Features | Awards

Kanye West Award For Best Social Media

By Chris Molnar | 14 December 2011

Michael Gira’s Facebook Page

Unlike most withholding “official” pages or soul-sucking pits of dire hatefuless like, say, 50 Cent’s Twitter, on his Facebook page M. Gira of Swans and Angels of Light is personable, involved, and, well, normal. Rarely pimping his own output or showing the kind of id cleansing his notoriously brutal music can display, Gira seems like a well-adjusted guy who appreciates his fans hugely without catering to them or, especially, taking them for granted.

Tidbits about his life and work abound: a youthful fascination with the composition of the Stones’ “Moonlight Mile,” or how he gets his guitar to sound like it does (and how he doesn’t think it has anything to do with the guitar itself). He always responds to thoughtful questions, and while his face dots the wall in tagged photos like an Aphex Twin album cover—that neutral look and cowboy hat never missing—he seems more alive to the world than most musicians who have to work so much harder on their mystique. That he can even retain a mystique like he does while having such an engaged Facebook page is something of a triumph.

Best of all are his links to other music, from Prince Buster to Howlin’ Wolf, always beyond reproach and enough to entice any Swans virgin to give Gira’s music a shot. In an uncertain age when so many musical legends fail on this new territory, Gira manages to have it both ways, and proves that a mysterious geniality is not only possible but perhaps the best route of all.

:: facebook.com/mgira