Best Old Musical Group

Critics' Picks

Joan of Arc

joanfrc.com

Yeah, Tim Kinsella gets a lot of love in the Reader—or at least affectionate teasing—but there’s a reason music critics love him. You never know what you’re getting into when you go to one of his shows or put on one of his new records. It might be political art rock. It might be glitchy experimentation. It might be some sort of audio concept art. It might even be something you can sing along to. Even when he fails—and someone so prolific is bound to have a few duds—he fails interestingly. In the past year Kinsella has rebooted Joan of Arc for the umpteenth time, stripping it down to a nimble, sinewy power trio; taken a purposely underprepared band into the studio to spend two days writing a chunk of an album; and put out a compilation of music by Joan of Arc alumni, with an accompanying variety show at the Bottle—where he played an unannounced reunion set with his old band Cap’n Jazz that turned out to be one of the best punk gigs I’ve seen in ages. (They play again July 17 and 18 at Bottom Lounge.) I have no idea what he’s got up his sleeve and I suspect he doesn’t either, but that’s the beauty of it.