Bands to Emote Friday at the Sco
well-known indie-rock acts, The Owls and 90 Day Men, will be featured
tonight in a concert at the Sco. Both are respected bands
willing to experiment outside the parameters of popular musical
taste to achieve their own artistic goals.
The Owls, a Chicago based band with a large fan following, has been
particularly influential on the college-radio circuit. Formed in
1989 by a bunch of suburban kids under the name Capn Jazz,
the group reunited several months ago after a five-year split with
a new name. Capn Jazz was known for creating the pop-inflected
emo sound that paved the way for many copycat indie
acts. After their sound was beginning to gain cult status, the group
split into a number of spin-offs and solo acts, such as Joan of
Arc and American Football.
Some critics and fans complained that success had gone to the groups
heads and that their new efforts, many of which featured computers
and synthesizers, were more pretentious than musically honest and
intuitive. Fans were overjoyed this year when the group announced
it was reforming with all its original members except for Davey
von Bohlem. But on their self-titled album the Owls proved that
they had matured past their early beginnings in more ways than the
name. Flirting with a variety of styles and genres, the group displays
a new interest in sound experimentation.
In a recent interview with Aversion.com, the group members all expressed
deep satisfaction with their new effort. As far as music goes,
we think its the best music any of us have made, said
bassist Sam Zurich. I hope people arent expecting us
to sound like Capn Jazz, he added. Were
not going to be caught in that scene [anymore]
stuck in that sound.
Inevitably, the group has alienated some of its fans, but most are
surprisingly enthusiastic about the shift in their music.
90 Day Men, which formed in St. Louis in 1995, are heavily influenced
by British New Wave and New Yorks late 70s New Wave
scene. For five years the trio strived to gain recognition for their
unique style. Soon after forming, the band relocated to Chicago
to better their chances of landing a good record deal. They immediately
booked their first east coast tour with the guidance of the Capn
Jazzs old tour journal. Within a year the band was opening
for well-known acts, such as Blonde Redhead and Fugazi, and as a
result was discovered by the now defunct Action Boy Records.
In the three years following, the group released one single, a five
song EP and toured the country. Finally, in 1998 90 Day Men landed
a stable deal with Southern Records, Inc. The group quickly made
its long awaited full length album with engineer Greg Norman, adding
keyboardist Andy Lansangan to their ensemble.
(It (Is) It critical band was highly praised by critics
and has given the group some much needed publicity and was hailed
by Spin magazine as #19 in the Top 20 Albums of 2000.
A lesser-known group called The Race will also be briefly playing
at tonights concert. The duo, which formed in 1995, has two
CDs under its belt.
The concert will be at the Sco at 10 p.m. Admission is $5
with OCID and $8 for non-students.