I'll be reading at Haringey Literature Live in Wood Green on 3 July. Swing by for a couple of stories about sex, death, camping, ornithology, AC/DC and parking on the A34. Though not necessarily in that order.
This blog enjoys its third encounter in four years with the revivified Swans. We won't haul you through all our baggage again. In 2010 we said this. But perhaps they, and us, have evolved since then.
Some albums are about love. Some are about wild abandon. Some are about despair. (A small picture, there, of how we like to roll round here.) Swans' new album To Be Kind is about all these things. But mostly it's about the forceful power of what, back in the 1970s, music journalists called the groove. Grover Washington Jnr's Masterpiece and Fela Kuti are as much a part of this now as the downtuned sturm und drang. (This exciting-sounding German idiom is something you used to encounter often in the music press. It means 'storm and urge'.)
We catch them in Brixton. Afterwards, unable to really hear anything at all, we loiter around suspiciously and eventually say hello to Michael Gira. Then we go home. (Our affected adoption of the first person plural introduces a degree of ambiguity to that sentence, but you get where we're coming from.) All of which is a lengthy introduction to the link below: a universe, sung in reverse...