Joan Of Arc
One Cannery Row
Nashville, TN, 37203
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
Joan Of Arc
Twenty years now there’s been this thing, our band, Joan of Arc. Sometimes we forget about it and let it fizzle out for a year while we tend to our lives. Sometimes we cling to it for a year and wake up surprised and exhausted every day for months on end, given walking tours of old Italian towns, browsing dreary British pedestrian malls or barefooted organic grocers on the Pacific coast. We know how lucky we are.
The less we feel like a band—the more we can continue to be a band, but escape that feeling of doing all those shitty, corny things expected of bands—the truer to ourselves we feel. And you all know it, everyone knows it even if everyone has to bury it to get on with their day-to-day: the truer to ourselves we feel, the better everything gets. We have shifted shapes and modified our approaches quite a number of times in the course of twenty years. And we’ve done so always aiming to stay true to ourselves at that moment, by instinct and with conscious intent. This time, it took us a long time to figure out how to start back up. We threw away a lot of songs and started over, over and over.
But here’s the thing: We are getting better at being ourselves. So many of the postures of youth just fall away with time. Most bands break up by that point, or become caricatures of their younger selves. Because money is tricky, or I should say, it comes to be that energy is tricky to muster after all of it goes into the basics of sustaining yourself.
Every day, at some point, it occurs to me that Richard Brautigan killed himself at the age that I am now. But I got this community of weirdo collaborators to lean on that he never had.
We’ve never had an audience that gets any validation of its coolness through liking us. We’ve mangled, juxtaposed, and collaged too many elements for that social contract. But we trust each other.
This time, finally, we trusted each other enough to throw all the songs away, to even throw away every preconceived idea about which one of us should take position at which instrument. We hit Record and played, and our collective tastes emerged. And they, our tastes in the moment, were the only standards in all the expanse of the stupefying and beautiful unknown universe, that we regarded as relevant in the least.
- Tim Kinsella
Curt Castle’s years-long relationship came to an end just as the two bands he had spent his life playing with came grinding to a halt. He was left struggling with a question: How do we redefine ourselves when the foundations of our lives disappear?
Without those once integral pieces of his life and his identity, Curt set out to figure out the who that remained within. If I’m Here At All began as he started to reform himself, to reassemble the pieces left behind in the void. An uninhibited examination of his past, of his fears, of his loss and of his hopes for the future, Curt Castle’s debut album is starkly vulnerable and honest, and fundamentally human. To him, that’s the way it has to be, if it’s going to be worth doing at all.
Curt took a trip, driving across the country, his only company the thoughts in his head. These songs materialized out of that time being alone, singing (and sometimes, shouting) thoughts into the air around him. Out on the other side of the country, he recorded the songs with friends, spending the days sharing his songs with them, and the nights recording in their garage studio (Heavy Meadow Studios).
Returning home to Georgia, holding an early, rough and cathartic version of If I’m Here At All, Curt reached out to producer / engineer Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Mothers, Kishi Bashi) at Athens, GA recording studio Chase Park Transduction. Together, they crafted a sonic landscape built on dynamic arrangements inspired by Harry Nilsson, soaked in synthetic sound reminiscent of Thomas Dolby's production work, and occasionally interspersed with electric guitarmony. The main engine of the songs though are the emotion of the lyrics and the catchy melodies they ride on.
Those lyrics are woven from the cycles of hope and despair that pass over all of us. “Chances,” the first track on the record, is a piercing look at a relationship on the verge of falling apart. “All the Love in the World” looks at living with grief where each breath feels like an act of survival and triumph. And “Across State Lines (Supernova)” finds cautious hope in a new love.
Now, Curt Castle has built up a high energy live show honed while opening around the country for headliners like GIVERS, Dent May, Roadkill Ghost Choir and many others. There’s a full band bringing the songs to life. In these live environments, If I’m Here At All’s songs about loneliness create an atmosphere of togetherness.