Art Rock Show – The Beggar (Week 44)

De New Yorkse rockband Swans maakte deel uit van de oorspronkelijke No Wave-scene aan het begin van de jaren 80 en is sindsdien uitgegroeid tot een van de meest gerespecteerde experimentele rockgroepen van dit moment. Onder leiding van de visionaire zanger, multi-instrumentalist en songwriter Michael Gira.

The Guardian review: “However, their 16th album shows that the old intensity hasn’t deserted them, it just comes in different forms, as suggested by opener The Parasite, which builds from a gentle acoustic guitar to a cacophony of quiet noise.

Written in what Gira calls the “strange disorientation” of lockdown, the prevailing atmosphere on The Beggar is one of unsettling, claustrophobic unease, as the drawling 69-year-old contemplates life and mortality. “Am I ready to die?” he asks on the naggingly hypnotic Paradise is Mine, reversing the question for the ominous title track to wonder: “When will I finally learn to live?”

The Velvet Underground-worthy Los Angeles: City of Death is the closest this Swans incarnation comes to rock and unusually for a band of this vintage, they’re still springing surprises, such as the way Michael Is Done suddenly erupts into beatific rapture reminiscent of early Brian Eno. Unforming has shades of Spiritualized at their prettiest. The 44 minutes of brooding menace that make up The Beggar Lover (Three) aren’t for the faint hearted, but the sublime, choral No More of This – in which Gira ponders the end of existence – shows that dark and unsettling can be purifying and beautiful.”

Naast Swans (The Beggar), Squid (Bright Green Field), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Yanqui U.X.O.), Coil (The Ape of Naples) & Slint (Spiderland).

  • Thursday/Donderdag 12.00 – 24.00
  • Friday/Vrijdag 12.00 – 24.00
  • Saturday/Zaterdag 12.00 – 24.00

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