Kirk Swan

Tuesday, December 10, 2014

�Seven damned years. What can I say, Facebook was invented?

News about what has been happening, and about my new record, Unloaded. In the meantime, read this nice article by my old friend Jim DeRogatis at Chicago Public Media.

A song from Unloaded

posted by Kirk 9:14 PM

Sunday, February 04, 2007

My film debut, music piece not acting, came out a few months ago and can now be seen on dvd. The film is called One Last Thing and stars Cynthia Nixon and Michael Angarano. As coincidence would have the screenplay was written by Barry Stringfellow and directed by Alex Steyermark. I'll explain the coincidences as there are more than one. Barry was in a band called Three Colors that Dumptruck used to play with back in the days of old in Boston. And Alex did some editing for Kelly Reichardt on the Dumptuck videos back in the day, none of this was know by me up front. I can't tell which scene the piece is in but I will say it's a crucial one and quite lengthy. Check it out!

Next up is Anders Parker's self-titled record is out and getting nice reviews. I'm very proud of this record and it was the most fun I've ever had making a record. It was done quickly and live, though it doesn't sound it, and it's all vibe. Looking back I'm amazed at how everything just fell together effortlessly. It seems great records can still be made by a group of people just getting together and playing, go figure. Anders is on tour out there somewhere so check him out, he's got a great live thing going.

And big news on two fronts, my sophomore solo record It's Only Me is nearing it's release and DUMPTRUCK are going back into the studio in March to start recording a new record. Seth and I have been sifting through songs and have come up with a batch that we think will make a great record. We've played on eachother's records over the last few years and done a handful of shows but haven't made a record together since 1985. I was skinny and had hair then. A little overdue perhaps?

posted by Kirk 11:38 AM

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Much going on lately.Rykodisc released a Dumptruck best of retrospective whatever these things are called these days recently entitled Haul of Fame. It features songs covering the entire Dumptruck span with a hefty amount of material from the early years, of which I was a part of.

Played a couple of weeks with Steve Wynn on the West Coast and Midwest back a couple of months ago. Fun times were had by all the shows went swimmingly, as they usually do with Steve. We did a few radio shows, KEXP in Seattle, and Jim Derogotis and Greg Kot's show Sound Opinions in Chicago and both can be heard in the archives on their respective web sites. Jim wrote the liner notes for Haul of Fame and it was a treat to play his show. Check out the archives on all of their shows, great stuff all around.

We also taped a segment for the Extra tabloid television show. Kind of an odd show to be featured on but we taped for it and they ran the segment last month. I've done some t.v. stuff over the years but I guess that one would have reached the most viewers, if only for a brief moment.

Immediately following the Steve tour I went in the studio to play on Anders Parker's latest record, name pending. Also on the record are Ken Coomer (Wilco/Uncle Tupelo), Jennifer Condos (Jackson Browne, Ryan Adams, Marc Cohn), and Eric Heywood (Son Volt). Adam (Red) Lasus co-produced and engineered at his new Fireproof (LA) studio and I was pleased to be involved. I'd been helping Red get the new studio up and running and it seemed fitting to be playing on the first fully realized record in the new studio. The experience was the most fun I've ever had recording and I can't recall the last time I've laughed so much. Anders has some great songs on this one so look out for it. Mixing ensues in May and then it'll only be a matter of time before it's out in the world.

posted by Kirk 11:18 PM

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Kirk Swan is getting ready to do shows pertaining to Steve Wynn pertaining to the West Coast. Dates include Portland, Eugene, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles.
Also, if you'd like to hear some Kirk Swan tunes head on over to
There's also a new Dumptruck compilation coming out on Rykodisk. Liner notes by the ever enlightening Jim DeRogotis. Release is mid March.

posted by Kirk 10:51 PM

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

News flash. I'm playing a show with Dumptruck in Lawrence, Kansas this Friday, Aug. 19th. Kinda last minute but all involved are thrilled about it and looking forward to it. It's the North Versus South festival and it should be a blast if you're in the area. More info at:

posted by Kirk 7:25 PM

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It's been quite a while since the last news posting and quite alot has happened, most notably the completion of my second solo record (yeah, I still call 'em records, record IS short for recording after all isn't it?) tentatively entitled Kirk Swan-The Many Moods Of. It's been a long, learning process for me but one well worth the wait I do believe. The final touches ie. mixing took place in Brooklyn at FireProof Studios with none other than Adam Lasus at the board. Many laughs were had and it was as fun as my first experience at FireProof for the recording of It's About Time. Guests appearing on this outing include Kevin Jarvis, John Wesley Harding, Seth Tiven, Robert Lloyd, Steve Wynn, and Cindy Wasserman.

At last years SXSW Seth and I got together for a Dumptruck re-union of sorts also and we ended up playing a handful of gigs, all of which were great fun. It was strange to be playing those songs after all these years but very natural in a way also, it almost seemed like no time had ever passed though one look in the mirror would prove a reminder. I also played a couple of shows with John Wesley Harding and one show with the fabulous Jimmy Ryan, making the Boston connections yesteryear even more strongly felt. Jimmy has a new ep out so check that out along with his solo record at

Look for a Dumptruck collection to be released in late summer/early fall, exact date to be determined.

Wesley Stace's (aka John Wesley Harding) fine first novel has been out now for a couple of months and I strongly urge anyone interested in fine literature to check it out, it's beautifully written and the story is a finely woven web with more twists and turns than a Southern California Canyon road.

In closing check back for news on the release dates for the aforementioned records as well as any new developments.

posted by Kirk 12:49 PM

Monday, November 10, 2003

October 27th, 2003

So, for the music news! Rykodisk records is releasing my old band Dumptruck's first three records. Seth Tiven and I founded Dumptruck together and the first two records, D is For Dumptruck and Positively, Seth and I split the songwriting and guitar duties on. I left before the third record, For the Country, though it is a fine record I must say. We're thrilled with the re-issue of these records as we thought they were perhaps in the vault for the long term. They've been re-mastered with some added tracks never before heard, hell, I hadn't heard some of the tracks in 10 years, so look for them in the near future. Release date at this point is scheduled for Nov. 12th.

Work on my second solo record still continues though the end is in sight at this point I can happily report. It's taken a bit longer than I had hoped but it's turning out to be well worth the delays. So far there are guest appearances and major contributions from Kevin Jarvis, John Wesley Harding, and Robert Lloyd. The rest of the duties are being handled by yours truly. Keep checking back for the lastest progress report.


posted by Kirk 9:32 AM

October 26th , 2003

It's been a long time since the last news post and there is reason. The world has been a pretty crazy place in the last year and much has happened that has prevented me from posting. It seemed trivial to me to post little tidbits of info about my music goings on when there's so much in turmoil at this point. So, I've decided to keep this NEWS section only for my music goings on and to create a new section on this site for whatever ramblings may emerge. The political landscape in this country and how it affects the world around us has become such a large part of my daily thought that I can't see any way of not addressing it in some manner. Look for it here soon as well as some new features like free MP3's for download of select songs.

On a very sad note this week is the news of the passing of Elliott Smith. We've lost some greats in the last year with Joe Strummer, Warren Zevon and now Elliott Smith.

The first time I heard Elliott Smith was when I went to see "Good Will Hunting" and his music immediately caught my ear and grabbed my attention. His approach to melody and thoughtful lyrics was a refreshing breath in this day of melodramatic syrupy megahits and auto-tuned over the top teen sensations. The world will still spin on it's axis but it will spin with less tune to it with his passing. I hope he was given the peace he was searching for. Thanks for what you gave to us Elliott.

posted by Kirk 9:30 AM

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Monday Dec. 23rd
Today was a very sad day for me.

It started out as a normal day, 2 days before Christmas doing the usual preparation. I turned on the radio and heard a Clash song which brought back good memories, then I heard another Clash song and thought hmmm that's unusual that they'd play two in a row. I already began to have a sinking feeling in my stomach and when I heard the third song I was convinced that something bad had happened. After the fourth song Nic Harcourt's voice confirmed my fear, Joe Strummer had passed away. A wave of sadness immediately passed through me and I sat down and stared off into space.

Just last night a friend was telling me that his father had asked him at one point, "So who's your Bob Dylan". It struck me this morning who my Bob Dylan was. In 1976 I was fourteen, the prime age to have the punk movement hit. Ramones, Sex Pistols, Television, all made me feel something deep inside on a raw level. When I heard the Clash though, ah, not only did I feel something deep inside but it also made me think. Yeah, I was a middle class white kid from suburban Connecticut, but Joe Strummer brought a world to me I hadn't seen before, and he made me care about that world. At the time I was singing in a punk rock high school band playing cover songs of our latest favorites. Hearing the Clash made me want to play guitar and write songs too though. So that's what I did. I started with bass because a friend had one that I could use and before long I was playing many of my favorite Ramones and Pistols songs but it was time to move on to Police and Thieves. When I first heard the song I didn't know it was a cover but that's the other thing the Clash and Joe Strummer were adept at, turning their audiences on to music that maybe they weren't aware of before. Would I have known who Junior Mervin was if it weren't for them? I doubt it.

My brother was who first introduced me to the Clash and my brother was the one who snuck me away to New York to see them at their second U.S. show at the Palladium in New York. He went the night before to Boston and knew I had to see them, and of course he was right. It was 20+ years ago but I still remember the night. The Cramps played first, with Brian Gregory rolling about the stage for the whole set, then Bo Diddley bopped for a set, then the Clash just blew the house down. I was wired for days after that show!

Fast forward to the mid 90's.

A friend of my wife's and mine was friends with Joe and his wife and they needed someone to take care of their daughter (Joe's stepdaughter). We volunteered and it struck us as we were driving up to the house that we were going to meet Joe Strummer. An apprehension passed through us as we knew disappointment could rear it's ugly head if we had built up over exaggerated expections. Well, not only were we not not disappointed but Joe was more than we had expected. We got to know he and his wife and stepdaughter fairly well over the next several months and he was always kind, funny, and caring. We always felt better after seeing him as he always had such a positive outlook on life and always made us laugh.
He was truly a gem and our lives were better for knowing him.

We will miss him dearly!

posted by Kirk 11:01 PM

Monday, June 03, 2002

O.k., so finally there's news. Well, there's been much world news since my last entry here but I can't say any of it's been particularly good so I'll put that aside and focus on the news that relates directly to this site.

Work has begun on the follow-up to "It's About Time" and this should be an exciting and fun follow-up with a familiar and varied cast of characters. So far the one and only Kevin Jarvis has offered his fantastic drumming, not to mention his acerbic wit. The modern world of recording has opened up a whole new world of possibilities of which I'm willing, able, and, and looking forward to exploring.

A record that longtime friend Tony Pinto and I have been working on for the last couple of years is near completion also. Tony's project is tentatively entitled "Swank" and he's come up with some real pop gems here. I played lotsa guitar, backing vocals, manned the knobs, and co-produced with Tone. You'll be singing these tunes after one listen, catchy buggers I tell ya.

Lest I should forget, Dumptruck finally made it into Rolling Stone with a letter listing Positively as one of the 50 coolest records of all time. Mark Klem's suggestion but hey Rolling Stone did print it. May 23rd Kirsten Dunst issue.

So, check back soon for more news as things are rolling and I'll be posting more frequently.

posted by Kirk 11:57 AM

Friday, April 13, 2001

Well, officially the U.S. portion of the tour with John Wesley Harding has ended. All in all, a whopping success. Shows at the Borderline in London are upcoming next week. Refer to the tour diary for insights as they occur.

posted by Kirk 4:07 AM

Sunday, March 11, 2001

Be sure to check the tour diary later this week as there'll be some photos added from the show in Boston.

posted by Kirk 1:33 PM

Friday, February 16, 2001

My tour diary now has the dates for the upcoming shows with John Wesley Harding. Hope to see you at one of them.

posted by Kirk 5:38 AM

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Well, finally the web-site is up and running and will be a work in progress for, well, forever I would say!

My first solo release It's About Time came out in Europe last year and the plan is to make it available in the U.S. sometime this year. In the meantime you can check it out at Blue Rose, the cd's available through mail order. You may also want to check out Miles of Music!

Jim DeRogotis, author of the Lester Bangs biography that came out last year and Chicago Sun-Times music critic wrote the following review for Launch.

I toured with John Wesley Harding, playing guitar, last November and December, and also opened a few shows solo, and it was a success so it looks like we'll be hitting the road again on February 24th! Check back here to see if we're coming to a city near you -- chances are we will be. After the 24th check in for the tour diary entries to keep up to date with the latest exploits.

Well, my old alma mater, Dumptruck just came out with a new double c.d. -- one new studio c.d. and a live disc -- from back in the day when yours truly was part of the combo. Pick it up, you'll be pleasantly surprised by some of the new, unexpected sounds. I was pleasantly surprised by the old live stuff. Brought back some good memories and finally Spike Priggen is on a Dumpruck record, Lord knows he paid some dues!

Work on new songs is in the process and a new record should be in the works later this year.

posted by Kirk 5:59 AM