Aware of the power of external display, and deeply imbued with a knowledge of human nature, the proprietor of the STREET GIRLS CAN BE SUCH GRIFTERS (hereby known as SGCBSG) rivets the attention of passers-by through the gratuitous exhibition of her unbounded collection...
The bronze snake. Main nave of Sant’Ambrogio basilica in Milan, Italy. The bronze snake (formerly believed to be the one by Moses), a gift from emperor Basil II (1007). It stands on an Ancient Roman granite pillar.
I have to admit something that will be seen as blasphemous in most circles—the recent, post-reformation work by Swans, starting with My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky in 2010, has been my favorite music of Michael Gira’s entire career. The caustic early material by Swans has always been really important to me, but it’s also just too harsh and oppressive for me to listen to in most moods. Then once Jarboe joined the band and they changed direction, they started to lose me in a different way. It got too goth, I guess. I mean I liked Children Of God but that was the last album of theirs I really connected with until the reformation.
The new stuff hits a sweet spot for me. The recent live albums (really just We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head, I haven’t picked up Not Here/Not Now yet) have contained live versions of Jarboe-era material that work better for me than the original studio versions ever did. It’s something about the band’s current combination of clarity and heaviness, which never really materialized in their early days. First it was too murky and overpowering, then when it cleared up, it wasn’t heavy anymore. I feel like Swans have finally achieved their Platonic form with the current incarnation, and I fucking love it. I especially love the fact that they’re writing some of the best songs of their career—of which “Oxygen” is definitely one.
I mean, if you’re asking me, it is. I’m waiting for some diehard Swans fans to show up and lambaste me for this one, though.
"First it was too murky and overpowering, then when it cleared up, it wasn’t heavy anymore. I feel like Swans have finally achieved their Platonic form with the current incarnation" — I wish more people could really listen to music and write about it like this dude does.