Episode 209: Tim Kinsella of Joan of Arc


“We never make a decision because we want to alienate the audience,” Tim Kinsella explains. “But we also never make a decision according to what we think the audience wants.” That sums up the musician’s career as any review. Though it only accounts for a bit of the outright animosity found in pieces like Pitchfork’s take on Joan of Arc’s latest opus, He's Got the Whole This Land Is Your Land in His Hands, referred to by the site as a “troll manifesto.” But the way Kinsella tells it, he’s just doing his thing. Joan of Arc, and with the prolific Chicago musician’s numerous other outlets like Cap'n Jazz, The Owls and Make Believe — which found him playing a wrestling heel — have never shied away from experimenting as a method for shaking up the doldrums of music writing. This latest record is the result of hours of jamming, a loose confederation of friends playing freely and exchanging instruments — having fun making music. The result is challenging, confusing and sometimes sublime, as in the case of Kinsella’s stream of conscious, which seem to invoke Trump’s tiny-handed insecurities well before the subject became national news.  

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