Video Clip of the Week: Swans at Mohawk in Austin

Friday February 18; 2:25 AM-

At the moment, it sounds like there are elves in my ears playing tambourines. My ears have never rung like this in the history of my life. This is a side-effect of the Swans. The first ten minutes of their live show consisted of the a guitar being placed against an amp as feedback resonated. It could have been 10 minutes; it could have been 20. Piercing, howling, feedback, mind you, no one was on stage. Just NOISE. Then, suddenly, a man appeared, shirtless, with the greatest mullet known to man, hair reaching down to his asshole like a true neanderthal. He walked over to what resembled a wall of church bells and began banging upon them with mallets. He banged, and banged, and banged, for another 10 minutes (feedback all the while mind you).The keyboard player eventually made his appearance and added his noise, soon after followed by the steel guitar player, raging upon his weapon of choice like no one has ever before for another five minutes. We are 30 minutes in at this point. In the next five minutes a guitarist with the greatest snake tattoo upon his arm joins the noise, followed by a bass guitar that had the beer can in my hand shaking. It was on. 40 minutes in, singer/guitarist Michael Gira emerges from the backstage wearing a 10-gallon hat. He stands at the front of the stage for another five minutes amidst the noise, snarling his lips and raising his eyebrows like a modern day John Wayne. And then….the real action began… this was just the first song.
A small snippet of the intro opus that someone else filmed:
Unfortunately, I didn’t capture this 40-plus minute performance on my Flip-Cam. In fact, I was so caught up in the show that I didn’t remember to film any of it until I had a moment to gather my thoughts before the encore.

Here’s the encore:

And here is a clip someone else filmed (although I don’t like there oldie time camera effect):

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