Joan of Arc

For sixteen years and across as many albums, Joan of Arc has been a relentlessly shapeshifting act, adding and sloughing off members around prolific and divisive bandleader Tim Kinsella (also of Cap’n’Jazz, Owls, Make Believe) and reconfiguring from rock band to Pro Tools collagists to various shades in between. They’re also the kind of act music writers love, as every album comes with either an awesome title (In Rape Fantasy and Terror Sex We Trust; Joan of Arc, Dick Cheney, Mark Twain…) or a conceptual constraint (guitar duets between band members past and present; an album recording via open-door studio time and a sign-up sheet) or both upon which to hang one’s reviews. So, the new album? It’s Joan of Arc as simple, four-piece rock band. BUT NOTHING’S EVER SO SIMPLE WITH JOAN OF ARC, says the press sheet, and indeed: even on a basic rock kit, Life Like is still thorny, unpredictable stuff, led as ever by Kinsella’s fractured, voice-cracking DaDaist rambling. With Air Waves, Themes. ERIC GRANDY

Mon., May 9, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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