Prurient | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Prurient 

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Violence that arises from despair is the worst kind. There's no rage, no fear, no anger, nothing to expend or exhaust--the violence might as well go on forever, and it doesn't matter to you whether you end up with a bloody nose or dead in the street. Noise artist Dominick Fernow, aka Prurient, commits himself so thoroughly to this breed of detachment that the absence of feeling becomes a kind of perfectly pure passion, a Zen nihilism. On the recent Pleasure Ground (Load) he threads together streams of crackling electrical pulses into an overwhelming torrent that, like a storm hammering against your windshield on the highway, starts out as terrifying chaos and eventually comes to sound like a vaguely soothing pattern. This flash flood of fuzz engulfs everything in its path--distorted clicks, indecipherable yelling, sweat-lodge drums--and then Fernow cuts through it with a sickly low hum, like an ice-cold laser trapping his already doomed landscape in a deep freeze. This is beast noise, a great dumb ox dragging a coal car of collapsed stars through the abyss. It gets so dark the shades of black seem to shimmer. Carlos Giffoni headlines; Prurient, Burning Star Core, and Bloodyminded open. a 9 PM, Flowershop, 2159 W. 21st, buskerchicago.com, $6 suggested donation. A

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