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August 6th, 2003 John Graham | Music Stories
 

Passion Play

Two elemental artists--vocal daemon Jarboe and Italian art-rockers Larsen--fuse to start A Screaming Fire.

     
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Jarboe: Wicked singer, rider of savage emotional storms, corrupted Southern belle. Spent 14 years exploring thunderous, unmatched levels of melancholy and melodrama with Swans, her seminal NYC post-everything band with Michael Gira. Latest projects: Dissected, a remix collection, and Men, a series of collaborations with Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten), Jim Thirlwell (Foetus), Edward Ka-Spel (Legendary Pink Dots), Alan Sparhawk (Low) and more.

Larsen: Mysterious Italian cult band, crafters of ritualistic avant-trance rock full of cyclical guitar peals and mantric rhythms. Latest projects: Rever, an enigmatic & hypnotic album produced by Swans' M. Gira--though during the recording process Gira was never allowed to actually see the band. An early '03 concert with Jarboe, performed in a cathedral in Gdansk, Poland, is now available as a DVD, Krzykognia.

SYNOPSIS

Despite a few sporadic concerts (including a Portland appearance in May), this is Jarboe's first tour with a full band since Swans' 1997 dissolution. How will the Larsen campaign, christened "A Screaming Fire," differ from Swans' infamously grueling road trials? "There is no lack of intensity and transcendence," Jarboe says via email, "but it is, shall we say, a very different animal. I approach my shows as a stripped-down theatre performance rather than a band playing a series of songs. I utilize 'rock' in this context as a reference point, then mutate it as we break from that traditional vocabulary and dance around new grounds....

"The theme of the set is me ripped open emotionally, and it continues as I acknowledge the battle of emotions via grief, anger and fear. I question and attempt to answer why emotions creep in and attempt to control and define, when ultimately they are quite separate from who we are and the present moment. I end the tour set telling the audience that I am with them to forget my loneliness and, in that song, I am coming back to myself from the ride through hell."


Jarboe + Larsen play Friday, Aug. 8, at the Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy Blvd., 282-9949. 10 pm. $10+ advance (www.insound.com). 21+. Muddmakr also performs.
 
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