Be a Patron of the Arts!

Michael Giraenfant terrible of Americana, big cheese over at Young God Records and the artist Toilet Guppies hates to love, but nevertheless loves more than any other artist—once put his own pinkie finger up for sale on SWANS' website (for U$D20,000, I believe), in order to finance his work. Surprisingly, there were no takers.

Now the man has announced that he is «reactivating» SWANS. (Just don't call it a reunion!) SWANS or no SWANS, Gira is in the process of making a new album, which is always an event to look forward to with what we in Norwegian call «skrekkblandet fryd.» (Something like «horror-infused glee.») And underappreciated artist that he is, Gira needs financial backing. This time around, he has adopted a more realistic (and dare I say, sober) financing strategy than parting with bits of the body that won't detach by themselves unless you have leprosy:

On his website, Gira is currently offering several packages, ranging from purchasing a limited edition demo CD/live double DVD bundle to being a general patron of the arts. For U$D100 or more you can even be credited as «executive producer» of the forthcoming SWANS release, ha ha! (I suppose it's a North American thing to always give something specific in return for money or generosity. A pragmatic mindset, like that time the renegade French mime Philippe Petit breathtakingly tightrope-danced between the Twin Towers, 417 metres up in the sky, and all the Americans could do (besides arresting him) was ask, «Why?»)

I know what you're thinking: «Whatever happened to the anonymous benefactor?» But the ridiculous executive production credit and even the forthcoming SWANS release aren't really relevant here. After a three- or four-album long sojourn into lush and gorgeous, romantic territory that was genuinely uplifting, with his last album Gira returned to music that will uproot the rot embedded in your heart, dangling it in yer face to show you that the pus, death and funky gunk dripping from it will never stop oozing, much like the never-ending «black river» of his song of the same name. Moreover, he’s the only artist who is able, or at least willing to do that. You won’t get that even from Diamanda Galás, Leonard Cohen or Nico.

As well as being a transcendent performer, Gira is a uniquely fearless singer-songwriter and author with a penetrating perspective all his own, so anything that contributes to his further productivity is well worth the patronage. History will thank you. In the more short-term, Gira's stubbornly uncompromising, never-repetitive and intense nature ensures it's an investment you won't regretprovided you have discerning taste and you stick around long enough to hear his next record, or to catch him playing live somewhere.

(Not included in the price is the counselling you obviously need if you identify with Gira's art, or being insulted by him at one of his concerts for apparently no other reason than wearing a T-shirt not to his liking. To be on the safe side, sport a reproduction «vintage» SWANS Filth shirt, like Devendra Banhart in Rolling Stone Magazine or Pitchfork or something.)

In any case, as your blogger, I advise you to forget whatever mp3 album, CD, book, DVD or art investment you're currently considering splashing out on, and to go for something that is as true and direct as you can possibly get from a cultural product. You won't find the limited edition CD currently for sale at Gira's website shared on this blog once the 1,000 copies sell out, so do yourself a favour and at the very least get that. Trust me, the song «Little Mouth» alone is worth it…

No comments:

Post a Comment