Swans near end of US tour with 3 Florida dates; Leader M. Gira offers preview of what to expect

October 16, 2012

So today Swans arrive in Florida for three dates before continuing on with its world tour. Starting with a show at the Social in Orlando (Buy tickets), the band will move closer to my area tomorrow, at West Palm Beach’s Respectable Street Café (buy tickets). You can expect a review of that show the next morning on the music blog for the “Broward/Palm Beach New Times.” Just follow the “County Grind” blog through the image below:

In the meantime, most of my coverage for Swans (besides an extensive, indulgent album review for the band’s new album The Seer on Independent Ethos) has been for the “New Times.” I spoke to its founder and frontman Michael Gira back in July:

First interview, on The Seer:

Swans’ Michael Gira on The Seer, Released Today: “Once It’s Done, It Just Sounds Like Dead Matter to Me”

Second interview ahead of show:
Long preview: “Swans’ Michael Gira: ‘At the Best Moments, Music Plays You and Not the Opposite.'”

Shorter version that appeared in print: “Swans’ Michael Gira on Ecstatic Feelings, The Seer, and Being ‘All in the Sound’”

There’s also a third Q&A coming on influences and Gira’s love of the sound of children’s voices contrasted with the infamous dark din Swans have been known to create.

Update: here’s that third interview: Swans’ Michael Gira on the Value of Dynamics

Swans is one of the few bands I discovered during my college years, in the early 1990s, that I still have an affection for today. It’s a rare thing when a band that actually started in the early 1980s can so fiercely maintain a relevance in today’s alternative music scene. Gira does this with little desire to look back on anything, as he revealed in our conversations chronicled above. There are very few artists who can maintain such creative vitality during the length of time he has maintained Swans without selling the music short by succumbing to popular trends.

If you want to know what to expect of this show (though he told me this in July, and things may have changed since), Gira says, “It’s going to be a few things from the Seer, and three new pieces. I’m not gonna call them songs because they’re 20 minutes each. And one old Swans song, which is called ‘Coward.’ But that’s going to be arranged a little differently than the original.”

Here’s the vintage version of “Coward” (though Gira seems scary, he’s really going into places few dare: the Jungian Shadow personified):

Do not take that at all as a primer on Swans, as Gira notes in the quote above, the song has changed over the course of nearly 30 years since that was recorded. Here’s a recent official live video:

Finally, Gira also knows the darkness can be hushed and gorgeous. Here’s a great example from the brilliant 1992 album White Light From the Mouth of Infinity, “Love Will Save You:”

The final US tour dates include:

10/16 – Orlando, FL @ The Social
10/17 – West Palm Beach, FL @ TBA
10/18 – Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder
10/19 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
10/23 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
10/24 – Chicago, IL @ Cabaret Metro

However the tour continues without pause to Europe with these dates:
10/25 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
10/26 – Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe
11/01 – Reykjavik, IC @ Airways
11/15 – London, UK @ Koko
11/16 – Glasgow, UK @ The Arches
11/17 – Manchster, UK @ Sound Control
11/19 – Paris, FR @ Le Trabendo
11/20 – Nijmegen, NL @ Doornroosje
11/21 – Haarlem, NL @ Patronaat
11/22 – Hamburg, DE @ Kampnagel
11/23 – Copenhagen, DK @ Det Kgl. Danske Konservatories
11/24 – Prague, CZ @ Lucenra Music Bar
11/28 – Vienna, AT @ Arena Big Hall
11/30 – Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv
12/02 – Kortrijk, BE @ De Kreun
12/03 – Bern, CH @ Reitschule Gross Halle
12/04 – Lausanne, CH @ Les Docks

Hans Morgenstern

(Copyright 2012 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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