A Tribute to Richard Swift


A Tribute to Richard Swift

Richard Swift presents The Hex for Family & Friends with Nathaniel Rateliff, James Mercer, Cold War Kids, Lucius, Foxygen, Damien Jurado, Pure Bathing Culture, Gardens & Villa, Mynabirds,, Tim Heidecker, Nick Thune

Thu, December 13, 2018

7:00 pm

The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever

Los Angeles, CA


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Limit 4 tickets per household / customer / email / account / CC / address. Purchases that exceed the 4 ticket limit are subject to cancellation. Orders placed for the sole purpose of resale may be cancelled without notice.


The show will be held in a beautiful Masonic Lodge built in 1927. There are no elevators in this historic landmark. Ascending stairs is required to enter the venue.



A Tribute to Richard Swift
A Tribute to Richard Swift
Every color now is shining through...This simple, rather bubbly lyric seems to be the antithesis of a record unequivocally steeped in a milieu of devastating loss, grief, crippling depression, anxiety and alcoholism. But after probably-too-many late nightdeep dives into Richard Swift’s posthumous masterpiece,The Hex, these are the very words that carousel round and round your skull. The lyric comes tucked at the tail end of the ironically jaunty and buoyant “Dirty Jim,” a song about substance abuse; the lies you tell yourself inits grip; and the loved ones you hurt along the way. The line is a flash of hope and beauty and levity. Swift believed in and sought real beauty. And so, even at its most caustic and sardonic,The Hexis beautiful. Swift's palettein life and artwas almost always greyscale. But here we are, with this masterpiece swan song with which to remember him. Andevery color now is shining through.Don’t you believe Richard Swift ever really felt sorry for himself or believed he was the sole recipientofsome unforgivingHex. He was too smart for that sort of self-pity. In Swift’s personal vernacular,The Hexis the grand folly of allhuman existence —that we have to lose all the people we love; that we feign control while sailing toward calamity; that we, in all likelihood, are spinning alone in an endless universe. First your good looks go. Then your dexterity. Then yourparents. Then, you’re up to bat and Death is on the mound with his monster 12-6 curveball. As Swift often wrote,Even your drums will die.That isThe Hex. Since his passing in early July, many who worked with him have reflected on his use of the phrase “Too easy” inrecording sessions at his National Freedom studio. Yes, he said this often because his first-thought-best-thought ethos and absolute studio wizardry had an effortlessness to them. But he also wielded this tagline liberally because life is not “too easy.” In fact, it's just too fucking hard andevery second is a battle I fought. You can almost see Swift’s wicked grin as he whispers “the hex, the hex, the hex” on the album’s titular, opening track.Conceived in pieces over the last several years and completed just the month before his passing,The Hexis the grand statement Swift acolytes have been a-wishin-and-a-hopin' for all these years. After a career of sticking some of his finest songs on EPs and 45s, here are all his powerscoalescing into a single, long-player statement. At its core,The Hexisanaching call out into the void for Swift’s mother (“Wendy”) and his sister (“Sister Song”) whomhe lost in back-to-back years. You hear a man at his lowest and spiritually on his heels. The pain fueling Swift’s cries of “She’s never comin’ back” on the absolutely gutting standout “Nancy” is some sort of dark catharsis for anyone who’s ever lost a loved one to the coldabstraction of Death. Over a slow, Wall of Sound kick and a warbling synth, Swift’s cries climb higher-n-higher-n-higher into what may be his most devastating vocal performance on record. A cry of painso real and so raw Swift had to treat theperformance with just a little studio effect, without which the recorded grieving might be too much to bear.The Hexis presented here as “The Hex For Family and Friends.” His songs are full of nods and references that mean more to those who paid the closest attention to his art; to the phrases on which he fixated; to those who knew him best. Like his visual art hero Ray Johnson, Swift had a gift for creating personal myth, an elusive and captivating inside joke. He turned his anxieties into cartoon characters and cryptic phrases. An obsessive fan of Wall of Sound doo-wop, early Funkadelic, BoDiddley, Beefheart and Link Wray, Swift gives them all a moment with the flashlight aroundThe Hexcampfire, one moment to make a strange shadow-cast face for us, his family and friends. At the end of the day, Swift would rather you soilyour pants laughing, than sob through this death record. To this end, he gives us the bombastic, maggot-brained “KENSINGTON!,” a narrative song about a doomed expedition —which might just be the skeleton key to this whole goddamnedaffair. There are rats and hornets and some unknown enemy out there in the darkness. And you just know there’s no way Kensington and his team are getting out of this thing alive. In the chaos, these ill-fated explorers just start firing. A thick fog of smoke adds to the chaos. Swift ispulling on a jazz apple. He’s belly laughing about the absurdity of making sounds for a living as a way to battle your demons, getting all meta about life, death and music –and where they all just sail off the proverbial cliff together:A SEQUENCE OF ECHOES, BANG! A SEQUENCES OF ECHOES, BANG!...AND THEN A LONG SILENCE....IT’S GENIUS
Venue Information:
The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
6000 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90038