Swans are an American post-punk band originally active from 1982 to 1997, led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira. The band was one of the few groups to emerge from the early 1980s New York No Wave scene and stay intact into the next decade. Formed by Gira in 1982, Swans employed a shifting lineup of musicians until their dissolution in 1997. Besides Gira, the only other constant members were keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter Jarboe from 1984 to 1997, and semi-constant guitarist Norman Westberg. The band was noted for droning vocals and strange instrumentation. In 2010, Gira reactivated Swans and released a new studio album, My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky.
Coming up next - their brand new album - The Seer. "It took 30 years to make. It's the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I've ever made, been involved in or imagined. But it's unfinished, like the songs themselves. It's one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade. The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and forcefeeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they'll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while.
Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my goal is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I'm a fluffy kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy!"
A Hawk and A Hacksaw
A Hawk and a Hacksaw is a band from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The band mainly consists of percussionist Jeremy Barnes (formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel) and violinist Heather Trost (formerly of Foma). The music is mostly instrumental, usually centred around Jeremy's accordion. There are occasional unintelligible vocals, shouts and cheers, although the latest album, 2006's The Way The Wind Blows, has more vocal pieces.
When playing live, Jeremy plays many of the instruments himself simultaneously; strapping bells and drumsticks to his body enables him to play percussion while playing accordion. He has recently been accompanied by Heather Trost, who joined him on his recent tour with The Olivia Tremor Control.