Phil was drummer in a band called Cop Shoot Cop, but he played drums and yes, hammer dulcimer in Swans final phase. He played hammer dulcimer on a few songs here… Birgit "Cassis" Staudt played accordion and melodica on a few songs. She's played and toured in several Angels incarnations, and she's a chanteuse you can find playing cabarets and nightclubs in NYC… My big buddy and protector Pat Fondiller played a little mandolin here and there.
He did a great job. His hands are bigger than the mandolin! Pat played bass on an Angels tour a while ago, and he also plays in the hard rock combo Smoke Wagon… The record was recorded at Trout Recording by Bryce Goggin and at Seizure's Palace by Jason La Farge, both in Brooklyn, and in fact right around the corner where I used to live. It was mixed by Bryce at Trout. Thanks to them, and all the above!
From my first cassette of filth to this newest work, michael gira's singing is my favorite gentle violence and lovers strangulation. Now is the best he has ever sounded and I cannot without sounding insanely thrilled express how much this means to me. By turns frightening, funny, cathartic, wise, even strangely sweet, "We Are Him" is a sprawling masterpiece by an artist whose muse seems more fertile than ever.
The song forms are now clear and strong enough to support vocal performances that sometimes sound like a year-old Michael simultaneously hallucinating and dictating the dark underbelly of the Amercian Dream. And now that this strength and intensity is firmly rooted in tradition it can take on a whole new level of meaning and interplay and understanding that I find simply wonderful. As always, new M.
If the title track is any indication, We Are Him looks to be another jump forward. The band chugs along as Gira chants and preaches his way over the top. They rip through a couple of nasty solos, though, and the banshee backing vocals fit the track perfectly. Gira doesn't maintain the grim stoicism or quiet scariness that has informed so much of his solo material and earlier Angels of Light work, but at this point he's more than proven his flexibility as an artist. And a superb set of songs it is. If this all sounds like serious stuff, you're right.
Generally, though, the mood is one of calm reflection. Hell inquired if the line "And Francis did that, too, though Francis trawled London and made no excuse" was a reference to Irish painter Francis Bacon: "Well yes, I am referring to Francis Bacon there, very astute of you," the singer replied.
- Angel of Mercy Series.
- What Does the Bible Say About Your Guardian Angel?!
- La Folie Estelle (Editions 1 - Littérature française et étrangère) (French Edition).
- Angels of Light/A Trip of Terror and Faith by Donald Adams - Read Online!
- Angels of Light / Michael Gira.
- Mythes et combat des femmes africaines (Etudes africaines) (French Edition);
Of course Gira would reference Bacon, call him by name even: Articulating with screams, something Bacon specialized in while painting, has been paramount to Gira's aesthetic for a quarter century now. On We Are Him-- his sixth and arguably most engaging album as Angels of Light-- he lands some of the best of those complete releases.
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Gira seems more empowered and commanding than he has in a decade, the emotions he's conveying coming in huge fits that, like Bacon's, are as powerful as they are draining. A track later, a rocking-chair rhythm moans beneath Gira's snarl. He's rarely sounded this foreboding: Prodded by a scathing, raw violin drone and a daring chorus of sirens, it's an escalating dirge for the collapse of society, full of floods, blood and mouths too stupid to scream. Beneath an electric guitar twitter, heavy drums and furious strings on "My Brother's Man", Gira hands down these imprecations: "I walk through the thick black mud.
I walk with my brother's blood. I see with my brother's eye. I scream at my brother's sky. But this record isn't so simple. But it embraces the relationship, vowing to crush god "in my fucking hand" for the sake of fraternal legacy. It's protective, triumphant.
The subsequent "This Is Not Here"-- a dark duet with Gira's wife, Siobhan Duffy-- offers the lovers choices and endings: Will the world steal the sun, or will the lovers touch the light? In , Gira screamed about burning and eating hearts on "Raping a Slave"; in , he sang about supplication to God while witnessing the fragility of the world during "Our Love Lies".
We Are Him is a near-perfect, totally committed summation hammering at the same unresolved archetypes from someone who's now a father. That's not to say that this album is without its share of misses, or at least the occasional artistic anomie that has, by now, become a requisite of Gira's work. Those songs aren't better left unsung: "Goodbye Mary Lou" has a purpose, its rhythm an uneasy country twitter that leaves Gira little room to do much but say exactly what he's feeling.
The first verse ends "Mary Lou, I renounce you"; the second, "Mary Lou, fuck you"; and in closing, the indiscretions of young anger that have been boiling for a lifetime come crashing down with a wink: "Oh Mary Lou, I forgive you. As long as he does that, every song won't roar like the perfect first two tracks of We Are Him or have the brilliant gospel insistence of the title track. The slight, charming chamber pop he tries won't always work as it does on "Sunflower's Here to Stay", a song that pushes for persistence. Luckily, doing otherwise has never been an option for Gira. When our emotions are so overwhelming that we walk in a daze, just eating enough to survive, showing up for our lives as best we can while walking around with what seems to be canyons of emptiness in our souls; they are there always with us.
We tell ourselves that it will pass someday, but for now, we are in it, from our toes to the very top of our heads. Even our hair hurts. Angels of grief are not the only angels with us at this time, we have many celestial helpers who step up and become closer - supporting us. The closest ones to us who put in a call to those grief angels are our own Guardian Angels.
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They know us as no other can — only our Guardian Angel and the Divine Itself. They have been through it all with us from birth and will walk with us to our own final destination, returning to our true home of spirit. We all have Guardian Angels. It is a fact of life. No one comes into this Earth school without at least one being of light that we commonly refer to as our Guardian Angel.
They are here to guide, love, protect, commiserate, and love us as we accomplish our soul missions. We have chosen these angels specifically to help us and direct all the other angels we may need throughout our visit here in body. Guardian Angels love us dearly and unconditionally. Even though they never leave our side, they may stay anonymous, but they are always, always with us - no matter what.
Guardian Angels are closest when we are in times of need and especially in our gut-wrenching grief. Our Guardian Angels only call in the best for each of us in our time of need. It is true, it is so. Angels of grief go unscathed where no one dares to go. They go with us on this journey, they know the way back. When it is time, they will turn on the light of comfort and hope. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. These are great transformative times and only the highest and best angels of comfort will do.
We are grateful for the small things, the ordinary, the mundane now. We can sit for hours looking at a familiar scene, but never before taking the time to really see it and we are comforted by it even though we feel so empty inside. Grief can open us to a deeper level of living and appreciation, if we but let it. We have to be still - too tired and lacking initiative to do anything else.
We go through the motions of living but then, finally, we are able to just sit. But we find that this is a rich time when this quiet time strengthens us. Not only are the angels of comfort to give us ease on our journey, but the power to go on and do what we need to do. Animals come forward too with their quiet loving and healing presence. There with us, sleeping near us, looking with big eyes as they sense the magnificent process that is happening inside us. They know, for we call them and our human comforters - angels with skin. We see many angels with bodies now, persons who really know what we are going through and attend to our needs, sometimes without being asked.
They just begin to show up out of the blue. Some people will move towards us and others who we thought would be there for us oftentimes move farther away. We allow each person their own process sd they deal with our grief. Those who come closer share their experiences of loss and we are comforted by them. Support groups that allow us to communicate what we are going through with others who are on the same train of circumstances. They seem to understand as no other can. Look for them, avail yourself to all they have to offer. It takes courage to show up and ask for help.
Taking that risk of the first small step to find the comfort you need, the angels are urging you to grab all the resources you can. Step out the door to find your new friends who are sharing common ground. We tend to notice angel statues, cards, images in the world that were pretty before, but now take on new purpose. A small token that someone offers reminds us that the angels are near. They are as stuffed toys to a child, giving us a quiet presence that we desperately need, not demanding any of our attention, only there with us, in our pockets, purses or on our night tables.
We may even feel a depth of touch, a knowing there is a presence.
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But do we dare believe it is true. No matter how brief their touch is, we bathe in the warmth and the ceasing of the pain for a time. The Divine will pick those moments that will fill this need best. I was in traveling on the train in England, not knowing many people there, and in deep despair from a break up and after a bout with breast cancer.
So how do we access the angels of comfort at this time and pull in their energy, love and light? Sit in silence, in the darkness, in the shadow, surrender and allow those wings to engulf you, to shield from the storm, to stop the panic and rest from the turmoil. Allow the pain, just stop moving and sit silently to pray and look for things you have never seen before. Float on their wings for awhile. Allow their buoyancy to lift you up effortlessly. Many modern angel books retell personal stories of human encounters with angels of comfort just in the nick of time - there they were.
They may come in the shape of a dog, a bird, a funny little man, a very wise woman, or one of the only friends you know walking on a train in a foreign country. A true angel encounter is when angels assume physical bodies. They have a different essence about them.
- We Are Him.
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They come out of nowhere, deliver the message or assistance and leave without a trace. You will know in your inner being that you had an angel visitation. Believe it to be true. Most times angels do not take physical form for us to see and hear with our physical senses, but their presence will be unmistakable soft and kind in an intuitive way.
A warmth will pour over us, filling us with ease and peace, from out of nowhere there is deep serenity. In our hour, moment, or year of need, angels are always there for us. But be assured, they are always there. That was a sign that we were being carried, not abandoned. Angels always do Divine Will, which is the highest and best way for all involved.
Angels of Light / Michael Gira – YOUNG GOD RECORDS
Yes, our prayers were answered in the most amazing of ways. Again, the most comforting of all angels are our Guardian Angels. Hold their hand as you go through difficult tasks, allow others to help whenever possible. Watch our broken hearts and spirits heal, mending one stitch, one day and one moment at a time. As the angels remind me daily, all is well, all is, indeed, well.
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