Entries tagged with: Mike Kinsella
PLUS: Watch Meredith play a new solo song backed by Joe from Cymbals Eat Guitars and Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Meredith/Kevin/Joe, Kevin/Matthew, Kevin/Tigers Jaw
Kevin Devine was telling a story on stage at The Bell House last night (12/11) about instantly loving Tigers Jaw's music after Jon Simmons from Balance & Composure showed it to him in a car ride on tour. Talking about them, he said something to the effect of there being good and bad sides to being part of a scene. It was just a quick side note, but it resonated with me throughout the entire night because the show itself broke down barriers of several scenes. It was the first of three BV-presented release shows for Kevin's new Devinyl Splits series, and each artist he worked with was coming from a distinctly different "scene" but the whole show was one cohesive thing. It wasn't like Kevin just having a few bands he likes open for him either. It was set up like a variety show, with Kevin both opening and closing, and bringing a new guest out every few songs (sometimes more than one at a time). It kept the place packed from start to finish.
Along with Kevin and Tigers Jaw, the show had Brooklyn's folky, punky singer/songwriter Laura Stevenson (in solo acoustic folk mode last night), Meredith Graves from the hardcore band Perfect Pussy trying out some shoegazier material, the consistently solid indie rock band Cymbals Eat Guitars, and two veterans with notably different histories. There was Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, who were mainstream for a second in the mid-'90s but then started a fruitful indie career instead. And Mike Kinsella (aka Owen), who probably had way less fans in the mid-'90s but became legendary over time, and never stopped writing great music across several projects.
The first guest was Laura Stevenson, whose whole set was solo and included a cover of Elliott Smith's "Angel in the Snow." Then the next was Brianna Collins of Tigers Jaw, who sang harmonies with Kevin on his song "For Eugene." After that, her bandmate Ben Walsh came out and the two of them did "Teen Rocket" and "I Saw Water" acoustic. Then Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band joined as their backing band for a cover of The Cure's "In Between Days" and a version of Tigers Jaw's "Cool" where Kevin sang lead on the last verse. (He released a cover of the song last month.) That Cure cover is the song Tigers Jaw contributed to their split with Kevin. His contribution was a cover of "Lovesong," which he played after Ben and Brianna left the stage.
Cymbals Eat Guitars
After an intermission, Cymbals Eat Guitars took the stage on their own for "Aerobed" off their split with Kevin, and two songs off last year's excellent LOSE. Theirs was the most like seeing a regular Cymbals Eat Guitar set (and great as always), even if it was just three songs. It wouldn't be the last time their singer Joe D'Agostino would be on stage, but more on that in a bit.
Another KD set followed, and then Kevin began telling a story of how great Mike Kinsella is and how when they toured together with Andy Hull in 2007, Mike didn't give a shit about a lot of the things musicians in his place normally would. (Unbeknownst to Kevin for the first half of the story, Mike was watching him say all this from backstage.) As anyone who's seen Owen knows, one thing he doesn't give a shit about is messing up his songs every now and then, which he did a few times last night. But it's always charming and never frustrating. Probably because, like last night, his sets are always gorgeous.
Up next was Perfect Pussy singer Meredith Graves. She was known mostly for short blasts of noise punk before her shoegazy solo song on her split with Kevin. She played that, and a new one that I thought sounded even better. She was belting her voice on that one more than I'd ever heard her do before, and it turns out she's a good singer! For both songs, she was backed by Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band and Joe from Cymbal Eat Guitars, who created exactly the kind of wall of noise Meredith sounds best with.
Meredith and Joe left and KD&GDB stayed, eventually bringing out Kevin's wife Carey Brandenburg for "Lonesome Town" and then Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws to duet with him on "Brooklyn Boy." Matthew then did Nada Surf's "Blizzard of '77" solo, and then played his cover of Kevin's "Fiscal Cliff" (that he recorded for their split). He told us how he was singing it to himself in the cab on the way to the show, and the driver was apparently moved by the lyrics. He wrapped up with Nada Surf's "Inside of Love" and "See These Bones," with Kevin joining him again.
Then to end the show, just like it started, was another set from Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band. They gave us a ton of favorites from throughout Kevin's career over the course of the night -- "Ballgame," "Cotton Crush," "Another Bag of Bones," "Brother's Blood," etc -- and played a good amount off his newest album too. The guests made the night extra special, but it was also clear that it was Kevin's show and Kevin's crowd. Several songs had the crowd singing every single word in unison louder than Kevin even was.
The Devinyl Splits shows continue in Philly tonight (12/12) with Brand New's Jesse Lacey replacing Laura Stevenson, and then Cambridge on Sunday (12/13) with The Front Bottoms' Brian Sella. Cymbals Eat Guitars and Laura Stevenson play Brooklyn together again on Monday (12/14).
A video of Meredith's new song (with KD&GDB and Joe from CEG), some other clips from throughout the night, more pictures and the setlist, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Yesterday, American Football expanded their reunion tour and today they've announced the openers for their four-night New Year's run in Chicago which are all pretty amazing. Almost all of them in some way hail from the same influential emo scene as AF themselves -- night 1 gets fellow reunited '90s Champaign, IL/Polyvinyl band Braid, night 2 gets a reunion from their other Polyvinyl labelmates Pele (!) and S. Carey (who also opened for them in NYC), night 3 gets Joan of Arc (the band led by AF singer Mike Kinsella's brother Tim, which Mike and their cousin/current AF bassist Nate have both played in), and night 4 gets Maritime, whose singer Davey von Bohlen played in Cap'n Jazz with Mike. Night 4 is sold out, but if you're in Chicago or traveling there for the holidays (this would be a very good reason to do that), you can still get tickets to nights 1, 2 and 3.
So yeah all of those are stacked, but the one that sticks out the most is Milwaukee's Pele, who have been broken up since 2004. They put out a handful of excellent albums in the late '90s and 2000s, including a few on Polyvinyl, as well as a split with another now-reunited band, Toe, whose recent NYC show was opened by Nate Kinsella. With a sound somewhere between post-rock and math rock, their complex guitar parts foreshadowed the current trend of noodly emo bands, much like American Football's did. They also shared member Scott Beschta with another Milwaukee group, Davey Von Bohlen's post-Cap'n Jazz, pre-Maritime band The Promise Ring.
Since breaking up, drummer Jon Mueller formed Collections of Colonies of Bees, the band who later teamed with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon to form Volcano Choir. And it's Bon Iver sideman Sean Carey aka S. Carey who's also on the bill with Pele and American Football, so maybe S. Carey doesn't feel like the odd one out after all.
Hopefully this means more shows on the horizon for Pele. Revisit their 2000 album, The Nudes, below. Also, Mike Kinsella recently covered The Promise Ring for the upcoming Owen covers album. Listen to that below too...
by Andrew Sacher
American Football @ Webster Hall - 10/10/14 (via BroooklynVegan Instagram)
Emo legends American Football are finally back, playing their first shows in 15 years, and last night (10/10) they began their three-night run at NYC's Webster Hall. Singer Mike Kinsella has already visited NYC for two great shows here this year, first sitting behind the kit on the Owls reunion tour, and then again as Owen one night prior to American Football. But there was a different aura to the American Football show. The members were cast as silhouettes against a backdrop of the house from their album cover, and while the crowd was ready to sing along to all their teenage feelings, atmospherics won out.
Rather than opening the show with a fan favorite, they eased into their set, beginning with the instrumental "Five Silent Miles" from their EP, and those types of instrumental passages resurfaced several times throughout the set. When you're dealing with a reunion set like The Replacements, the crowd is happy to belt out all the words and relive memories, but this was more like the My Bloody Valentine reunion. American Football had to win over the crowd with technicality and zoned-out-inducing instrumentation, and they did just that. Drummer Steve Lamos brought the melancholic trumpets (which got major cheers from the crowd), and the guitars were as sparkly clean and noodling as the record. There were a couple moments where the band seemed to slip up, but that's hard to complain about when they were basically learning some of these parts for the first time, and perfection is never what made the Kinsella bands great in the first place.
Setlist-wise, it was literally impossible to complain. They played every song from their album and their EP (their only two releases), plus "The 7's" which appeared in the bonus material of this year's reissue. Of course that means it was a 13-song set and over in about an hour, but it was one anyone in 2014 was lucky to see.
S. Carey opened last night. The run continues tonight (10/11) with Into It. Over It. and concludes Sunday (10/12) with Matt Pond. Like last night, the next two are sold out.
Full setlist and a video of them playing "Never Meant" last night, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Owen @ The Studio at Webster Hall - 10/9/14 (via Chase Igliori)
Mike Kinsella is about to headline three sold-out nights at the main 1,5000-capacity room at Webster Hall fronting his band American Football, but you wouldn't know it from the solo show he played as Owen at the venue's smaller Studio room last night (10/9). Mike's been a member of several beloved bands for the past two decades, at least two of which you could call legendary (AF and Cap'n Jazz), but he couldn't have been more casual last night. "I'm a professional musician," he jokingly reminded the crowd more than once. He messed up a lyric once, stumbled over a guitar part later on ("this one doesn't work on an electric guitar"), but those tiny mistakes were only met by laughter from the loving crowd.
And all the casual joking around aside, when Owen played the favorites -- "In the Morning, Before Work," "The Sad Waltzes of Pietro Crespi," "Windows and Doorways" and plenty more -- he had all the charm those songs have on record, and the whole place was singing and swooning along. There was one serious moment though (and Mike pointed out he rarely says serious things at shows), when before playing "In the Morning, Before Work" he brought up Morrissey's recent cancer treatment, as it's one of multiple Owen songs to point out Mike's love for Morrissey ("I listen to my same old CDs, New Order and Morrissey"). Newer stuff was played too, and besides being a good show all around it was a nice reminder before Mike plays 15-year old songs for huge crowds this weekend that this is a guy who put out a great album as recent as last year.
Last night's show was opened by Bon Iver member S. Carey, who also opens night 1 of American Football tonight (10/10). He's followed by Into It Over it on Saturday (10/11) and Matt Pond on Sunday (10/12).
by Andrew Sacher
American Football's secret Chicago show in August (more by Jeff Ryan)
As you might have heard, American Football are reunited this year (and they just added four New Year's shows in Chicago), but singer Mike Kinsella is keeping busy in other ways too. On December 2 he'll release an album of covers under his Owen alias via Polyvinyl. Appropriately titled Other People's Songs, the record will feature covers of Lungfish, Blake Babies, Mojave 3, The Promise Ring, Depeche Mode, All, Against Me! and Smoking Popes. The Smoking Popes song he chose, "Under The Blanket," just premiered over at Stereogum and you can take a listen below. He does a great job with it and really makes it sound like an Owen song, which he's proved he's pretty good at on past covers like his version of The Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale."
In other news, a new article on Buzz Weekly mentions that there may be new American Football material:
"There are no plans to record any new material currently. I wouldn't rule it out, but the logistics of doing it are tough," [guitarist Steve] Holmes said. "That said, I do have a few parts in my back pocket for potential new songs. Mike and I have worked on one of these so far, and we may try to finish it up to include in this run of shows."The American Football NYC run begins this month with sold-out shows at Webster Hall on 10/10 with S. Carey, 10/11 with Into It Over It, and 10/12 with Matt Pond. Right before that, Owen plays the smaller Studio at Webster Hall on 10/9 with S. Carey (also sold out).
Smoking Popes cover and full Other People's Songs tracklist below...
We already knew that influential emo veterans American Football would be reissuing their sole LP via Polyvinyl on May 20 (pre-order), and now like related band Owls are currently doing, they will reunite to play live too! They'll play Champaign/Urbana, IL's Pygmalion Festival in September (lineup) and then will play NYC on October 11 at Webster Hall.
Tickets for the NYC show go on sale via this Ticketweb link on Friday (4/25) and there's an exclusve BrooklynVegan presale starting Thursday (4/24) at noon. Check back here Thursday morning for the presale password.
UPDATE: Password HERE.
And in more related news, we just caught American Football member Mike Kinsella with his band Their / They're / There at the BV-Chicago presented Record Store Day in-store at Saki Records in Chicago. Check out a full set of pictures at BV Chicago.
Stream a couple rarities from the forthcoming American Football reissue, plus live video from 1998, below...
As mentioned, the ever-influential Kinsella family are reviving their Owls project for a new album this year, their first since their 2001 debut. Owls, whose lineup includes Tim Kinsella, Mike Kinsella, Victor Villarreal, and Sam Zurick (all of whom were in Cap'n Jazz), have now revealed more details on that album: it's called Two and will be out on March 25 via Polyvinyl (pre-order). They've also revealed its first single, "I'm Surprised...," which you can stream, along with the artwork and tracklist, below.
No dates at the moment, but hopefully that will change soon. Stream below...
Cap'n Jazz at Brooklyn Bowl in 2010 (more by Leia Jospe)
It's been discussed, but now it's official. Owls, the band whose lineup included almost every member of influential emo vets Cap'n Jazz and released only their one self-titled album in 2001, have announced that they're returning in 2014 with a second album! No title or release date yet, but we know it will be out via Polyvinyl Records, and the band just posted a teaser video with a clip of some new music that you can hear below.
One of Mike Kinsella's other bands, Their/They're/There, just played NYC at Knitting Factory last night (12/19) as part of their tour with Birthmark and Mansions. That band put out two EPs this year and Mike also released a new Owen album this year.
Owls teaser video below...
by Andrew Sacher
Their/They're/There in Chicago in July (more by Lindsey Best)
Their/They're/There is the newest project by a couple guys who already have a laundry list of projects: Mike Kinsella (previously of Cap'n Jazz, American Football, Owls, Joan of Arc, etc, and currently Owen) and Evan Weiss (previously of The Progress, Stay Ahead of the Weather, Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start, Damiera, etc, and currently Into It. Over It.). They've also tapped guitarist Matthew Frank (Loose Lips Sink Ships) to complete the lineup. If you're familiar with those other projects, you're probably already sold on T/T/T and know exactly what you're getting yourself into: technical patterns, but highly melodic, and the kind of super-specific lyrics that gets these guys tagged with "emo."
Earlier this year, T/T/T released their self-titled debut EP via Polyvinyl (the longtime label of most-things Kinsella), and a followup EP, Analog Weekend, will be out on December 10 via the label, and also co-released by Topshelf. You can stream the self-titled EP in its entirety, along with "New Blood" from the new EP, below. The album artwork and tracklist for the new EP are below too.
Their/They're/There will be heading out on a short tour with Mike's cousin Nate Kinsella aka Birthmark, and Louisville duo Mansions. The tour hits NYC on December 19 at Knitting Factory. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with song streams and more, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Owen (aka Mike Kinsella) still hasn't announced anything regarding the new material he's promising, but he did just recently reveal that he's got a few Northeast dates scheduled for this March. None of them are in NYC but he'll be pretty close when he plays Hoboken's Maxwell's on March 23. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Mike and his brother/ex-Cap'n Jazz/Joan of Arc/Owls bandmate Tim Kinsella recently sat down together for Alarm Magazine's 'No Journalists Allowed' segment where they interviewed each other. It gets pretty funny when Mike asks Tim stuff like, "Do you feel your age?" and "Do you think that people think you're an asshole just because your music is challenging?" You can read the whole interview at Alarm's site.
A list of all dates and a video below...
Owen (aka Mike Kinsella) has been working on new material for what will presumably be the followup to 2011's Ghost Town. He was in town last month when his tour with Braid came to NYC for two shows, and now he's set to return to NYC for two of his own shows in December, both billed as "An Evening With: Owen." Those shows happen on December 7 at Mercury Lounge and December 8 at Union Hall. Tickets for both of those shows go on sale Friday (9/28) at noon with an AmEx presale for the Mercury Lounge show starting Wednesday (9/26) at noon.
A list of all dates and a video of Owen playing "Too Many Moons" from Ghost Town on his front porch are below.
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Owen - "I Believe" (MP3)
Owen (aka Mike Kinsella) is releasing his sixth full length album, Ghost Town on November 8 via Polyvinyl. After becoming a husband and father, Owen made a shift in his songwriting on the appropriately titled New Leaves in 2009. He abandoned his damaged lyrics and delicate acoustic guitar for a fuller band-oriented album, which felt overall like a more lighthearted affair. Those new leaves may still be turned over, but whatever it was that haunted Owen on his earlier work is resurfacing on Ghost Town. As he admits on "No Language," "I guess I'm still angry/Still punching walls that look like you." You can grab the album track "I Believe" above and stream two others below, along with the artwork and tracklist and preorder it at the Polyvinyl webstore.
Owen is scheduled to play the Pygmalion Music Festival in Champaign, IL this month. He'll go on tour in support of the album later this year. A full set of dates hasn't been announced yet but it's been revealed that he'll play NYC on December 2 at Glasslands. The NYC show is being opened by Caithlin de Marrais, lead singer of Owen's ex-Polyvinyl labelmates Rainer Maria, who broke up in 2006. Tickets go on sale Friday (9/16) at 7 AM.
Caithlin, whose new solo record 'Red Coats' is coming out Nov. 8 on End Up Records, also has a NYC show coming up even sooner, a CMJ showcase at Littlefield in Brooklyn that looks like this:
BITCH Magazine Presents:Grass Widow is also in NYC this week, with the Raincoats.
Caithlin De Marrais (ex-Rainer Maria)
Fri, October 21, 2011
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm
This event is 21 and over
FREE WITH CMJ BADGE
In July, Owen covered Jane's Addiction's "Summertime Rolls" at Hot Doug's in Chicago for AV Club. Check out a video of that performance, a video from Caithlin's new record, all Owen dates, song streams, album art and tracklist below...