The Black Swans

Spirit of '68 presents

The Black Swans

Normanoak

Wed, September 12, 2012

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

The Bishop

Bloomington, IN

$6.00 - $8.00

This event is 18 and over

The Black Swans
The Black Swans
The Black Swans’ Occasion for Song, their 5th full-length, is a messy long-haul of emotions dealing with the death of founding member and violinist Noel Sayre, and the aftermath of memory, shock, and loss it created. It recalls lessons learned in 9th grade Health class — DABDA (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance). Without a textbook, however, The Black Swans are not so orderly. The guitars and banjo and vocals and drums and bass sound out dark thoughts, sad thoughts, silly thoughts, angry thoughts, and buckets of depression almost all at once. This is an album about loss, death, and trying to get to the acceptance at the end of grief.

The record begins with “Basket of Light” where DeCicca sings “I took a trip where the sun never sits/ but I’ve come back for a few more moments of joy”. It may be the album’s most hopeful personal moment.

The third track, “Portsmouth, Ohio,” chronicles the day Noel Sayre died in a swimming pool accident, with a journalistic eye and no sentimentality, taking the listener from the diving board to the I.C.U. to chicken salad sandwiches on the 4th of July. The swimming pool is featured on the album’s cover.

“Daily Affirmation” and “Fickle and Faded,” the album’s most light-hearted songs, feature the dry humor and playfulness in words and notes the Black Swans are known for whereas “Mask from Memory” may be oddest track the band has ever recorded. It imagines the singer creating a paper mache mask of his deceased friend to see the world through his eyes.

In the coda of the album’s closer, “Bad Day,” DeCicca sings, “Sometimes the occasion for song/ Is filled with reasons that are all wrong/ Don’t sing along” like he can barely get out of bed. But the harmonica, where the violin belongs, sounds as hopeful as it does forlorn.

Occasion for Song was recorded straight to analog in August 2010 in Columbus, Ohio at the famed Mus-i-col Recording Studio (see Numero Group’s Capsoul and Prix label reissues) by Adam Smith (CDR label head, Times New Viking engineer) and mixed at Tangerine Studios by Ben Vehorn (Modest Mouse, Love as Laughter).

The Black Swans’ last record, Don’t Blame the Stars, released in May 2011 on Misra Records, Pitchfork called “gorgeous sounding” and Paste beamed “singular and strong”.

Those compliments are even truer here. Occasion for Song is the sound of a band coming to terms with its grief and the junk it brings. Gorgeous, raw, strange, and sincere.
Normanoak
Normanoak
Normanoak is a real musician. He grew up in Bloomington, IN where he continues to provide a voice for the forests. He has released 4 full length albums since 2004. He spent the years 2004 - 2008 touring the United States with his friends. In 2009 he toured around England a little bit. In the Spring of 2010 he recorded and released his final album "Elixir" in a limited edition of 50 cassettes on Magnetic South. He is currently pursuing other interests and only performs very occasionally around Indiana. Any new recordings he makes will be available on normanoak.bandcamp.com
Venue Information:
The Bishop
123 S. Walnut St
Bloomington, IN, 47401
http://www.thebishopbar.com/