Joan of Arc Lightbox Orchestra, Litesalive, Out Like Lambs | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Joan of Arc Lightbox Orchestra, Litesalive, Out Like Lambs Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sun., Feb. 6, 9 p.m. 2011

When you get a new promo from a band as relentlessly experimental as Joan of Arc, and the accompanying one-sheet promises that on this record they're at their "most esoteric and expansive," there's a lot of reason to be excited—and Oh Brother (Joyful Noise) is one of the group's wiggiest albums yet. Or maybe that should be "groups'," since each side of this two-LP vinyl-only release contains a 20-minute composition played by a different combination of personnel; mastermind Tim Kinsella is the sole constant linking the four lineups, which include Hella drummer Zach Hill, Lichens drone maker Rob Lowe, and local jazz-percussion monster Frank Rosaly. The individual tracks are as unpredictable as Kinsella himself; they veer from frenetic free jazz to shroomy psych-drone to contemplative fingerpicked guitar interludes. There's even an occasional bit of the angular post-posthardcore commonly associated with his name, though I expect he includes that just to tease anyone still hung up on Cap'n Jazz. For tonight's show Joan of Arc will transform itself into a version of Fred Lonberg-Holm's improvising large ensemble, the Lightbox Orchestra; as usual Lonberg-Holm will "conduct," directing the players' entrances and exits by switching color-coded lights on and off, but in a departure from the norm all 13 musicians onstage will be regular Kinsella collaborators. Litesalive and Out Like Lambs open.

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