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SWANS Kick Off North American Tour; Release New Album

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SWANS Kick Off North American Tour; Release New Album

Swans will be starting a year-long world-wide tour celebrating the release of their 2 CDset To Be Kind, the third studio album from this outfit since their reactivation by band primum mobile Michael Gira in 2010 after a 14 year hiatus. The touring line-up is: Michael Gira - guitar, voice (original Swans); Norman Westberg - guitar (original Swans); Christoph Hahn - guitar (mid period Swans and most Angels Of Light); Phil Puleo - drums, percussion, dulcimer etc etc (final Swans tour and most Angels); Chris Pravdica - bass and gadgets (Flux Information Sciences / Services/ Gunga Din); Thor Harris - drums, percussion, vibes, dulcimer, curios, keys, etc etc... (Angels / Shearwater). I'm hoping you'll consider advancing this show with a feature, CD review or advance blurb.

To Be Kind was produced by Michael Gira, performed by the touring line-up, recorded by the venerable John Congleton at Sonic Ranch, outside El Paso Texas; further recordings and mixing were accomplished at Congleton's studio in Dallas, Texas. Gira says of the new album, "A good portion of the material for this album was developed live during the Swans tours of 2012/13. Much of the music was otherwise conjured in the studio environment." This album's predecessor The Seer garnered a huge amount of ecstatic coverage from a host of impressive outlets:

Thirty years ago, New York City institution Swans were playing grinding, murderously ugly noise. Fifteen years ago, they were playing quiet, solemnly beautiful dirges. Now front man Michael Gira, the Cormac McCarthy of rock 'n' roll, has found a third path: the sound of a celestial sledgehammer descending. The Seer takes its time with listeners in much the same way a cat takes its time with a mouse - its 11 songs add up to almost two hours - and it's surprisingly delicate and gentle in places. Bit by bit, though, these songs bear down and become an apocalyptic show of force. Douglas Wolk/Time Magazine

Oh man, this thing is a doozy. A merciless two hours of pummeling Glenn Branca-esque metal and desolate tumbleweed doom from the recharged alt-noise legends, spanning two CDs or three pieces of vinyl. The massive guest list could be a summer preview in itself: Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low, classic Swans sparring partner Jarboe, and the whole damn Akron/Family on background vocals.Christopher Weingarten/

Few bands have mastered what Woody Allen once dismissively called rock's "heaviosity" as thoroughly or as well as Swans. Part of their strategy is to dress songs in wispy layers that compound in deceptive stores of mass, and the other part is to do away with thinking about the conventions of "rock" altogether. As contemporaries of 1980s and '90s New York noise bands like Sonic Youth, Swans were famous for playing at punishing, pummeling volume. But they also know that eerie moans and murmurs can be as affecting as a scream when directed expressly at the head. The effect plays out to dark rapture on fabled Swans records of yore, and it manifests no less menacingly on "The Seer," a double-album from last year that marks a high point in the group's recent late-period surge. Andy Battaglia/Wall Street Journal

Michael Gira founded the seminal NYC band Swans in 1982. Quickly infamous for their punishing, brutal and repetitive onslaughts of sound, extreme volume levels, and the self-abusing, abject shouts and growls of Gira's sloganeering vocals, Swans gradually transformed over 15 years, ultimately venturing into harsh mechanical proto-industrial rock, to sprawling shifts of texture and perspective (see the bucolic atmospheric folk idles and martial stomps of their much heralded Children of God double LP from 1987), to gentle acoustic-based songs, and finally on to their ultimate statement, Soundtracks For The Blind (1997) which somehow incorporated all of these elements at once, across well over 2 hours of music in one album. At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of relentless touring and productivity, and disbanded Swans. He went on to release his music under the name Angels Of Light on a long series of critically acclaimed albums. He also produced and released music through his label Young God Records and was responsible for finding and nurturing such notable talents as Devendra Banhart, Lisa Germano, Akron/Family, and James Blackshaw. In 2010, he reactivated Swans, releasing My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky to ecstatic critical response and touring the world for the better part of a year. The Seer, a 2 CD set came out in 2012 and was celebrated by a year-long tour as well, both the album and live shows eliciting still more media praise, the album placing nicely on Billboard's Top 200 Sales Chart.

SWANS North American Tour Dates 2014

May 14 - Washington DC, Black Cat Mainstage
May 15 - Philadelphia PA, Union Transfer
May 17 - Boston MA, Royale Nightclub
May 18 - New York NY, Bowery Ballroom
May 19 - Brooklyn NY, Music Hall of Williamsburg

(Support comes from Jenny Hval on all the May dates)
June 17 - Quebec QC Le Cercle

June18 - Montreal Qc Theatre National

June 20 - Toronto ON Yonge-Dundas Square Stage- MNW Festival

June 21 - Detroit MI St Andrews Hall

June 22 - Chicago IL Lincoln Hall

June 24 - St Louis MO The Ready Room

June 26 - Dallas TX Trees

June 27 - Austin TX Mohawk Austin

June 28 - Houston TX Fitzgerald's Upstairs

June 30 - Nashville TN Exit / In

July 1 - Charlotte NC Neighborhood Theatre

July 2 - Louisville KY The New Vintage

July 3 - Pittsburgh PA Rex Theater

July 5 - Buffalo NY Tralf Music Hall

July 6 - New Haven CT Toad's Place

(Xiu Xiu support on June/July dates)

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