Entries tagged with: Swans
Festival Nrmal is returning to Mexico from February 28 to March 1 in 2015, and the lineup features Swans, Phantogram, Future Islands, Black Angels, Machinedrum, Omar Souleyman, Majical Cloudz, TOPS, Twin Peaks, Peaking Lights, Kirin J Callinan, METZ, Boogarins, DJ Dodger Stadium, HTRK and more. Tickets are on sale.
Full lineup below...
by Andrew Sacher
Long-running NYC experimental band Zs debuted their newest lineup in 2012, which is founder Sam Hillmer with Patrick Higgins and Liturgy drummer Greg Fox, and now they're set to release the first album with that lineup, Xe, on January 27 via Northern Spy. It's Zs' first non-remix or live full length since 2010's New Slaves. They recorded it live with producer Henry Hirsch (Madonna, Mick Jagger, etc), and Tauba Auerbach handled the album's artwork and sculptures. The first single, "Corps," is out now and it's a 12-minute bouncy avant-garde jam that you can check out below. Album artwork and tracklist also below.
Zs have some shows coming up in January just ahead of the release, including an album release party in their hometown on January 21 at Le Poisson Rouge with Mick Barr, Michael Beharie, Bryan Kasenic and Phil Tortoroli. TIckets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Sam, Greg and Patrick also gave us their year-end lists for 2014. While the latter two stuck to their favorite albums, Sam gave us his list of the 10 Most Anonymous Comments on Brooklyn Vegan in 2014. You can find out what ended up on those lists, with the song stream and album tracklist/artwork, below...
Photo: Grouper @ the Guggenheim in 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Tiny Mix Tapes posted their Favorite 50 Music Releases of 2014, and as TMT lists usually are, it's a pretty eccentric one with a lot of stuff that wasn't making everyone's list this year. Sure you've got Grouper, Andy Stott, Sun Kil Moon, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Arca, Pharmakon, Perfume Genius, Ariel Pink, Swans and FKA twigs, but you've also got Ninos Du Brasil, Gem Jones, James Ferraro, Call Super, C L E A N E R S, Kevin Drumm & Jason Lescalleet and more.
Read their entertaining intro and commentary on the albums here, and browse their full list below...
First tracks, then honorable mentions, and now Pitchfork has put out their Top 50 Albums of 2014. There's nothing entirely out of left field, but there's definitely some surprises here. Taylor Swift, whose album was not reviewed at all (I guess it was a pretty obscure one), comes in at #31 with her album, 1989. Sun Kil Moon, which was the only 2014 album in their Top 10 Albums of the Decade So Far this past August (and seemed like a sure bet for #1) dropped down to #7 and was beaten out by his enemies The War on Drugs. TWOD actually came in at #3 themselves, and the two ahead of them are two you may not have seen coming.
We already knew that Pallbearer, the only Best New Music metal album of 2014, was an honorable mention, which unsurprisingly left zero metal albums on this list. No other BNM album got snubbed (save for a Hyperdub compilation and the Beyonce album, but that was probably because it was technically a 2013 release), and there's not really any glaring omissions in terms of what Pitchfork appeared to champion this year.
See the list for yourself below...
Photo: Screaming Females at a final DbA show (more by Gretchen Robinette)
Don Giovanni Records had yet another good year, with solid 2014 releases from Nude Beach, Priests, Peter Stampfel, Black Wine, Crow Bait, Chris Gethard and more, and they've already got big plans for 2015 with new ones from Screaming Females, California X, Downtown Boys and more on the way.
Ahead of the label's annual Brooklyn showcases, label co-founders Joe Steinhardt (also of Modern Hut) and Zach Gajewski (also of Nuclear Santa Claust), and several DG bands including Screaming Females, California X, Worriers, Crow Bait, Laura Stevenson, Brick Mower and Mal Blum have given us lists of their favorite albums of 2014. You can check out those lists below.
The 2015 showcases happen on February 6, 7 and 28 at Knitting Factory with Nude Beach, Shellshag, Crow Bait and more on night 1; Cali X, Downtown Boys, Pinkwash, Worriers and more on night 2; and Screaming Females, Priests, Tenement and Vacation at the final show. Tickets are still available.
DG year-end lists below...
Swans @ Warsaw - 12/12/14 (via Klaus Kinski)
Experimental rock giants Swans wrapped up a killer 2014 in their hometown of NYC with a sold-out show at Warsaw on Friday (12/12). Opening was another intense (but much younger) NYC band, Liturgy, and then came Swans, eardrum-shattering as always. Like they've been doing on this tour, they played a solid amount of new material as well as a couple off 2014's To Be Kind, including the half hour-plus "Bring the Sun." You can check out a clip of that one from Friday's show, along with the setlist, below.
Now that the Warsaw show is behind them, Swans have added a new NYC date to their 2015 tour schedule. They'll hit their hometown once again on February 26 at Bowery Ballroom with support from Xylouris White (aka George Xylouris and Dirty Three drummer Jim White), who put out the album Goats (produced by Fugazi's Guy Picciotto) earlier this year. Tickets for the Bowery show go on sale at noon on Friday (12/17) with an AmEx presale starting at noon on Wednesday (12/17).
Updated dates are listed, with the video/setlist from Warsaw, below...
Pitchfork have begun rolling out their year-end coverage, and today they posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2014. Like every year, it's a very diverse list, with songs from Taylor Swift, The New Pornographers, iLoveMakonnen, Protomartyr, Cloud Nothings, Rae Sreummurd, Makthaverskan, Ty Segall, Parquet Courts, Azealia Banks, White Lung, Perfect Pussy, Dej Loaf, Migos, Alvvays, Against Me!, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, Bobby Shmurda, Charli XCX, Grouper, Beyonce, Perfume Genius, Shamir, Michael Jackson, Tinashe and more. And their #1 seems to be the most ubiquitous #1 of 2014.
Check out the full list below...
by Andrew Sacher
Foxing at Webster Studio in August (more by Amanda Hatfield)
The totally stacked Modern Baseball / Knuckle Puck / Foxing / Crying / Somos tour lands in NYC for its first of two shows tonight (12/12). Tonight's show is at Gramercy Theater and then they play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday (12/15). You can still get tickets to Monday's show but tonight is sold out. Updated dates are listed below.
If you haven't seen Foxing live, they're the kind of band you really have to see for yourself to get the full experience. But to at least get an idea of what to expect, you can check out the band's new live video for "Rory" that they filmed at The Fest this year. Watch it below.
Four Foxing members also gave us lists of their favorite albums of 2014. One of the lists includes Cymbals Eat Guitars who also included Foxing on their own list and also play NYC tonight. Check those out lists and the Fest video below...
intro by Bill Pearis
Grooms @ Death by Audio's final show (more by PSquared)
Grooms' last live show, the final night of Death by Audio, was a little hard to get into. Their next NYC show should not prove as difficult. They're playing Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Saturday (12/12) with The Teen Age, Glazzies and headliners Celestial Shore. That's a free show where you can maybe get some holiday shopping done (or a round of mini-golf) and you can RSVP to get on the skip-the-line list.
Grooms' next show after this weekend is opening for A Place to Bury Strangers (who also played DbA's final night) at Music Hall of Williamsburg on February 17 (tickets).That serves as a record release show for both APTBS' Transfixiation, and Grooms' Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair which are both out that day. (You can hear "Doctor M" below.) Look for a tour after that, details are still TBA at the moment.
Main man Travis Johnson took time out from practicing for tomorrow's show to give us his Top 10 LPs of 2014, plus a few runners-up, with a little commentary for each. You can read that below...
NYC goth duo Tempers previously released a few promising singles on Pendu Sound, and they recently teamed up with photographer Bela Borsodi to make an appropriately dark video for one of those songs, "Hell Hotline." Check out the video below, and if you haven't gotten it already, you can download the track for free below too.
Tempers have also given us a list of their top ten albums of 2014, which you can also check out below...
UK music site Drowned in Sound is kinda the British equivalent of Pitchfork, albeit with a very strong community aspect to it. They just published their 50 Favourite Albums of 2014 list and while it contains many of the LPs we've been seeing on a lot of these lists, it's a distinctly not-American point of view. Well, at least their #1. Check out the whole list below...
by Andrew Sacher
Into It. Over It. at Bowery Ballroom in September (more by Mimi Hong)
Evan Weiss is just about everywhere in the emo world right now, whether it's in Into It. Over It., Their/They're/There (with Mike Kinsella), Pet Symmetry, Stay Ahead of the Weather, or any other active band we may be forgetting, or producing records for The Jazz June and You Blew It!, or running his record label. He bridges the gap between old school and new school as far as his tourmates go, and sometimes you'll find him somewhere totally un-emo like Lollapalooza.
One of his most beloved bands though, is one who only put out one full length and two EPs in the early-mid 2000s before breaking up, The Progress. Their sole LP, 2006's Merit, was keeping the indie rock-oriented mathy style of '90s emo alive way before it was trendy to do that. It's one of the true gems to have come out during emo's (for lack of better words) "hair metal phase." And now it looks like The Progress may be reuniting.
In November, Absolute Punk pointed to to a tweet from Evan that reads "oh yeah, that thing i confirmed is a show. for a band that hasn't played a show in 7 years" and hashtagged "US Camera." That was pretty convincing on its own, but now Evan has posted a show announcement confirming a show for December 30 at Boot & Saddle in Philly with the caption "take the hint" and a show flyer that looks suspiciously similar to the Merit artwork. Hint taken. The only technically announced bands for that bill are Sleep In and Dryjacket. Tickets are on sale now. If it is in fact a Progress show, let's hope it's not the only one!
Meanwhile, Evan has given us a list of his favorite LPs and EPs of 2014. It's a cool, diverse list ranging from ambient pop to powerviolence, and you can check it out for yourself below.
Into It. Over It. also has an upcoming solo tour with Kevin Devine and Laura Stevenson (doesn't hit NYC), and he recently put out the video for "Spinning Thread" (dir. Max Moore) from last year's Intersections LP. Watch that, with his year-end list, some Progress song streams and the Philly show flyer, below...
SPIN returned with their Top Albums of 2014 list today. It's got a lot of the indie albums that usually show up on these lists (Caribou, Future Islands, FKA twigs, Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings, How to Dress Well, Swans, St. Vincent, Real Estate, etc), a handful of rap albums (YG, Young Thug, Shabazz Palaces, Run the Jewels, Schoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, etc), metal (Pallbearer), punk (Against Me!, Joyce Manor), mainstream pop (Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert), and a couple headscratchers (Betty Who at #11?). You-know-who scores the #1 slot once again here. Check it out for yourself below.
Best of Lists Season continues, here with AV Club's favorite records of 2014. As it's a cumulative list with ballots from the site's music writers (most of whom are in their 30s), you get a pretty typical list but we'll leave the suspense of whether The War on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten or St. Vincent landed at #1 for you to check out below.
intro by Andrew Sacher
Restorations (photo by Mitchell Wojcik)
Philly rockers Restorations put out LP3 earlier this year on SideOneDummy. It's an excellent record; one you'll probably see on a handful of year-end lists this year thanks to its superior take on heartland/blue collar rock that rivals a lot of the stuff it was likely influenced by (Lucero, The Hold Steady, Hot Water Music, etc). The band's singer Jon Loudon was also nice enough to give us his own 2014 year-end list, which includes 10 pretty diverse picks.
Check it out for yourself, with commentary on each one from Jon and honorable mentions, below...
Gazelle Twin's 'Unflesh'
Now that it's December, Best of Lists Season is in full swing. If you're already tired of seeing ones that have The War on Drugs at the top (or near it), you can always rely on UK website The Quietus to offer up something different. They just published their "Albums Of The Year 2014" and topping it is electronic artist Gazelle Twin's second album, Unflesh. Say The Quietus:
On Unflesh, Gazelle Twin - aka Elizabeth Bernholz - doesn't see dualism as an academic exercise or a philosophical plaything. Instead, it's born of bloody experience as she claws and digs her way to its gory, physical core. Puberty, anxiety, miscarriage, illness and euthanasia are all present, and Bernholz's treatment of them ranges from a shuddering disgust to vengeful catharsis to something approaching tender acceptance.The Quietus' list is not without names familiar to readers of our site -- Swans, Scott Walker & Sunn O))), FKA twigs, Aphex Twin, Future Islands -- but it definitely does not follow the beaten path.
Check out The Quietus' full "Albums Of The Year 2014" (and stream a few songs from their #1) below...
We're just over a month away from 2015 and those UK year-end lists keep pouring in. Now British music mag Uncut has posted their 75 Best Albums of 2014. Looks like their winner is becoming a popular choice for #1, and the rest of their top 10 is split between real-deal veterans (Leonard Cohen [falling just a tad from his 2012 #1 spot], Robert Plant) and rising newcomers (FKA twigs). Elsewhere the list has a lot of the indie-related albums that keep popping up, a good deal of folk/country, more veteran appearances, and a certain opinionated UK duo who have appeared on every UK list we've seen so far and make their US debut this week.
Check out the full list below...
We just posted Q Magazine's Best of 2014 albums list and now here's the same from sister publication MOJO. Not only do they share a publisher, but also more than half of same albums appear on both lists. The War on Drugs was #2 here, making war for Beck's Morning Phase in the top spot. Check out the whole list below.
While MOJO is seen as a safe haven for "heritage" acts, there are some records in their Top 10 that don't prominently feature acoustic guitars: coming in at #3 is Sleaford Mods' Divide and Exit. You can catch the Mods' North American live debut this Saturday (11/29) at The Wick with The Gotobeds, The Rogers Sisters and "very special guests" who will be announced closer to the show. Tickets are still available.
MOJO's full Top 50 LPs of 2014 list below...
Liturgy at Pitchfork Fest 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
As discussed, Swans have upcoming dates including a hometown show in NYC at Warsaw on December 12. Since we last spoke, it's been announced that NYC black metal band Liturgy will open that show, which is a great double bill. Previously, both bands' drummers contributed to this year's Ben Frost album. Tickets for that show are still available. Swans have also added several more tour dates, including many in North America such as the Big Ears Festival. Updated dates are listed below.
Swans are also releasing the "Oxygen" EP next week (11/25) via Young God/Mute which features four alternate versions of that track which appeared on this year's To Be Kind. It includes an edit by Mute founder Daniel Miller, which you can stream below, as well as a live recording from Primavera, an early version recorded by Michael Gira at his house, and an acoustic version.
That song stream and the list of dates below...
Rough Trade NYC on Record Store Day 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As they usually are, Rough Trade Shops are one of the first this year to post their favorite albums of 2014 list. It's 100 albums long and mostly filled with the bigger indie and indie-related releases of the year, but there's a few surprises in there too. Mark Kozelek will not be happy to see that The War On Drugs placed #2, 8 higher than the Sun Kil Moon record. Mark should be proud that he made the list not once, but TWICE though. His Christmas album landed at #84. Run the Jewels, who are not on it all, have started a "Suck My Dick Rough Trade" chant. Check out their full list below and see more on each album here.
Big Ears Festival will return to various Knoxville, TN venues in 2015 from March 27-29, and the initial lineup was just announced. Kronos Quartet will be the artists in residence for the weekend and perform at several concerts. Others performing include Laurie Anderson, tUnE-yArDs, Swans, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Sam Amidon, Max Richter, Ben Frost, Bryce Dessner, Bill Frisell, Jamie xx, Clark, Demdike Stare, SQURL, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Nosaj Thing, Steve Gunn, Nels Cline, Amen Dunes, Jozef Van Wissem, Holly Herndon, Terry Riley & Ryan Riley, Harold Budd & Keith Lowe, The Bad Plus, Rhiannon Giddens, Tanya Tagaq and Hildur Guonadottir. Stay tuned for more lineup additions.
The shows will take place at the Tennessee and Bijou Theatres, the intimate Square Room, the Knoxville Museum of Art and more. Weekend passes go on sale Friday (11/14) at noon EST. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Knoxville music and arts education programs Joy of Music School and Community School of the Arts.
Swans at MHOW in May (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Swans just played Hudson, NY's Basilica Sound Scape this past weekend, and they've since announced that they'll play one more New York show before the year ends, this one at NYC's Warsaw on December 12, the same Greenpoint venue they played as the final NYC stop of The Seer tour. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/19) at 10 AM. All dates (the rest are in Europe) are listed below.
Swans are also reissuing a remastered version of their excellent and perfectly named debut album, Filth, on vinyl for the first time in decades on October 28. You can pre-order it now. Read what Michael Gira had to say about the album, with the list of dates, below...
Basilica Sound Scape happened this weekend in Hudson, NY. Among the artists playing were Swans, Richard Reed Parry, Deafheaven (who also played MHOW the next night), Tim Hecker and White Lung (who also played the BV-curated Red Bull Sound Select show on Friday night).
I attended Saturday's (9/13) portion, which was presented by Pitchfork's Show No Mercy. I drove to the festival, but Basilica Hudson is also accessible from New York City via the Amtrak, whose Hudson stop is only a block away from the venue.
Basilica Hudson is a gorgeous setting for live music. The venue is a reclaimed 19th century factory with many of the door and window frames left open, creating a pleasant indoor-outdoor ambiance. Most of the food and beer vendors were also outside, allowing attendees to hang in the refreshing autumn weather and rest our ears under the starry Hudson skies. The whole event felt dreamlike and far enough removed from everyday life to really be something memorable.
The mixed media component of the festival further added to the surreal atmosphere. There were record sellers, book sellers, film clips projected in the alcoves of the building - and even a performance artist sleeping in a Buddha booth later in the night. I arrived around 8:45 to find Meredith Graves (of Perfect Pussy) reading from an opening in the wall of the main room, fifteen feet above our heads. Later in the night, Greg Fox (of Liturgy/Guardian Alien) would perform a drum solo in the same space.
Meredith's reading, which has now been posted in full at The Talkhouse, is about Andrew WK, Lana Del Rey and the double standard applied to male and female performers regarding authenticity. Here's an excerpt:
It is twisted that people only seemed to love the idea of Andrew W.K. more after the truth came out. The truth is so interesting! He's fearless, talented, he has a dark theoretical and critical mind. He's on television with Glenn Beck talking about being afraid of abortion. But it was transformation into a party dude at the hands of the music industry that made people pay attention to him. Meanwhile he's up there with Ian Svenonius at the Guggenheim talking about how his early experiences exploring the interstices between "pure music" and "unwanted sound" have shaped his intentionality in the "Andrew W.K. presentation." The kids in Katowice were there to have fun and get wasted. It's Harmony Korine playing dumb for Letterman back in the '90s, over and over and over again. In a way, everybody loses. It's like nobody was listening when he himself told them at point-blank range that he isn't real.Read the whole very interesting thing at The Talkhouse.
But when a female musician is in any way fake, she's denied creative agency, written off as uninventive and talentless. Beyoncé is accused of lip-synching, even when she isn't. Music rags run articles exposing pop stars' real names, highlighting Lorde, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus. But being that these are the most successful female artists in the world, one has to assume that their fakeness -- or, as we should be calling it, "reinvention" -- is necessary for women to succeed in the music industry. It's the basic principle of survival, period: adapt and evolve, or die. And of the women I listed above, look at what they've done that gets them called fake: taking on more seductive names and more assertive personas, getting breast and butt lifts and lip fillers and wearing makeup, wearing more elaborate, sexy, sometimes borderline-fetish costumes -- everything that men claim they want out of women! But no, that's not good enough -- those qualities have to be both present and completely natural in order for spectators to be satisfied.
I caught the full performances by White Lung, Deafheaven and Swans, who all delivered thunderously rapturous sets. I've come to expect nothing but excellence from these three acts, but it was refreshing to see them in a completely new context - and one that each managed to fit effortlessly among. I caught up with White Lung's Mish Way shortly after her set and restrained myself from telling her how obsessed I've been with "Wrong Star" ever since her Noisey Acoustic Sessions with Katie Crutchfield was released. I did, however, manage to discuss the unfortunate incident from Friday night's show when she was forced to confront an audience member who was harassing and even attempting to punch her during her performance.
"It's been awhile since I've had to do something like that," she said, "but I'm glad it happened. And I'm glad to end our tour here. It feels good. It feels special. And... (smiling) I'm really glad my reading went well."
I'm looking forward to more unique experiences at next year's festival, to which I will certainly be returning.
A few more pictures (by Molly Moltzen) and a few videos below...
The 2014 Basilica Sound Scape festival is this weekend (September 12 & 13) in Hudson, NY with performances from Swans, Deafheaven, White Lung, Majical Cloudz, Julia Holter and more. Eleanor Friedberger was supposed to have played but has since dropped off. Two-day passes and tickets to Saturday (9/13) with Swans, Deafheaven and more are sold out but you can still get tickets to Friday (9/12) with Julia Holter, Tim Hecker, Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) and more. The daily lineups and performances schedules are listed below.
If you'd like to go to both nights for free, we're giving away a pair of two-day passes. Details on that below.
You can also see White Lung in NYC for $3 this Friday (9/12) at MIDNIGHT (so really 9/13) when they play the BrooklynVegan-curated Red Bull Sound Select show at Palisades (906 Broadway) with Power Trip and Sick Feeling. RSVP HERE for $3 admission at the door (it's $10 if you don't).
by Robb Sperry-Fromm
Cold Specks at Webster Hall in 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Canadian goth-inflected soul songwriter Cold Specks, who is playing AfroPunk this weekend in Brooklyn, will release Neuroplasticity on August 25, including two songs that feature Swans Michael Gira. One, already shared awhile ago, is called "Exit Plan." The newer one is called "A Season of Doubt." Both make excellent use of Gira in his sinister whisper/growl mode. Cold Specks also recently appeared on Swans' To Be Kind, so things would seem to be coming full circle. You can stream album-closer "A Season of Doubt" and the other 90% of Neuroplasticity, below.
Cold Specks has also announced a worldwide tour in support of Neuroplasticity. The tour will bring her back to NYC to play Rough Trade on November 7. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/22) at noon. All dates are listed, along with the album stream, below.