M. GIRA

Living ’02

(Young God) CDR $175.00

Eleven tracks recorded by an audience member in Portugal 2002. “Gira’s sense of timing and delivery,” say All Music Guide, are sharp, shifting easily and perfectly “between wrenching calls to the sky and carefully focused, close-to-the-mic words.” “God Damn the Sun” sounds forlorn and heart-touching. “Meanwhile, the quiet but tense arrangement of ‘Nations’ is punctuated by … harrowing vocals, high-pitched and powerful, and even those are trumped by the blasting conclusion of ‘All Souls Rising,’ Gira sounding on the verge of trashing both his guitar and vocal cords.” #000/350

M. GIRA

Solo Recordings At Home

(Young God) CDR $65.00

With an emphasis on Gira’s voice and guitar only (an exception being the live recording “Irish Queen”), the 2001 performances here are astonishingly direct. His singing “balances command with empathy, cracked and tender at once,” according to All Music Guide. “His guitar playing similarly … shift[s] on a dime from sudden, brusque runs to gentler, steady fingerpicking, evoking everything from strung-out rural blues to Nick Drake’s hushed emptiness.” The other exception is “God’s Servant,” a fully orchestrated outtake from Angels of Light’s New Mother sessions. Swans diehards will also want to hear the evocative reworking of “Love Will Save You” from White Light From the Mouth of Infinity and the wracked take on The Burning World’s “I Remember Who You Are,” which “easily trump[s] the smothered, smoothed-out production of the original.”