish they would rope Jarboe back into the operation.
posted by whir at 10:30 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, they don't quite match the crucible-like qualities of Swans' sound, but I really recommend Angels of Light to anyone who likes Michael Gira. At first it sounds like something completely different, but after a while you start hearing the basic foundations that the two bands share and it's weird how right it is. Everything Is Good Here/Please Come Home is my favorite album of theirs in that regard.
posted by invitapriore at 10:44 AM on October 17, 2013


> I think my ultimate nightmare would be playing to a bunch of potbellied guys in ... black T-shirts.

:(

but but but I buy all your records why won't you love me


I totally buy this. When we saw them in Nashville, at the end Gira said something like, thanks for all of you young beautiful people coming out, it's nice to see. And he insta-brushed off a friend of mine (while being friendly with others) afterward for no reason I can guess except maybe he's shallow (my friend is larger than normal).

He's been weirdly forthright and candid on his FB page, has anyone noticed? That recent post where he tore apart (ha) their "Love Will Tear Us Apart" cover, saying something like it was the "absolute nadir of his career" and "what was he thinking" cracked me up. Kind of refreshing. And when he reflects on where he was emotionally writing such-and-such song, it's pretty great too.
posted by ifjuly at 11:17 AM on October 17, 2013


I feel very fortunate to have had an erstwhile mentor who put "Failure yt " on a mix tape for me when I was 17, which is an experience I would heartily recommend for any burgeoning young depressive. I've been fairly obsessed with Swans/Gira ever since -- they just trip all the right triggers.

I got a similar reaction from hearing the last bit of "God Damn the Sun."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:53 PM on October 17, 2013


> I do. And also Pelican. But not the Eagles.

How do you feel about The Housemartins? This could be where the dividing line is drawn.
posted by thedaniel at 6:01 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Two of the last few concerts I saw were Swans—the last one was with Low supporting them. I think that they did permanent damage to my hearing. \m/
posted by koavf at 9:58 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


New Swans?
I thought they were on the great Nostalgia trail (ie, confusing people who had heard of them but not them). I do miss Jarboe.
posted by Mezentian at 8:17 AM on October 18, 2013


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