Bon Iver

Wednesday, March 26

Retreating to a log cabin in the wintry Northwestern woods to

hibernate, and emerging with a nine-track, self-recorded—betwixt trips

with an ax to chop wood—full-length makes for precious kindling

beneath the Jajaguwar marketing fire. But For Emma, Forever Ago, the

sparse solo debut from Bon Iver—aka Justin Vernon—is far from smoke

and mirrors, leaving behind glowing embers that linger long after the

flames burn down. Composed of not much else than solid sheets of

hollow acoustic guitar, sometimes backed with softly tapped rhythms

and topped with multiple track overdubs where Vernon's steely falsetto

soars, it's clear that three solitary months in the frozen wilderness

paradoxically provided the glow necessary to melt away the layers of

ice encasing ragged, emotional source material that comes through in

his work. With Phosphorescent and White Hinterland. AJA PECKNOLD

Wed., March 26, 8 p.m., 2008

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