Entries tagged with: Swans
Swans at Thalia Hall on 02.21.2015
This past weekend, Swans brought their current North American tour through Chicago for a sold-out show at Pilsen's Thalia Hall.
Dirty Three percussionist Jim White kicked off the night with a set from his latest project Xylouris White, a duo that also includes Cretan lutist Giorgos Xylouris. The pair delivered tunes from their genre-defying 2014 debut Goats. White and Xylouris' atypical approaches to the drums and lute respectively yielded a gripping opening set.
After a quick changeover, the mighty and resilient Swans took to the stage. They've retained the same six-piece lineup since reforming in 2010, and that crew is now more united than ever. They offered up gnarled versions of To Be Kind cuts "A Little God in My Hands," "Just a Little Boy (for Chester Burnett)," and "Bring the Sun," The Seer's "Mother of the World," and a few newer ones including "Frankie M" and and "Black Hole Man. One of the newer ones earlier on was a 10-minute pulsating dirge, and "Black Hole Man" was the night's closing number that they segued into by first playing "Bring the Sun." That segment alone was a thirty to forty-minute ordeal, with "Black Hole Man" peaking with a cacophonous stop-and-go section.
More pictures from the show below...
Swans @ Lincoln Hall in June (more by Brigid Gallagher)
Michael Gira's untouchable Swans will be embarking on a 2014 // 2015 international tour later this month. The crew have shared dates through April of next year(!), which includes a lengthy North American leg. They'll return to Chicago as part of that run for a performance at Thalia Hall on February 21. Tickets for the Chicago show go on sale this Friday (11/14) at 10AM CST.
All known Swans dates are listed below...
photos by Brigid Gallagher
Swans // Xiu Xiu at Lincoln Hall on 06.23.2014
Experimental wrecking crew Swans finished off their two-night stand at Chicago's Lincoln Hall with a second sold-out show on Monday night (6/23). Much like Sunday night's performance (and other dates on this tour), Michael Gira and co. played three new tunes -- "Frankie M," "Don't Go," and a pulverizing alternate ending to To Be Kind's "Bring the Sun" called "Black Hole Man." T.B.K.'s loose and funky "A Little God In My Hands" and the incredibly tense "Just a Little Boy" also made their way into the set, as did The Seer's "The Apostate." Xiu Xiu, which solely consisted of founding member Jamie Stewart this time around, got things started with a modular synth-based noise set. Pictures from the 6/23 Lincoln Hall show are in this post. More below...
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Pilgrim in New York in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman
As usual, there's a ton of good heavy music happening in Chicago this summer, from both at home and abroad, and while we've covered some of it already (Agalloch are at Reggies tonight, for example), there's a lot more to get to in June alone for the despair-mongers among us.
The last couple weeks of June will see an abundance of hardcore-oriented options. Legendary NYC straight-edge hardcore band Judge are reunited and will play their only midwest date at The Metro tomorrow June 21 (tickets).
That same night another old school hardcore act, NYC shockers The Meatmen will stop by Reggies with SSD, Johnny Vomit, and Brickwall Vultures for what's sure to be a raucous set (tickets).
On the thrashier side of things, contemporary NYHC band Backtrack will be joined by locals Harms Way and Expire, New Jersey hardcore outfit Suburban Scum and more for a huge show at Beat Kitchen on June 26 (tickets).
In perhaps the highlight of all of the hardcore-inflected shows this month, Cobra Lounge will play host to an absolutely loaded bill featuring reunited crossover legends All Out War, Wisconsin death metal heavies Jungle Rot and local grind heroes Weekend Nachos. This one is not to be missed (tickets).
For the Satanists, the corpse-painted Columbians in Thy Antichrist will bring their unholy black metal to Cobra Lounge tomorrow 6/21 ((tickets).
You want more reunited 90s bands? We got you. Mildly hilarious Greek "symphonic" death-metallers Septicflesh, who tour without their vocalist will also stop by Reggies on July 29 (sensing a pattern here?). They'll be joined by Fleshgod Apocalypse, Black Crown Initiate, and Necronomicon, ensuring that other metal bills will at least have a hard time topping the name lineup here.
Are Swans even metal? Who cares. They're just the best, and as we've mentioned, they'll play two dates at Lincoln Hall with Xiu Xiu and tickets are only still available for the second night. So get on that.
If swaying slowly back and forth is more your speed than getting your ass kicked in the pit, June has still got you covered. Rhode Island trad-doom wizards Pilgrim will be bringing their ongoing tour in support of this year's monster II: Void Worship to Cobra Lounge this weekend, where they'll play on June 22 (Tickets) with Fister, Egypt, and Neverender.
Heavyweight San Francisco doom two-piece Black Cobra (ex-Cavity, Acid King) will bring their ongoing tour to Reggies on June 24, where they'll be joined by the local party-sludge outfit Lo-Pan (tickets) on what's sure to be an awesome bill.
That about covers it for June. Stay tuned to BV Chicago for more info about July and August metal shows that we haven't covered yet, and you can get more info on these shows and others at our newly completist Invisible Oranges-approved show listings page.
Swans @ NYC's Bowery Ballroom earlier this week (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Michael Gira's triumphant Swans are currently on tour in support of their amazing new album, To Be Kind. As discussed, that tour includes a performance at Lincoln Hall on June 22 with Xiu Xiu. Tickets for that show are still available, and they've now added a second night at Lincoln Hall on June 23. Tickets for the new show go on sale this Friday (5/23) at noon CST.
An updated list of Swans dates can be found below...
Swans are slated to release the follow-up to their 2012 masterpiece The Seer, titled To Be Kind, on May 13 via ringleader Michael Gira's Young God Records. Special guests include Annie Clark (pka St. Vincent), Cold Specks, and Little Annie, and they've just recently shared its funky and off-kilter lead single "A Little God In My Hands." You can take a listen to the track at the bottom of this post. The LP's cover art will be presented in six different panels -- one is above and the remaining five can also be found below.
Michael Gira and co. will also be doing quite a bit of touring this summer. Their North American leg includes a performance at Lincoln Hall on June 22. Ticketing information for the Chicago show is forthcoming, but check LH's concert calendar for updates.
All Swans dates, a stream of "A Little God In My Hands," and those album covers lie after the jump...
Phosphorescent / The Breeders / fans
On Saturday afternoon (7/20), it was back to Union Park for day two of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival. As we discussed in our festival previews, yesterday was absolutely stacked as far as heavier offerings go. In sharp programming though, Julia Holter, Phosphorescent, Low, and Belle and Sebastian were all great inclusions on the lineup. Check out our pictures and reviews from day 1 of the festival, and continue reading on for a recap of day two.
The rain that cut Bjork's show short last night had a positive effect today in that it brought on much cooler temperatures for festival goers. Canadian punk favorites White Lung kicked things off on the Green Stage at 1:00PM and played a ferocious set that sparked a mini-mosh pit. Frontwoman Mish Way sneered and yowled into her mic while festival volunteers scrambled to keep the crowd cool by spraying water bottles on them. (A great thing if you're anticipating it, but quite strange if you hadn't been paying attention.) Near the end of their set, Way introduced a new song called "Blow it South," the band's ode to Florida. Before finishing things off the sassy punk rocker made an apology to the on-deck band in the form of "sorry who has to play next, I think I ruined the mic with lipstick." She didn't sound that sorry though. -MM
Unfortunately, Winnipeg's pummeling KEN mode were scheduled to play directly against White Lung on the Blue Stage. Luckily (and unsurprisingly), there wasn't a damn unfortunate aspect to their set. A small early crowd gathered to hear intense frontman Jesse Matthewson yell "NO- I'M IN CONTROL" at them. The three-piece, who sound much larger than that, exhibit such precision during their live shows. The really awesome thing is that unlike many precise outfits, KEN find a way to achieve that without coming off as robotic. -ZP
Sub Pop act Pissed Jeans played the very first set on the Red Stage a few minutes after White Lung wrapped up their performance. The band's guitarist spoke to the crowd first and joked that they would need at least another half an hour to get ready, but started their set three minutes later. Frontman Matt Korvette was probably the biggest character to set foot on any stage at today's festival. Bursting with energy, he grabbed the mic and laughingly said "Sorry if I'm a little excited but I just found out how much we're getting paid for this." After that he yelled "Get that Bjork money! / That Belle and Sebastian money!" and jockingly mentioned a few other big name musicians in a similar fashion. The band were intense, especially Korvette, who made his way across the stage like a rabid animal, knocking over his mic stand, and later shredding two t-shirts. Korvette screamed into his mic with such force that it appeared his vocal chords would snap at any moment. Near the end of their set, the band told the crowd that they had reached their career peak with today's performance and that it would be best to retire "and pursue other hobbies." At one point, I believe Korvette may have been channeling "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and ripped the stage clock off of the support structure. "Do you know what time it is?" he screamed, "It's 1PM, in case you didnt know." Though the sludge induced punk carnage may have left some people's ears ringing, the band's sense of humor and carefree attitude won even non-fans over. -MM
By the time Pissed Jeans were busy scrambling folks' brains over at the Red Stage, Los Angeles' Julia Holter was getting started at the Blue. Her output is enchanting and understated, but also hushed, which was maybe not the best choice to run against Korvette and co. Regardless, Holter seemed to make the best of the situation and played beautifully. She performed a bunch of songs from her forthcoming Loud City Song, as well as material from Ekstasis and Tragedy. After a bit of time in the shade spent with Ms. Holter, I headed back into the sun for Phosphorescent over at the Green Stage. -ZP
Phosphorescent really took me by surprise with the release of this year's Muchacho. I'd liked them prior to the album, but I've mostly just been thrilled that they were able to craft a new LP where every single song is great. Matthew Houck and co. were in top form yesterday afternoon too, providing a bit of solace from the heaviness of the day. Even though Houck sings of pain and anguish at times, the set was extremely feel-good and he seemed to be enjoying himself on stage as well. The biggest set highlight for me was the expertly-penned "Song for Zula." It's interesting in that it's more of an '80s take on what Phosphorescent have become so great at, but yeah, what a tune. -ZP
After Phosphorescent, I stuck around that side of the park waiting for ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead to take the Red Stage at 3:20PM. Trail of Dead just don't fuck around, and their Pitchfork Fest performance didn't stray from that notion. It's no-frills rock in the same way that Queens of the Stone Age are incredibly badass, and the large crowd they drew really ate it up. ToD was a nice precursor to the block of Savages / Metz / Swans that would soon follow. -ZP
Tampa Bay natives Merchandise returned to Chicago to play at the festival's shaded Blue Stage around 3:45PM. The band have an additional member this time around, Elsner Nino, who has permanently replaced the band's old drum machine. The addition of a live drummer did wonders for the band's overall sound, adding a louder, more organic style to their already tight post-punk songs. The outfit played a few songs from their most recent Totale Night EP but the highlight of the show for this writer was "In a Nightmare Room" from Children of Desire, a song that made Merchandise a personal favorite of mine last year. -MM
Female post punkers Savages were probably the most hyped band announced to be playing at Pitchfork Fest this year, and they absolutely did not disappoint. Not only did the band deliver, they even got nods of approval from Swans' Michael Gira, who mentioned them during his set later in the day. The ladies performed a tighter-than-tight set -- each member's contributions stood out but they performed in such unison with no overshadowing. Frontwoman Jehnny Beth looked slightly possessed while she swayed her hands in rhythmic motions, cocking her head back and forth in synch with the drums. -MM
I left Savages a bit early in order to get a great spot for Swans at the nearby Red Stage. (I also went to see Savages at Sound Opinions Live on Thursday.) "What's your favorite band?" has always been a very tough question for me, but over the past year I've just realized I love and want to listen to Swans more than anyone else. I am not a psychopath... I promise. Michael Gira are co. began their set with "new" song // recent live staple "To Be Kind." At times, it's often hard to be able to tell exactly what tune Swans are performing, and there's also a plethora of unreleased material they play on the regular. "Oxygen" is one of those, which came a bit later in the set. Gira bellows, "I steal all the oxygen" as he spins a tale of his own death and ascent to heaven. Basically, it rules. "Oxygen" is also fairly funky/psychedelic, a somewhat new territory for the outfit. I'd be quite satisfied if that's the direction things are heading on their planned next album. They also ripped out the 32-minute "The Seer" from 2012's excellent LP of the same name. Swans performed four-songs yesterday, including "Toussaint Louverture Song," whereas many other festival acts were able to hammer out roughly ten. -ZP
Fresh from announcing her departure from The Pixies, Kim Deal played Pitchfork Fest with her reunited Breeders as the original 1993 lineup. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band's sophomore album Last Splash, they performed the album in its entirety to a crowd of excited and nostalgic fans. There were some minor technical difficulties at the start of the show with Deal's vocals being barely audible over the speakers, but the problem was quickly nipped. Deal was in good spirits as well, constantly talking up the crowd with some behind the scenes stories that included sampling a mini Moog. Now if Deal would just join up with The Pixies at Riot Fest... but I'm not holding my breath. -MM
Next up after The Breeders were Low, over at the Blue (best) Stage. In our festival preview, I spoke about the Duluth trio as maybe not being the most obvious choice for a festival act but that it would work out nicely. Well, I'd even go so far as to say their set yesterday was fantastic. The setlist was perfect -- quite a few numbers from this year's excellent The Invisible Way, "Monkey" and "Pissing" from The Great Destroyer, and "Stay" off of Long Division -- and it felt like one of those performances that stitches together all in attendance with an emotional bond. It was one of the best sets I've seen so far this weekend. -ZP
Soft spoken indie rockers Belle and Sebastian were a reprieve of sorts to festival goers who had spent the day seeing abrasive rock bands and the eardrum-shattering Swans set earlier in the afternoon (I forgot to bring earplugs...). A slight drizzle started around the band's fourth or fifth song but did not cut the show short like yesterday. Frontman Stuart Murdoch charmed audience members with his kind words, stating Chicago is much more relaxing than New York. Murdoch also engaged with audience members, inviting fans on stage, and even letting one fan draw on his face with mascara. Despite performing in a large festival setting during the headlining slot, the band managed to play one of the most intimate shows of the day. -MM
More pictures from day 2 below...
Pitchfork Festival 2012 (more by James Richards)
As mentioned, Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival is returning to Union Park from July 19-21 with sets from Bjork, Joanna Newsom, Belle & Sebastian, R. Kelly, Solange, Rustie, Low, The Breeders, Swans, Savages, Merchandise, Julia Holter, KEN mode, White Lung, TNGHT, Evian Christ, Waxahatchee, El-P, Killer Mike, and more across three stages (Red, Blue, and Green). The set times for the festival have now been announced, and you can check out the full day-by-day schedule below.
3-day passes are sold out, but single day tickets are still available.
Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
As discussed, Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 is set to take place in Union Park from July 19-21. The festival's initial lineup featured R. Kelly, Björk, Belle & Sebastian, Joanna Newsom, the Breeders (playing Last Splash), Swans, Rustie, El-P, Chairlift, Killer Mike, TNGHT, Sky Ferreira, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Mac DeMarco, Foxygen, Angel Olsen, Trash Talk, and Tree.
The remainder of the lineup has just been revealed, and includes M.I.A., Lil B, Solange, Wire, Yo La Tengo, Low, Savages, Toro Y Moi, Phosphorescent, Metz, Autre Ne Veut, Mikal Cronin, Parquet Courts, Merchandise, Woods, Julia Holter, Glass Candy, Andy Stott, Pissed Jeans, Frankie Rose, Ryan Hemsworth, Waxahatchee, Blood Orange, Daughn Gibson, Evian Christ, White Lung, KEN Mode, and DJ Rashad.
Three-day passes and single-day tickets are still available.
Check out the full lineup-by-day below...
Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
As discussed, the 2013 edition of Pitchfork Music Festival is slated to take place from July 19-21 in Chicago's Union Park. You already knew that R. Kelly, Björk, and Belle and Sebastian will be headlining the fest, and today, a bunch of other artists have been announced. Joanna Newsom, The Breeders (playing Last Splash), Swans, El-P, Killer Mike, TNGHT, Chairlift, Sky Ferreira, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Rustie, Mac DeMarco, Foxygen, Angel Olsen, Trash Talk, and Tree will all take the stage in Union Park that weekend.
Check out the current lineup-by-day below...
Trevor de Brauw @ Lincoln Hall in June (more by Zach Pollack)
Pelican // Chord guitarist Trevor de Brauw has told us his top 10 favorite things of 2012. As we near the end (of the year, NOT the world), Trevor delivers a list that includes albums, songs, live shows, and major life experiences. Check out his favorite things of 2012 after the jump, but first, a message from the man himself...
There was a fucking ton of good music this year and anyone who claims the contrary needs to stop being a cynic and get on the party train. I feel like almost every one of my favorite bands/musicians made new albums this year, many of which were career highlights. Additionally great new bands are popping up at a rate that's difficult for semi-old-timer's like myself to fathom. For this year's top ten I reluctantly decided it was unfair to include clients from my PR career (difficult because I did press for so many great records, including, but not limited to, OM, Zammuto, OFF!, Codeine, William Basinski, Mono, Hundred Waters, EL-P, etc) - in part because they have the unfair advantage of me automatically obsessing over their albums, but also because it feels weird ranking them against one another. Fuck it, they're all great. But as for things I have less difficulty ranking, here's a small sample of my 2012 obsessions:
Coffinworm @ Power of the Riff East (more by Greg Cristman)
Coffinworm was formed under watchful eye of Choronzon in late 2007. The 'Great Bringer of Night' demo was recorded by Bob Fouts (Basement Rage Studios) in late 2008/early 2009 and led to an alliance with Profound Lore Records shortly afterwards. The 'When All Became None' full-length was recorded by Sanford Parker in December of 2009 within Semaphore Studios, Chicago, and released in April 2010. Summer 2010 saw a lineup change with J. joining the fold on drums and C. moving from behind the kit to guitar." - their bioCoffinworm is an Indianapolis metal band with many ties to Chicago, including producer Sanford Parker who recently told us his Two 10 Albums of 2012. Here are Carl of Coffinworm's favorite albums and shows, Swans at Metro and Autopsy at Reggie's included. Check out his full 2012 list, below...
Sanford with Nachmystium at the BV Day Party, March 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
Chicago musician and production powerhouse Sanford Parker has graced us with his best of 2012... and not just albums. Check out the Twilight/Minsk/Buried at Sea/Nachtmystium member's contributions below...
Swans at Metro on 10.24.2012
On Wednesday night (10/24) Swans brought their sonic assault to Chicago's Metro for a performance with tourmates A Hawk and a Hacksaw. Michael Gira and co. quietly took the stage, and launched directly into a brand new song titled "To Be Kind." That song is kind of a slow-burner at first, but then come these massive crashing sections towards the end of the track. 2012's fantastic The Seer's "Avatar" followed, showcasing just how well the three guitar players work together in a twisted and beautiful fashion. Gira opts to make high-pitched stabs at his guitar, lap steel player Christoph Hahn's output is deep and powerful, and longtime guitarist Norman Westberg handles the midrange, creating a nice basis for everyone else to contribute to. The way in which Swans took the stage was just about the only quiet thing they did last night. Bassist Christopher Pravdica is possibly the loudest of the bunch, cranking out a deep, warm, and bone-rattling tone. Gira rocked back and forth during the more subdued drone-y parts, in anticipation of the next wave of dense sound. When those waves came-- and they came often-- Gira thrashed about the stage, knelt down on the floor, screamed, and overall felt the music more than I feel I've seen anyone do in a very long time. Strangely, while he was doing this, he almost looked like he was drowning. It's a weird thought, but a thought that did not exit my mind for the remainder of their set.
Swans, to me, is ethereal, almost relaxing. I realize this notion makes me sound like a nutjob, but their output is just so spiritual and awakening. It's about expression in its most basic form: pure emotion. Swans is primal, deafening, and near perfect. Their perfection lies in their willingness to experiment, to vamp on the uncomfortable for five-plus-minutes. After the show, Gira headed to the merch room to sign posters/CDs/etc. and talk with fans. He was kind, personable, and relaxed. An older woman, who I learned has seen Swans more than a dozen times, simply asked him, "How are you?" "Well, I'm breathing," he quipped with a grin on his face. Aren't we all.
More pictures from the 10/24 show at Metro continue below...
Swans at MHoW (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The previously discussed Swans trek expands ever so slightly with the addition of a few more live dates with A Hawk & A Hacksaw. The shows include stops in NYC, Toronto, and a freshly announced Chicago stop at Metro on October 25th. Tickets go on sale at noon CST on Saturday (6/30).
The shows are in preparation for Swans' second foray back into the studio, the new LP The Seer due at the end of August.
Swans @ Roadburn 2011 (more by Stefan Raduta)
Post-punk legends Swans have been on the road for much of September with Sir Richard Bishop, and together they'll play Chicago's Bottom Lounge this Thursday (9/22). This will be the reunited band's second Chicago show in a year. They played the same venue in October of 2010...
"If there were ever any doubts that Swans has made some of the most illustrious experimental music in recent years, all were shattered after last night's show at the Bottom Lounge. The band, an ever changing gang lead by Michael Gira gave a strong performance that was rich with both new and older material as well as a testing of the audience's generous patience. You can gage a band's legendary status by the level of entitlement the audience has and Swans are well beyond this level. The fans needed to suck every morsel of sound and be as close to the stage as they could. Many were determined to get their way no matter how many people they had to squeeze through to get closer. It is a sweet testament for a large group of fans to show love for a band with a history as rich as Swans, you just don't want to get caught in the middle." [Gaper's Block]Also on the 2011 bill is Chicago-based musician Daniel Knox (maybe you've heard his new album 'Evryman For Himself'), and DJ Scary Lady Sarah. Tickets are still available.
Mark Kozelek (of Sun Kil Moon & Red House Painters) is playing Lincoln Hall on July 8th.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, at noon CST.
Soundgarden, and The Mars Volta are playing UIC Pavilion on July 16th.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, at 10AM CST.
Timber Timbre, and Marissa Nadler will share the bill at Schubas on July 21st.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, at noon CST.
Tally Hall are playing Lincoln Hall on July 23rd.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, at noon CST.
Bon Iver, and The Rosebuds are playing The Chicago Theatre on July 24th.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, at 11AM CST.
Ani DiFranco is playing the Vic on September 21st.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, at 10AM CST.
Swans, and Sir Richard Bishop will play the Bottom Lounge on September 22nd.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, at noon CST.