Bon Iver is indie folk with an extra pinch of forlorn. On For Emma, Forever Ago, Justin Vernon's solo debut, the deep ache of past troubles paints an irresistible tableau. Bon Iver's poetic lyrics boast enough internal rhyme to make even rappers like Big Pun turn tail, but it is really the naturalistic imagery that should snag your interest. It's not by chance either, since most of the album was recorded during a four-month period of voluntary sequestration in a Wisconsin cabin. The result yields sparse, carefully controlled instrumental parts mixed with Vernon's dreamy, fluid vocals. Vernon's skill with an acoustic guitar carries him a long way; and just for the record, it's the kind of acoustic guitar where an intentional squeak from a slide isn't just for show. Whether or not you can get close enough to hear that is another question. With A.A. Bondy. 18+.
Fri., Aug. 15, 8 p.m., 2008
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