13 August 2014

Swans - To Be Kind (w/ Cap'n Dinosaur)

Things need placement, more than ever.

Bought To Be Kind in the ever-lovely Other Music (lovely because both times I've been there the guy behind the counter complemented my t-shirt - NWW a few years back, Spacemen 3 this time and, well, I'm a sucker for flattery). And I waited until I was in NYC because they were from NYC (even if they sound like they ought to be from Nebraska or Michigan - I can't place why) and I have a slight (actually, ever increasing) psycho-geographical fetish for buying records appropriate to cities.

In fact, more or less everything I buy now also has to come with some kind of emotional / geographical marker; the effort of buying, of acceding to the Market, requires an extra dimension; it's not enough to simply have, not now that having is just a matter of buying, not now the finding element is gone. A new kind of kick is required.

I also bought the sea-monkey mental Cap'n Dinosaur comic from a comic store there because I liked the idea of this Ameri-caner REALLY Mad Men book being bought in the States. I'm sure Kek would've sent me a copy if I'd asked but... really not the point. It says $3.99 on the cover, pay that.

Anyway, this isn't really going to be about To Be Kind although I'm listening to it all alone in the house really loud and I have to say it's a work of steel and genius; utterly serious and driven and willing itself onwards. It's their best album and I love lots of their albums. It works with a series of almost familiar motifs: there's long glimpses of the very blacklight of The Doors (I realise that this will put some people off but I don't expect them to care) and it kinda bleeds into a terribly compelling (w)hole, like an extended workout on the theme from the Pink Room scene in Fire Walk With Me.

But, if you need just one reason to buy this then buy it for the bit in Just A Little Boy (for Chester Burnett) where Gira (?) sort of softly screams I'm Not Human over and over again... heard loud, in an empty house, this will drain your cheeks and send you spinning. I haven't been this unnerved by a piece of music since I-

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