This is not your mom's no-wave. The seminal New York underground band, Swans, brought their muscular rage back to the stage this fall, playing at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple and the Bowery Ballroom. Michael Gira and company took to their instruments while the viking drummer, Thor, hammered a staccato rhythym for 20 minutes. The assembled musicians looked like a gang of murderers straight out of Blue Velvet, all lean and grey and grizzled, eyeing the crowd with intensity. Michael Gira's inspired fury continues to inspire:
Swans are our favorites. We first dropped our jaw at a Swans show when they performed "Failure" at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston in 1991. The brutality of that statement was pushed further when followed by Jarboe's screeching turn onstage. This time there was no Jarboe, but it was nice of them to resurrect Klaus Kinski to play percussion.
If you have nothing to do for the next fifteen minutes, let this freak baby fly (lovely long intro video below). And then put on a copy of Soundtracks for the Blind. Or put your ear out with a tuning fork. Whichever.