Best Unforgiving Rock Band: Swans
Behind the Coachella Music and Arts Festival is the SoCal music promoter Goldenvoice Productions, originally founded to support punk rock and other raging, sometimes confrontational sounds. No act at this year's festival fit that description more than the band Swans, an ongoing project led by the uncompromising Boho hero Michael Gira. In faded black and long gray hair, the guitarist-vocalist was joined in a midnight Saturday performance by five others in a set filled with obliterating waves of relentless, abrasive melody, playing to a tent more than half empty beneath the chandeliers. The Swans gig played a similar role as a 2009 appearance at the fest by the experimental Throbbing Gristle in 2009, offering a different shade of music to any fans open to that. It was not for everyone.