Joan of Arc: The Gap

Erik Gamlem

Joan of Arc

The Gap

Label: Jade Tree
US Release Date: 2000-10-03

The art of aviation has always fascinated me. Here we are, earth bound creatures, with out the ability to propel our selves into the air naturally. Through sciences of nature and machine that I do not understand we have made it capable to put bodies from their homes into foreign places on this planet. It is an amazing accomplishment. And yet it happens every day, hundreds of times.

The art of music has always burned my spirit in way that I can not describe. For years I have attempted to convey the power of music with words to the populace with time to read about it. Sounds of guitars and voices and a plethora of other instruments have infected my ears and moved my body and imagination in to places beyond the physical world. People attempt to make music that can do this everyday.

Both these arts rely on one absolute to be successful and that is perfection. You can not just lift people into the air with a bucket and propeller. You can not take people to amazing places just by picking up a guitar, or can you?

Joan of Arc has been the exception of independent music. From early pop rock mixed with techno noises to the deconstruction of song structure, the Chicago group has either bewildered or bored kids across the country. The Gap is no exception.

The progression of Joan of Arc is one that takes time to understand. Since they debuted with a portable model of, the band has taken a basic understanding of what they wanted to achieve and built upon it. Last years, Live in Chicago, 1999 was the abandonment of any pop element the band previously had and became an experiment of making music. The sad tonnage coupled with amazing acoustic guitar work, made Live in Chicago, 1999 a record before it's time. The Gap is a continuation of that.

Much more realized then it's predecessors, The Gap seems to be the ultimate presentation of orchestration for a band that has had the layers all the time. Incorporation of violins and cellos in "Knife Fights Every Night" recalls "To've Had Two Of" a piece from How Memory Works in presentation, but the scope of musical statement is broadened with the addition of a much fuller sound.

Vocal structures that were played with on Live in Chicago, 1999 are also more adept. Tim Kinsella seems to have studied the sound of his own voice as a tool to make better music. Reaching beyond just a cock-eyed off key sound, Kinsella has learned the importance that his unconventional vocalization has been capable of.

Some people have a vision that will make great changes with a great amount of foresight. Some people create new ways of perception just out of the need to try something new. Both methods have proven to be failures and successful in moving man to new places. The music of Joan of Arc is not so much a vision, but a necessity with enough patience (or lack of funds) to bring a whole new perception of what music is into the world.


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