Swans and A Hawk and a Hacksaw - Respectable Street - October 17
Better than: A hot poker in your ear
There's a new crack in the world's surface. Swans left it there smoldering and smelling of brimstone on the stage at Respectable Street Café.
- Slideshow from Swans at Respectable Street 2012
- Swans' Michael Gira: "At the Best Moments, Music Plays You and Not the Opposite."
- Swans' Michael Gira on Ecstatic Feelings, The Seer, and Being "All in the Sound"
- Review: Swans' Piercing Assault on Respectable Street, September 14
as the six-piece rose their volume to the maximum level. Far from the intricate dynamics of the band's recorded work, live Swans are a beast of a band on a quest for loud.
But before the six-member group began exploring the limits of its equipment, a duo on violin, accordion, and kick drum called A Hawk and a Hacksaw warmed up the stage nicely. The duo from New Mexico happens to include Jeremy Barnes, who once played drums in Neutral Milk Hotel, and Heather Trost, on violin and occasional vocals. Their perky, sometimes frenetic music brings to mind the old world of gypsies but also the experimental.
Gira is a man clearly on a quest for something. By the two boldly scribbled words at the bottom of the final laminated lyric sheet of the night (Bliss! Bliss!) it seems it cannot be found in the physical world, but this group of six guys certainly opened up something in the sonic realm with their guitars and a barrage of percussion, that included dulcimer and orchestra bells as well as some beat up drums and cymbals and more than one lost and broken drumstick that blew apart in the pummeling assault.
Personal Bias: I like to search for phantasmal melodies in noise.
Crowd: black shirts, asymmetrical haircuts, and a baby boomer or two.
Follow Hans Morgenstern on Twitter at indieethos.
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