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Ranier Maria and Joan of Arc
“God damn it, I’m not talking about my heart” is the first lyric of Rainer Maria’s debut CD, Past Worn Searching. In truth, that’s exactly what this Wisconsin trio is talking about. Or rather shouting, for the almost constant harmonies of bassist Kyle Fischer and guitarist Caithlin DeMarrais are usually gut-wrenchingly dramatic. Rainer Maria may take its name from the poet Rilke, but its soul is drunk on Codeine and its heart pines for Rites of Spring. Past Worn Searching is filled with slow to medium tempos, stomp-box explosions, melodic bass lines, and a collection of words more depressing than a high school journal. When Fischer sings “Oh sweetheart and my constant apologies/I really fucked up/Oh lover, my hands are tied, depending on your good graces” on “Homeopathy,” her regret is uncomfortably tangible; it sounds like a confession only a priest should hear. Joan of Arc (pictured), however, doesn’t confess so much as allude. The Chicago quartet’s second album, How Memory Works takes it title from words printed on its debut, A Portable Model of, and the new album’s last song is called “A Party Able Model of.” While singer Tim Kinsella’s fragmentary phrases and puns connect through inference more than literary skill, his compelling, cracking voice weaves an attractive mystery over Joan of Arc’s singular art rock-emo pop hybrid. See these former caP’n Jazz-ers, along with Rainer Maria, at 10:15 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at the Metro Cafe, 1522 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 518-7900. (Christopher Porter)