WOVENHAND, 1939 ENSEMBLE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's hard to say what exactly makes the lamb's share of Christian contemporary music so blandly putrescent. Though I am atheistic, I think it would be unfair to blame Jesus. After all, Bach did okay, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir certainly has its moments. And then there's Wovenhand. Frontman David Eugene Edwards is certainly a believer, but you get the feeling that he could not care less if you are. He uses biblical symbolism not to inspire, but to consider the shadowy, confusing, broken present. Released in September, Wovenhand's sixth album, The Laughing Stalk, is its darkest yet, a work of noisy, industrial post-rock punctuated by folk and punk. JosÉ Medeles (of the Breeders) and David Coniglio are 1939 Ensemble, whose repertoire of drums-vibes-noise harnesses the untethered euphoria of the great jazz recordings to a grim confrontation with the 21st century. REBECCA WILSON
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