PRESS » Michael Gira

  • Traces of the Real TBK review

    () - Michael Gira, review, SWANS, young god

    Millions And Millions of Stars In Your Eyes June 15, 2014 by Hugh There is a song on the new Swans album, To Be Kind, that is directly inspired by Lars Von Trier’s brilliant 2011 film Melancholia. The film tells the story of two sisters, Claire and Justine, and their differing reactions to the impending arrival of a rogue planet, which, as becomes apparent as the film progresses, is in danger of crashing into and destroying the Earth. The first half of the film revolves around a wedding party at a country house for Justine, who is to be married the next day, an event that Claire is largely responsible for organising. Claire is at home within this world of social and familial ritual, however Justine is not, and her behaviour becomes more and more erratic and unhinged as the evening progresses. The night ends in disarray, with Justine’s husband-to-be and the rest of the guests leaving in disgust, and the wedding cancelled. The second part of the film concentrates on Claire and Justine (along with Claire’s husband and son) as they await the arrival of the planet Melancholia. It initially seems that it won’t collide with Earth at all, however......


    () - concert, live, Michael Gira, SWANS, young god

    THE SWANS – THE MABUHAY GARDENS, SAN FRANCISCO [APRIL 12, 1986] View photos on original site here This particular show was a revelation, on a number of levels.  The most impressive one was the fact that this band could be so sonically overwhelming, and yet, it was a delight to witness.  I had been introduced to their earlier recordings, thanks to my colleagues, John and Lexy, at the small “mom and pop” record store we worked at, at the time.  While I was in charge of ordering the mainstream releases, and a selection of independent releases, they were responsible for bringing in the more adventurous and experimental releases of the day, most of which were distributed through Rough Trade Records. The vinyl I had heard by The Swans, up to that point in time, had not grabbed my attention so much, but there was just enough to make me curious to see them – and, of course, there was a bit of urging from a few people, assuring me that it wasn’t to be missed.  So, off we went, and getting there early enough to grab a prime spot, at the center of the stage, between the stage monitors, I......

  • Louder Than War Glowing Man Review

    () - concert, live, M. Gira, Michael Gira, review, SWANS, The Glowing Man, young god

    SwansThe Glowing Man10/10album review Yet again Swans make another powerful hypnotic album that is as terrifying as it is beautiful as it concerns itself with the powerful intoxicant of love and all the highs and lows that entails says LTW boss and Membranes frontman John Robb So, all good things come to the end. Where Swans go from here no-one can really speculate but there is an end here. A real sense of finality. This is a juddering and enormous full stop to this incredible four album journey that began with My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky in 2010 and saw the return of Swans as purveyors of a rock music at the final furthest edge of the universe. Each album was a huge work to get lost in and each album dared to go further into a heart of darkness. The Glowing Man ebbs and flows and has some of the familiar hallmarks of this period of Swans like the swelling guitar dissonance, the almost classic, brooding, sinister swells of sound like on the 25-minute Cloud Of Unknowing. Some of those hallmarks of their sound are still here like Thor Harris’s percussion and chiming......

  • Get Into This O2 Ritz, Manchester Concert Review

    () - concert, live, M. Gira, Michael Gira, review, SWANS, The Glowing Man, young god

    Swans farewell gig at the O2 Ritz in Manchester was a quasi-religious experience and Getintothis’ Rick Leachthinks we won’t see their like again. A Sunday evening. Highway with Harry Seacombe. Songs of Praise on BBC1. This is how it was thirty three years ago. Highway and Harry Seacombe are long gone; Songs of Praise is still hanging on. As are Swans. Just. Thirty three years ago they were on their starting blocks, beginning a sonic journey like no other, beginning with the still incredibly unique Filth album, a visceral assault on not only our ear drums, but on all our preconceptions about what music is all about and what music is for. What it means and what it can do. Using words such as intense and challenging with regard to Swans always seem to be a tad clichéd and tame. Unsettling and uncomfortable seem to fit the bill more. That’s the way they’ve carried on over the past quarter of a century and more. Great slabs of music, monolithic tablets seemingly wrested and dragged from the depths by Michael Gira and his conspirators in the band. Lately, and since 2010’s My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the......

  • Heathen Harvest Review

    () - concert, live, M. Gira, Michael Gira, review, SWANS, The Glowing Man, young god

    .:.THE SOUND OF FREEDOM.:. Brief Reflections on the Live and Studio Experience of Swans by Conor Fynes ___ The evolution of Swans is one of the most fascinating I’ve ever come across in music. Where other bands may have stagnated or fallen apart decades ago, Swans have veritably established themselves as a go-to flagship in experimental music. As someone who generally frequents those circles, it’s been commonplace to see them talked about with a certain kind of reverence usually reserved for the most godlike of cult artists, as well as promising artists that disbanded well before their time. For some, it almost seems like the music of Swans has become a standardized test for what constitutes the best in musical taste. Even without taking the music into account, the fact that any band can draw this fervent appreciation from people is something to behold. As for my own relationship with Swans, the fact that they took so long to grow on me is likely an added testament to their greatness. Although I’d first heard about them in the early 2000s from like-minded friends, I surprisingly never gave them a full chance until this most recent incarnation around 2010. To Be......

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