Ever since Swans emerged from the NYC no wave scene in the early ’80s, the impact was nothing less than pivotal, with ripples felt to this day. Their amorphic experimental nature has had every single genre label thrown at it in attempts to describe its sonic annihilation, from noise rock to post-rock, industrial to art rock, even something as ambiguous as “neofolk.” Could it be all of this and none? Absolutely. Band founder Michael Gira ultimately created an experience, and allowed it to wildly evolve in several different directions.
Their live performances were unmatched – deafeningly loud and oftentimes rather contentious, with intense interactions between Gira and some audience members. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. To remove that intensity would be to remove the driving, mesmerizing essence giving the music its powerful presence.
Swans disbanded in 1997, and Gira was involved in numerous other projects by that time. But in 2010, Gira’s Young God Records label announced a reformation of the band with a new song and a new tour, and they’ve continued to be active since then. Tonight is your opportunity to see Swans perform at The Parish, 214 E. 6th St., featuring percussionist and artist Thor Harris. Starting out the evening is another brilliant and enigmatic artist, Little Annie, performing with Paul Walfisch. Doors open at 8 p.m.
It’s one not to miss. Recommended.
– Photography by Jennifer Church.