Music » Livewire

Owen

With William Elliott Whitmore and The Snake, the Cross, the Crown. Tuesday, April 18, at the Grog Shop.

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Owen isn't a person, and it's not really a band. It's simply the musical alias for Mike Kinsella. If Kinsella's name sounds familiar, then you're probably a fan of artful, post-rock emo bands like Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc, and American Football. His solo output, however, is more delicate. Musically, the Chicago-based performer creates a lush sound that seduces the ear, but his emotionally naked lyrics strike far deeper than those of most orchestral-minded bedroom troubadours. It's all "too close to home . . . too near to the bone," as he says in "That Tattoo Isn't Funny Anymore." Songs like "Who Found Whose Hair in Whose Bed," "Note to Self," and "Lights Out," from 2005's I Do Perceive, speak with such unguarded honesty, you feel you're listening in on someone's private conversation. These open-wound lyrics are frequently so raw that they would offend the thin-skinned morality gatekeepers at the FCC. So don't expect to be hearing Owen anytime soon on The O.C.

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