Friday, October 17, 2008
Michael Gira (solo) short European tour / November
credit: Lori Baily for Brooklyn Vegan
Michael Gira (solo) short European tour / November
Michael Gira will be playing four shows in Europe in November at the following venues.
19/11/2008 @ Teatro Fondamenta Nuove teatrofondamentanuove.it Venezia, Italy
20/11/2008 @ Teatro Rasi bronsonproduzioni.com, Ravenna, Italy
21/11/2008 @ Bluebird Festival songwriting.at, Vienna, Austria + Baby Dee babydee.org
23/11/2008 @ New New! 2008 myspace.com/newnewfest , Brno, CZ
Michael Gira (Angels Of Light / Swans) short bio:
Michael Gira founded the seminal NYC band Swans in 1982. Quickly infamous for their punishing, brutal and repetitive onslaughts of sound, extreme volume levels, and the self-abusing, abject shouts and growls of Gira's sloganeering vocals, Swans gradually transformed over 15 years, ultimately venturing into harsh mechanical proto-industrial rock, to sprawling shifts of texture and perspective (see the bucolic atmospheric folk idles and martial stomps of their much heralded Children of God double LP from 1987), to gentle acoustic-based songs, and finally on to their ultimate statement, Soundtracks For The Blind (1997) which somehow incorporated all of these elements at once, across well over 2 hours of music in one album. At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of relentless touring and productivity, and disbanded Swans. Since 1999 Gira has released his music under the name Angels Of Light. He writes the songs for Angels Of Light on acoustic guitar and orchestrates them using a shifting cadre of musicians, employing a wide variety of instrumentation such as strings, wind, brass, electric guitars, electronics and choral vocals. The songs are often eccentric and extreme, in keeping with Gira's love of soundtrack music. Though nominally more traditional than Swans, Angels Of Light is often just as hard hitting through different means. The most recent album by Angels Of Light is We Are Him. Though Angels Of Light recordings are often elaborately orchestrated, Gira has recently chosen to tour exclusively solo, using acoustic guitar and voice. The performances are raw, to the point, and emotionally powerful. When not recording, writing music, or touring, Gira spends his time producing and releasing music through his label Young God Records. He's been responsible of late for such notable talents as Devendra Banhart, Lisa Germano, Akron/Family, Fire On Fire, and most recently, Larkin Grimm. In early 2009 Young God will release the YGR debut by the acclaimed composer/guitarist James Blackshaw.
TIME OUT NY/ CONCERT PREVIEW (excerpt) 2008, by Jordan Mamone:
" Armed with only an acoustic guitar and a commanding baritone, Michael Gira
could make mincemeat out of the most "extreme" metal and punk bands. His
heavy-handed strumming and clear, virile voice—not to mention his impeccable, neatly pressed appearance—lend ample gravitas to even his prettiest folk ballads. (Lyrics like "When you open your mouth you're too stupid to scream" will seduce misanthropes who dig Thomas Bernhard novels rather than pixies who worship Joanna Newsom CDs.)...' It's heartening to see that Gira, the erstwhile East Village confrontationist, now in his early fifties and living upstate, has reached one more peak in his long, unpredictable career. "
TIME OUT LONDON / CONCERT PREVIEW 2007, by Sophie Harris
"No-one – but no-one – does menace like Michael Gira. Not Liars, not Black Dice, not Selfish Cunt or indeed any of today's confrontational young bucks. None of the bands that Gira has influenced, in his thirty-odd (and they are odd) years making music comes close to the
darkness that bubbles so deliciously through his music. But then, Gira's life story so far is nothing short of extraordinary.
A 'difficult' child (born to difficult parents), he ran away from home at 14, ended up at a kibbutz in Israel, selling drugs and his own blood on the streets, in jail, and then working in a copper mine. His father eventually tracked him down through Interpol, and Gira was shipped back to California to go to high school. He dropped out, and by the time he arrived in New York in '81, Gira describes himself as 'boiling over with non-specific rage'.
Enter then, Swans, legendarily the Loudest Band Ever. To this day, rock nerds' faces light up as they remember the inter-crowd injury/vomiting/deafness that characterised the art rockers' live shows; Gira would be physically pummelled by the drone, hurling himself at the ground repeatedly, knocking out teeth in the process (it rather puts Richie Manic's '4 Real' to shame).
But musically, there's so much more to Gira than these shock-horror stories. Perhaps what is most surprising is that in his years as Angels Of Light, Gira has produced a series of mesmerically beautiful records, often boasting a shimmering delicacy. As a child, before all
the craziness happened, Gira used to listen to Disney and Burle Ives records, and this world of fantasy and fairytale saturates his latest album 'We Are Him' (it's notable too, that Gira and his wife Siobhan Duffy 'discovered' Devendra Banhart and produced his first, gnarly
folk records on Gira's Young God label, now also home to Akron/Family).
A huge, handsome man, Gira now sports immaculate suits, braces, and a Stetson onstage, booming out songs with the assuredness of an old-fashioned preacher. The darkness Gira deals in today is far subtler than those early days – just don't doubt for a second that
you'll be left breathless."
more info at the NEW younggodrecords.com