Owls - Tim & Mike Kinsella

Brothers Tim and Mike Kinsella have made a habit out of revisiting their past projects. Their teenage band Cap’n Jazz did a string of shows in 2010, Mike’s short-lived band American Football will see the stage again this year, and now they’ve taken it even further by reuniting the band Tim and Mike started in the early 2000s with Cap’n Jazz members Victor Villareal and Sam Zurick, Owls. Owls didn’t just a announce a tour, they also recorded a follow-up to their cult-followed 2001 S/T album, naming it Two.

It was released on Polyvinyl in March, and we’re giving away a copy of the LP as well as a pair of tickets to their show Sunday night at Bottom of the Hill. To enter, please email nicole@thebaybridged.com with your favorite Owls song title in the subject line. A winner will be chosen randomly and notified with details about how to pick your prize up at the show.

In the midst of many beloved bands partaking in reunions, reissues and other gestures of nostalgia, Owls decided to keep it basic and with little-to-no mystery. When asked over an email interview if the band had any plans beyond the next few months, Tim Kinsella simply replied, “dunno.”

For a guy whose hobby outside of writing songs is writing novels, he apparently can also be incredibly terse offstage. Whatever, he was probably on a plane, on his way out to the West Coast for a pair of shows in LA and here in San Francisco tomorrow, perhaps tired from rehearsals and/or grumpy from spending too much time lately with his younger brother and Owls’ drummer, Mike.

Probably the best thing I got out of Owls’ singer/guitarist was his (lack of) an opinion on the hot topic of “emo revival,” which Tim considers “bullshit but it’s not bullshit that effects me or my life unlike other bullshit which occasionally profoundly and directly does effect me. So I’m not worried about Emo or whatever.”

Fair enough, he’s not worried about it. It’s easy to remove Two from the context of the genre and its cultural significance; the new album is, like its predecessor, unique. Said Tim, Two was “something that seems true to all of us at the time with no regard for people’s expectations, including

[their] own.”

Two is more centered, melodically straightforward and at times more psychedelic sounding than Owls, but it demonstrates all of the incessantly complex guitar patterns and time signatures these guys are known for. Upon its release in 2001, Owls was an instant classic and inspired many, though it could never really could be replicated. Said Mike Kinsella, writing and recording Two was complete with “all the varied stresses and pleasures” in the process whereas the American Football ventures feels “sort of like being in a cover band — just relearning songs.”

Owls, Into It. Over It. (acoustic), Victor Villareal (solo)
Bottom of the Hill
June 29, 2014
8pm, $15