Fucked Up, Kurt Vile, Zola Jesus, Boystown | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sat., Feb. 13, 10 p.m. 2010
Price: $12
Zola Jesus, aka Nika Roza Danilova, is a gothic dreamboat from Nowheresville, Wisconsin, who writes music as bleak and intense as a midwestern winter. She grew up on a hundred acres of forest, without television or the Internet, and now goes to college in Madison, where she studies French and philosophy. In interviews she talks about the nonexistence of God, proposes a "Nickelodeon Black" network to prepare kids' minds for the darkness of reality, and tells slapstick childhood stories that involve parts of dead animals hanging from tree branches. Though she's only just started making ripples on the larger indie scene, she seems well on her way to developing a cult following—her powerful charisma and single-minded devotion to her aesthetic are the kinds of things that turn fans into worshippers. As strong as her persona is, her songs are even better: last year's The Spoils (Sacred Bones) weaves velvet-and-lace atmospherics and the sonic language of early industrial music into a tight mesh. At its best this combination of the swoony and the abrasive produces wonders like "Tell It to the Willow," which closes the album's LP version—it's as unsettling as walking in the deep woods alone at night but as addictive as any adrenaline rush. Zola Jesus also plays a free in-store at Permanent Records (1914 W. Chicago) at 4 PM. —Miles Raymer

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