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Swans played to a reverent crowd at Union Transfer

Swans
Swans | photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com/

It began with the slight yet forceful reverberations of a gong. For five minutes, percussionist extraordinaire Thor Harris elicited the low hum of his instrument while no one else occupied the stage. Then drummer Phil Puelo came out to add another percussive layer. The lights dimmed and brightened to match the rhythm, almost like a pulsing heart. One by one more band members of Swans entered the fray. The song, “Frankie M,” like all of their work on performed Monday night at Union Transfer, lasted in excess of 20 minutes. To call it or any of the other pieces simply a song would be to dismiss their nature; they were mini-rock orchestrations, hinting at the essence of the music itself and the boundaries of the human ear’s comfort level with their powerful sonics.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: mewithoutYou at The Depot, Swans at Union Transfer

mewithoutYou
photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Local art-rock outfit mewithoutYou play The Depot in York, PA tonight. The band is celebrating a signing to Run For Cover Records and the announcement of a new record, set for release this summer. A teaser video was posted on Instagram and Youtube last week when the announcement was made, featuring a clip of a track with a mid-tempo piano melody and haunting lyrics – definitely going to be deep stuff. Check it out below and pick up tickets for tonight’s 18+ show with Bells and Vinny Vegas here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Districts at First Unitarian Church, Swans at Union Transfer, Hoodie Allen at Underground Arts and more

The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

After a full year of festival performances and a nationwide tour with White Denim, there’s still no stopping The Districts. Yesterday, they performed at WXPN’s NonCOMM, and tonight, they’ll headline an all ages show in the First Unitarian Church basement along with Clear Plastic Masks, Pine Barons and Fly Golden Eagle. The show starts at 8 p.m. and the $12 tickets can be purchased here or at the door.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bloktoberfest, Swans at Union Transfer, Robert Glasper Experiment at World Cafe Live, Mike Doughty at WCL at The Queen, Marco Benevento at The Blockley

The culmination of music, beer and food in one spectacular celebration known as Bloktoberfest returns to Philadelphia today on South Street between Broad and 18th. The event, now in its fourth year, will have two stages set up with live acts including Toy Soldiers and Grandchildren; the full line-up can be found here. While participants must be 21 for a Beer Bracelet, Bloktoberfest is an all-ages free event, and it begins at noon. More information can be found here. Below, download Toy Soldiers’ single “Been Here All My Days.”

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Tonight: Swans at The Trocadero

SwansIn their heyday, the members of Swans played so loud that they made the audience puke. (No joke.) It’s not entirely fair to a band as accomplished as Swans that the first thing its name brings to mind is an image of people writhing in agony in a pool of their own vomit. But, well, you reap what you sow. Outside of that juicy tidbit, the ’80s/’90s post-punk band was known for its rotating cast of musicians, which was led by multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira and released more than 30 studio albums, EPs, and live records before breaking up in 1997. Thirteen years later, the band that made you barf is back, with a new album in tow: My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (released earlier this month on Gira’s own Young God Records) has been met with considerable acclaim, appealing to fans of both the band’s earlier, abrasive work and the later, softer side of Swans. Swans performs with Baby Dee at 7:30 p.m. at The Trocadero; tickets to the all-ages show are $23.