About This Video
|The Infinite Blessed Yes||I'm Calling Off Falls from Grace||Many Times I've Mistaken|
|Ne Mosquito Pass||Queasy Lynn||Gripped By The Lips|
Several seconds into Joan of Arc's set, the speakers started crackling with cellular static. Someone's phone must've been waging an invisible battle with the sound system, and angry bursts of noise threatened to drown out the band's intro. Most musicians would've shot an angry glance toward the soundman, but Tim Kinsella didn't seem to mind. If anything, those jumbled signals were appropriate for his band's sound an experimental mishmash of guitars, accordion, non-sequitur lyrics, and controlled chaos.
Onstage, Joan of Arc's seven members walk a fine line between composition and cacophony. But the band also has a fondness for melancholic, folksy ballads, where Kinsella sings about heartache in an affectingly ragged voice. Melodies and patterns gradually emerge, almost as if they had to be coaxed from the tangle of instruments, and that's how Joan of Arc reels you in. Just when you think things are too artsy for your palette, the group launches into a high-concept opus that envelopes the entire room in swirling drones. Then, before you know it, you're suddenly clapping your hands for ten minutes because Kinsella told you to do so, and you can't think of any reason not to obey. (This isn't on the video, unfortunately, so you'll have take our word that the odd event took place). It's tiring to applaud for that long, but like the rest of Joan of Arc's set the sheer bizarreness of the situation made everything worthwhile.
- Andrew Leahey