SWANS

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SWANS

Postby Sapromind » Wed May 28, 2014 11:19 pm

I've seen Swans mentioned here and there on this board, but I don't think we've ever had a proper Swans thread. Since the followings of both KJ and Swans happen to intertwine, I guess there must be some of the gatherers here as well who like the work of Michael Gira and friends.\
Of course both bands offer an intense music, hard beating rhythms and an overall honest, cathartic experience. But what sadly differs them is, say, the level of reliability. There's a lot of anger towards the Joke for cancelled shows, postponed releases, or lack of communication with the fan base. There is even an allegation regarding the band's greed, seeing how much they charge for gigs or limited edition reissues or cigar wrappers...\
I don't think (incorrectly?) there are similar animosities in the Swans camp, at least after the reunion. Gira has great communication with the fans, as he, guess what, uses Internet (to defend KJ - Youth is very active on Facebook, as is Mike Coles), there's an undoubted level of honesty coming from the band, and every new album is a display of epicness and integrity, which is followed by concerts that, even on this board, were described as dangerous.\
I'm still fairly new into Swans, so I would like to hear your opinion.
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Re: SWANS

Postby LSDMOFRO » Thu May 29, 2014 3:09 am

Hey Sapro. I'll have to check out Swans. I have never heard of them. Yes, I too have read the rants on their facebook about $ and hypocrisy. Killing Joke has always tried to break even. Jaz talks about this in his book and Geordie has the same spirituality towards $. People do need to eat and take care of themselves and families. Yes...there are those who keep spouting the Money is Not Our God credo and that KJ are hypocrites... People will always complain. It takes a lot of money to get a project off the ground. I think many musicians here can testify to this. I really don't think KJ has made any monies from any US tours. It's impossible knowing what the ticket prices are and how many they have sold, etc, etc. And back in the old days...musicians receive their $ for a record up front or to whatever their contract said. Hypothetical Example...If you were an unsigned band and made a contract with Virgin in 1984 for 75 thousand dollars and you need give the record company 5 recorded albums in 5 years...you are stuck with that contract. If you have a hit record, you won't get any more money. Maybe in your contract you get .0002 of all royalties from the record. It's not much unless you had a hit and it still is pretty much chump change. I personally know the New Bohemians from Eddie Brickell's band. They had several very big hits. The musicians have told me once a year they get like 15 dollars in a check from royalties from the songs. Almost nothing!!! It's rare for musicians to make fortunes. It's like winning the lottery. People that gripe about KJ's hypocrisy, in my opinion, just really don't understand the business. And that to me, is hypocrisy.
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Re: SWANS

Postby Sapromind » Thu May 29, 2014 9:18 am

It is certainly a bit surprising that a music connoisseur like you has never heard of Swans! Well, they are from the US and started - similarly to KJ - as a supposedly post punk band in the early eighties. Let me link a few songs (it's YouTube, but it should shed some light).\
Weakling, some old stuff.\
A Long Slow Screw, an old gig.\
Avatar, a song from the 2012 album, The Seer.
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Re: SWANS

Postby LSDMOFRO » Fri May 30, 2014 7:50 pm

Thanks Sapro. Man...that's some pretty scary stuff! I'm not sure what to make of it. \
Sure has a lot of doom and gloom in it. I can't say at first listen, I dig it, but surely things \
grow on me. Even some new Killing Joke songs have to grow on me.\
If you like this band...I certainly don't mean to citizen...everyone like their coffee\
or tea a certain way. To me...at 1st listen...it reminds me of the band, Gore\
at 16rpms. And certainly not the technical prowess and musical abilities of Gore.\
But as I said, to each his own. Thanks Sapro. I'll keep giving them a chance in my ears\
and head.
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Re: SWANS

Postby Mr.Punch » Fri May 30, 2014 9:10 pm

Firsttime I heard the SWANS was in 1982/3 on John Peels Music..think it was their Debut *....Peel metioned: It`s one of the rare records where there`s no difference either you spin it on 45rpm`s or 33 1/3.... he was damn right.\
They are indeed very VERY DOOOM **...and that wasn`t the real Mc Coy for me then...still is hmmm or shall I give `em a try again?...hmmm\
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Revise me Sapro if I`m wrong with the Debut thing...; ) \
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** Tho I never had any Probs with Throbbing Gristle.....or even worse with Stockhausen....
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Re: SWANS

Postby Sapromind » Fri May 30, 2014 10:07 pm

You're both right about the doom and gloom of the first records. If that's not your cup of tea, I recommend trying the 2012 album, The Seer. You can always start with YouTube or reading reviews.
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Re: SWANS

Postby Amalgam » Sat May 31, 2014 12:15 am

Hmm, I am not one to brag about things, but I think it's funny that I've been corresponding (and to some extent musically involved) with a musician who has been touring with Jarboe, who is a longtime member of the Swans. To me, that just goes to show how small of a world it is we live in today. \
Having said that, I have never really come to appreciate the Swans discography. It's possibly due to me not liking their all too happy sounding cover of the Joy Division song, which I at the time considered to be some kind of artistic blasphemy. I didn't like them sounding like making fun of serious depression, and therefore I put them in the same box as, for instance, the Sisters of Mercy, which I always thought of as a goth comedy band. To this day I still think the same about SoM, but following this thread, I might consider to re-assess my opinion on the Swans. Oh well, covers and the damage done...
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Re: SWANS

Postby firedance » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:05 pm

Heard a lot about Swans and have been advised throughout the years that I would like them.

Strange that I still haven't made the leap - can anyone recommend something to start with? I've heard Seer (although recent enough) is a very good introduction. I believe their V early stuff is quite noisy/early Sonic Youthish.
Left my conscience way behind ... tumble tumble, here we goooooo!
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Re: SWANS

Postby Sapromind » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:14 pm

firedance wrote:Heard a lot about Swans and have been advised throughout the years that I would like them.

Strange that I still haven't made the leap - can anyone recommend something to start with? I've heard Seer (although recent enough) is a very good introduction. I believe their V early stuff is quite noisy/early Sonic Youthish.

This is correct, the '80s era is quite extreme. Probably starting with "The Seer" would be the wisest, followed by the other two recent albums, "My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky" and "To Be Kind". All three are extreme as well, but in a different manner compared to the old material. '90s, on the other hand, was a different cup of tea, as the songs were often turning into acoustic sound.
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Re: SWANS

Postby firedance » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:00 am

Dziękuję Sapro - I'll have to take the plunge then!
Left my conscience way behind ... tumble tumble, here we goooooo!
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