Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Swans at CBGB 1983, photo: Catherine Ceresole 
SWANS - The Seer (YG45) 2xDigipack CD, 3xLP, Digital

This album is also available as a special edition that includes a Swans Live DVD (view a trailer below).

RELEASE DATE: August 28, 2012

 Track Listing:
1.) Lunacy
2.) Mother of the World
3.) The Wolf
4.) The Seer
5.) The Seer Returns
6.) 93 Ave. B Blues
7.) The Daughter Brings the Water 8.) Song for a Warrior
9.) Avatar
10.) A Piece of the Sky
11.) The Apostate

Total Running Time: approx. 2 hrs.

Recorded at Studio P4 and Andere Baustelle in Berlin, by Kevin McMahon and at Marcata Studio, Gardiner, NY, by Kevin McMahon. Additional recording at Trout Recording, Brooklyn, NY, engineer: Bryce Goggin. Mixed by Kevin McMahon at Marcata. Produced by Michael Gira.

SWANS: Michael Gira - voice, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, casio, sounds; Norman Westberg – electric guitar, voice; Christoph Hahn – lap steel guitars; electric guitar, voice; Phil Puleo – drums, percussion, hammer dulcimer, voice; Thor Harris – drums, percussion, orchestral bells, hammer dulcimer, handmade violin thing, vibraphone, piano, clarinet, voice; Christopher Pravdica – bass guitar, voice, incredible handshake. Honorary Swan: Bill Rieflin – piano, organ, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, percussion, casio, synthesizer, bass guitar, voice, bird idea….

SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDE : Al and Mimi of Low - (co-vocals with MG on Lunacy); Karen O – (lead vocal on Song for a Warrior); Jarboe – (background vocals on Piece of the Sky and The Seer Returns); Akron/Family – (background vocals on Piece of the Sky)

NOTE FROM MICHAEL GIRA: “The Seer took 30 years to make. It’s the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I’ve ever made, been involved in or imagined. But it’s unfinished, like the songs themselves. It’s one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade. The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in rehearsals, live and in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they’ll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while. Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my quest is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I’m a kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy!"

SWANS North American Tour Dates
9/6/2012 Vancouver BC Venue
9/7/2012 Seattle WA Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room
9/8/2012 Portland OR Hawthorne Theater
9/9/2012 9/10/2012 San Francisco CA The Regency Grand Ballroom
9/11/2012 Los Angeles CA The Music Box
9/12/2012 Phoenix AZ Crescent Ballroom
9/14/2012 Austin TX La Zona Rosa
9/15/2012 Houston TX Fitzgerald’s Upstairs
9/16/2012 Dallas TX Trees 9/18/2012 Oklahoma City OK ACM Performance Lab
9/19/2012 Kansas City MO Beaumont Club 9/20/2012 Lincoln NE Bourbon Theatre
9/21/2012 Minneapolis MN Fineline Music Cafe
9/22/2012 Milwaukee WI Shank Hall
9/24/2012 Denver CO Gothic Theater

Xiu Xiu is support on all shows.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


The title track from the second cassette tape I ever bought. She will sorely be missed. It was a pleasure having "Last Dance" be the last dance at our wedding. -Ed.

Friday, May 4, 2012

NAMASTE MCA: Adam Yauch 1964-2012

Words cannot express the sorrow I am feeling about the death of Adam Yauch, who lost his battle to cancer today. The Beasties were like the cool older brothers I never had, and the news about his passing hit me like it truly was someone from my own family.

"It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam 'MCA' Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer," reads an official statement from the Beastie Boys on their website. "He was 47 years old."

Perhaps more so than his blood brothers Mike D and Ad Rock, MCA left a profound effect on me beyond his indelible mic skills and musicianship. He was a peaceful man of unshakable faith and conviction to what he believed in, and the closest thing hip-hop has ever had to George Harrison.

I was blessed to have met him, albeit only briefly, at the 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington DC while I was on assignment for SPIN.com, and very lucky to say I have stood before the Beasties in concert no less than eight times in my life.

Whether he was cracking us up with his hilarious video direction, amazing us with his on-point rhyme science, killing us with his skills on the electric bass, inspiring us to dig deeper into the bins of our local record shop, making us think with his poignant documentaries or inciting us to speak out against human injustice as a crusader of peace and resolution, Adam Yauch has been an exemplary model for youth culture since helping form the Beastie Boys in 1979. And his influence will live on so long as kids are discovering the work he left for us to learn from and enjoy.

Rest in peace, Mr. Yauch. I am sure the great Buddha saw that you passed into the next life in the atmosphere of peace and harmony you deserved for all the great things you did in this mortal coil. -Ed.  

"I Don't Know" from Hello Nasty:

"Bodhisattva Vow" (Live 1994)

"I Don't Need You" from the unreleased 1987 Brooklyn sessions featuring MCA, Ad-Rock, Dr. Know of Bad Brains and Doug Beans of Murphy's Law on drums:

"Flying High" from Brooklyn:

Nathaniel Hornblower bumrush at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards: