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Death in June, Et Nihil 

When: Mon., Sept. 16, 8 p.m. 2013
Price: $40, $30 in advance
Ten years ago, when Douglas Pearce came to Chicago with his floating, occult neofolk show, he faced protests and a twice-cancelled show (first at the Empty Bottle, then at the fill-in venue, Deja Vu), mostly due to his persistent penchant for Third Reich fetish objects. That fascination is a specter that hangs over much of that scene—sometimes a rune isn’t just a rune, and Pearce can hardly expect people to calm down about Nazi symbology just because he can wear a pink triangle himself. But after 30-plus years of Death in June, you know what you’re getting into—Pearce is most guilty of the sin of abstraction, of channeling historical horror into a ritualized aesthetic. And he does it so very well. DiJ’s latest release, this spring’s The Snow Bunker Tapes (New European Recordings), purports to consist of demo recordings that Pearce gave to pianist Miro Snejdr during the making of 2010’s Peaceful Snow, but to me they sound more fully realized than the supposed final product. Minimally but effectively arranged with layered vocals and muted percussion, the songs have an eerie ebb and flow, like a vastly slowed-down human pulse, and they seem to manifest spirits so palpably that they’ll give you goose bumps. —Monica Kendrick Et Nihil opens.

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