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Swans at the Roxy: Volume, harmony and rhythm yield profound beauty
Swans at the Roxy: Volume, harmony and rhythm yield profound beauty

Like the opening moment of a meditation session, the rock band Swans commenced the first of two sold-out nights at the Roxy in West Hollywood with the ringing of a gong. The gesture, driven with delicate mallet bumps by multi-instrumentalist Thor Harris, was a signal, a directive to the packed club on Wednesday: You are here. Turn off those noisy machines inside your skulls and in your pockets and focus on the Now. Over the next few minutes, the tone gained heft, a kind of thickness, and one by one the five other Swans appeared, grabbed an instrument and started adding to the hum.  What grew from electric guitars, a yowling lap steel, bass and percussion evolved into a heaving...

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