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Old 04.27.2014, 03:56 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h8kurdt
Having listened to it I'll say this-they've done it again.


For sure. I've stopped playing it completely. I was going to write a review of the album for a music blog, but I realized that doing so would require too many pre-release listens for me to still feel the rush of blood to my head when opening the vinyl copy that is being shipped to my house next month. I gave it roughly 4 start to finish listens, and pushed it out of my head as much as I possibly could.

All I can really remember now is that it didn't disappoint in the slightest, and that parts of it may actually require more attention and thought than the Seer did. And the Seer was not a "put in and rock out" album. Not for me. It was like performing a lengthy, intricate, high-stakes metaphorical surgery on my own brain.

I'm just one of those assholes who thinks, "Hey, if you're going to put THAT much time and effort into a piece of music, then there has to be something behind it; some reason for every decision . And I like to dissect that shit because I think I'm smarter than pretty much everyone, so it's like a challenge to me... The album roars, "Think you can figure me out, huh. Well, come on then!" And I put on a grim face and say, "Let's do this" while I unsheathe my Zanpakutō and charge into battle....

Wait, I'm getting Bleach confused with real life again. Sorry.

Anyway, it is true that I'm a pretty scientific thinker, and I tend to use logic and empiricism whenever possible (except when it comes to graduate student codes of conduct in cognitive neuroscience programs... Hah!) but ART mysteries me, because there are no rules, operational definitions, charts, graphs, or equations to use to better understand it. It's all about fleeting moments in time, and snap decisions made by people much more talented and imaginative than I will ever be.

This is why I love Swans. This is why I dove head first into Sonic Youth at age 15, after hearing the (then utterly) perplexing "Bull in the Heather," and not knowing how to respond. This is why I love music that provokes and takes chances and fucks with the listener... It's because it is, for me, a more meaningful experience than listening to music that presses all the right buttons and is manufactured to activate pleasure centers in the brain. That shit's easy.

But standing at a Swans show, being bludgeoned to death by guitars that feel like axes in your ear drums, surrounded by maniacs, drenched in someone else's sweat, feeling my body age and weaken more rapidly due to the sheer intensity of the sensory onslaught in front of me and loving every minute of it? That makes no goddamn sense. I hate having to share neighborhoods with other people! I'm claustrophobic and I'm a clean freak and loud noises make me nervous. So why does erratic, droning, noisy music make me feel like a fucking god? And why does this music even exist? Obviously there is a like minded soul behind it, and that is probably the true appeal.

Anyway, I think about music and other things too much. It's starting to become a serious problem, and I'm beginning to worry that it may be a textbook cognitive malfunction. But fuck it, NEW SWANS!! WOOO!!!
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Old 04.27.2014, 11:35 PM   #42
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Fuck I love you, Severian.
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Old 04.28.2014, 08:01 AM   #43
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I'm putting together a quick "Best Albums of 2914 (1st Quarter)" list for aforementioned blog. Naturally, TBK doesn't meet the deadline, but I've gotta tell ya-- while there have been some STRONG releases this year, particularly by artists previously unbeknownst to me, there is nothing in any genre that can compete with this record.

This leads me to believe that unless Yeezy's release is as timely and spectacular as sources would indicate (unlikely, considering the lack of solid leads on the album, but ya never know) or Wu-Tang and Raekwon reconcile and bust a nut all over the place, this is going to be the second year out if three in which Swans walk away on top of the mountain.
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Old 04.28.2014, 08:03 AM   #44
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Actually, Thee Oh Sees album has serious growth potential, but I doubt it can grow into a Swans competitor. It would need about another hour of music, and the blessing of some malevolent desert God to reach that level.
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Old 05.02.2014, 09:06 PM   #45
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Ok, the new Fennesz album may be a competitor too. It's insanely, unbelievably great.

I don't think Swans are probably going to have as easy a time crushing the competition as the did in '12, but they're still going to obliterate nearly every other release that sees the light of day this year.
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Old 05.04.2014, 01:17 AM   #46
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***looks up Fennesz (wtf?)***
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Old 05.04.2014, 03:47 PM   #47
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Off topic slightly, but I've been playing My Father Will Guide.....and that "companion" cd Look At Me Go is the best thing about it imho. I cannot imagine just the single disc edition. Look At Me Go samples the album proper, expands and deconstructs it. It's essential.

The only Swans I know is this My Father... and Seer. TBK for the hatrick.
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Old 05.04.2014, 03:55 PM   #48
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(And I explored Fennesz.)
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Old 05.08.2014, 01:54 AM   #49
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Fuck, SY, Swans have a new album streaming.

I'm living with this muthafucker now. Wow....as much as I adore Seer, I never thought I would say this: GIRA IS A GREAT SINGER.

TBK is not only more vocal oriented, but much more "song" oriented. But if advanced reviews had all pointed to "songs" and how organic it is, or even....gasp....The Doors......I would have been completely bummed. But I get that now, and it's all very very good. Fuck me.....no other band in history has done this. Wouldn't it be great if REM or even the fucking Stones followed Gira's example? ie Stretch out, be unafraid, keep growing....

It will take me a long time to come to terms with this beast, but fuck, they have done it again.
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Old 05.08.2014, 02:08 PM   #50
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haha told you so.
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Down with this sort of thing.
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Old 05.09.2014, 06:06 PM   #51
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I do this kind of thing with every album but.....

If you start with CD2 then end with CD1.....isn't it better that way?
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Old 05.09.2014, 09:07 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skuj
Fuck, SY, Swans have a new album streaming.

God knows why. I've tried to neg-rep you and your friends several times on this thread but I can't.
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Old 05.09.2014, 09:42 PM   #53
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Wow this might actually be better than The Seer
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Old 05.09.2014, 10:14 PM   #54
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I can't believe I'm saying it, but yes, I agree it is better than Seer.
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Old 05.09.2014, 10:18 PM   #55
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Sharing is caring assholes

http://www.npr.org/2014/05/04/308392...ans-to-be-kind
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Old 05.09.2014, 10:22 PM   #56
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First listen, this sounds more like tool than those tool sounding moments on the seer. I know I will get shitted on for saying that, but I don't care, I like tool, and what I hear in The Seer and To Be Kind that sounds like what I hear in tool I mutually like in both. Its the sound that attracts me to it. I much prefer this Swans revival/revision to the earlier more chaotic shit, I'd compare this more recent Swans era with that ATL/NYCGF/Murray St/Sonic Nurse era of Sonic Youth which I found to be the most mature, constructed, instrumentally innovative period for Sonic Youth. The Seer and To Be Kind sound more like Swans meets more a more conventional approach to music, and those John Weiss mother fuckers who liked the chaos theory noise makes music approach to early Swans might not dig it. I think its a very maturing progression, to take the same kind of emphasis on minimalism, repetition, ambient noise/feedback, droning effects, dynamic contrasts, its early Swans but much more musical. Shit, the second disc from The Seer had something closely resembling a radio single! The Seer is one of my all time favorite records, and I agree with others, To Be Kind at my first listen sounds better.. I'm ordering it now, not tomorrow.
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Old 05.09.2014, 10:36 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian
And the Seer was not a "put in and rock out" album. Not for me. It was like performing a lengthy, intricate, high-stakes metaphorical surgery on my own brain.

Fucking totally agree. I can only listen to The Seer when I am on my metro commute or reading a novel for extended periods of time, I need to open space for my brain to explore the sounds without being to preoccupied with other aspects of life or even the music.


Quote:
I'm just one of those assholes who thinks, "Hey, if you're going to put THAT much time and effort into a piece of music, then there has to be something behind it; some reason for every decision .

This is why I never understood people's beef with radiohead, even if they didn't like it, they must admit the technical mechanics and process that goes into it. Swans even more so, ironic how "minimalist" music is often the most complex and constructed.

Quote:
"Think you can figure me out, huh. Well, come on then!"

Agreed, The Seer is not like some friendly DMT kind of sagacity, no, its fucking some reality shattering Datura shit. It looks like some pleasant flowers, but its in actuality a force of the supernatural.


Quote:
Wait, I'm getting Bleach confused with real life again. Sorry.

Hold on, while lyrically Bleach is definitely immature and less-than-well-formed, sonically that record is as much a brunt force of minimalism as Swans, just in a microcosmic approach. Where Swans draws out the effect of contrast and dynamics, Nirvana condenses it into bursts of conventional rock music, yet, its the same kind of simplistic, almost minimalist approach seasoned with the energy of brunt force.

Quote:

Anyway, it is true that I'm a pretty scientific thinker, and I tend to use logic and empiricism whenever possible (except when it comes to graduate student codes of conduct in cognitive neuroscience programs... Hah!) but ART mysteries me, because there are no rules, operational definitions, charts, graphs, or equations to use to better understand it. It's all about fleeting moments in time, and snap decisions made by people much more talented and imaginative than I will ever be.

There are charts, graphs, rules, operational definitions, and theory underlying music, but the beauty of it unlike math and engineering, music creates the effect of feeling, which is altogether transcendental in ways that math simply can't even attempt at. Logic is about reasoning, music is about shattering that using the underlying math of the craft of playing an instrument. As a player myself, nothing is more esoteric and magical than the effect playing an instrument has over people around you, it is surreal and when you master it the art becomes less and less a matter of conscious effort or expression and becomes something more, a kind of harmonic Communion. Its why in the Old Church, the Mass is always sung, the Fathers always said, "When you sing a prayer, you pray twice."


Quote:

But standing at a Swans show, being bludgeoned to death by guitars that feel like axes in your ear drums, surrounded by maniacs, drenched in someone else's sweat, feeling my body age and weaken more rapidly due to the sheer intensity of the sensory onslaught in front of me and loving every minute of it?


This is how I felt about the Sonic Nurse tour. Bludgeoned to death by guitars.. Nothing like it. I would LOVE to see Swans tour The Seer or this new record, it would be like taking mushrooms, too many in fact.
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Old 05.09.2014, 11:33 PM   #58
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Ok.. so this record is so fucking good that I wish it was broken up into smaller, more manageable portions so I can repeat and relive certain moments easier. I guess that is sort of the point of minimalism and repetition isn't it, the sound you like is part of a dynamic, and that effect is more so why you like it, as a part of the process and build up than just the sound itself..

This record is good. I'm glad I didn't sleep on it.
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Old 05.10.2014, 12:18 AM   #59
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They're playing in LA, at the fucking ROXY of all places, it can't fit more than 200 people and the floor isn't much larger than the living room in my house BUT I don't even know if I can handle that.. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm on the fence about buying the tickets..
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Old 05.10.2014, 11:55 AM   #60
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Go. One of the best live acts around right now. Bring earplugs though.
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