Owen, Victor Villareal | Chicago Athletic Association Hotel | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Owen, Victor Villareal 

When: Sat., Oct. 8, 8:30 p.m. 2016
Price: $20
When Mike Kinsella launched his solo project Owen in 2001 he’d already had a hand in more indelible punk-qua-indie bands than any one person should legally be allowed: Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, Owls, and American Football, whose shadow still looms large over the emo renaissance and indie rock at large. Fifteen years into Owen, by far his longest-running effort, Kinsella has attracted a small, devoted cult with his hushed, sometimes morose recordings. Here his relatively bare template focuses on modest songs that are stripped-down and intimate even when played out in blustery, full-band arrangements—and it’s provided him with a seemingly bottomless well of creativity. On July’s The King of Whys (Polyvinyl), produced by Bon Iver drummer S. Carey, he cuts serene, lush orchestrations with lyrics about the everyday anxieties that come with settling into your own skin and advancing age. On “Empty Bottle,” Kinsella, a family man in his late 30s, stirs up a squeamish, late-night tension shared between two very different people drawn together out of mutual loneliness (“You’ve got a lot of nerves / Will you please touch mine with yours?”).
— Leor Galil



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