Compared with New York’s indie darlings Sonic Youth, downtown rock radicals Swans—led by songstress Jarboe and Michael Gira—were an alternative to the alternative, equally abrasive, theatrical, and mystifying. Since Swans’ 1997 disbandment, Jarboe’s legacy of slow-burning, multitextured epics has been most prominent in underground metal. The singer, who now lives in Georgia, has collaborated with Tool frontman Maynard Keenan and psychedelic headbangers Neurosis, and her latest album, MahaKali (named after the 10-headed Hindu goddess), sports guest appearances by Pantera and Mayhem members. Tonight, she returns to the city after an almost two-year absence, and her impact on New York’s current experimental rock community is most evident. Main support I.U.D. channel Swans’ clanging rhythms, Eastern melodies, and caterwauling vocals, courtesy of Gang Gang Dance’s Liz Bougatsos; Bloody Panda dabble in wailing doom metal and performance art (the band members wear executioners’ masks); and Brooklyn’s Cult of Youth worship at the altar of Swans’s late-’80s goth bent. Black T-shirts and shamanistic robes will be de rigueur.
Sat., June 27, 8 p.m., 2009