Joan of Arc – “Meaningful Work” 7”
Acquired: Crossroads Music, Used, 2013
Some days I feel like Joan of Arc’s sounding like white noise to my ears is to be blamed on my never having listened to Cap’n Jazz. At one point in the dorms I had Analphabetapolothology on my hard drive but it has since vanished and I’ve been to lazy to reacquire the album. Sometimes I feel like that might make Joan of Arc click. It might also be that it’s too weird for my tastes. I love the 90s emo guitars that still lurk on this late Joan of Arc 7” but their noted avant gardiness brings on the washout. I zone out. Maybe Tim Kinsella just releases so many albums that his discography becomes too daunting to keep up with. That said, after listening to this 7” a few times I’m kind of into it. While I’m more partial to Tim’s brother (and Cap’n Jazz and occasional Joan of Arc bandmate) Mike’s bands American Football (for the smooth, late night true blue emo that both Kinsella’s are responsible for propagating in the face of a genre overrun by artists who think emo is all about screaming infidelities and so on etcetera) and Owen (for the broken, quavering prettiness of Mike Kinsella’s sadness), that’s mostly because those two bands are a lot easier to swallow than Joan of Arc. Both “Meaningful Work” and “The Thing of Things” are packed with odd time signatures, angular guitars, and weird lyrics that make the tracks something to stand back and stare at hand-on-chin rather than internalizing them on an emotional level.