The Kinsellas take the acclaimed emo godfathers out on the road this
weekend for a short reunion tour that takes them from their Chicago
homebase to DC, Philly, San Francisco and L.A. Meanwhile, Jade Tree
recently reissued their classic career overview on vinyl.
By Barry St. Vitus
It’s been 21 years since the
inception of Cap’n Jazz, 14 years since their break-up and nearly as long since
the original 1998 release of the 2-CD Analphabetapolothology. Jade Tree decided it was time to pay tribute to the band by releasing that
retrospective of their complete recorded works on double vinyl LP with gatefold
cover, complete with an 8 page booklet, photos and MP3 downloads of all 34
songs (24 of which are on the actual vinyl).
Cap’n Jazz was formed while
Chicagoan brothers Tim and Mike Kinsella were still in high school, and like a
lot of kids, thought it would be a kick to get a couple of pals and start their
own band. Along with Victor Villareal on
guitar and Sam Zurich on bass, they created their own little niche by
creatively blending such genres as emo and post-hardcore into an artier, poppy
punk sound. As their bio so succinctly phrases it, ‘complicated and sloppily enthusiastic’
music. Tim’s idiosyncratic, off-kilter vocals were pure old-school punk
screaming, often in duet or chorus with the others.
But it was what lay underneath
the vocals that set the band apart from the punk pack. When listening to their
music, it’s obvious that there’s exceedingly creative songwriting and playing
going on that is almost startling. That juxtaposition is quite the head-turner.
While most songs are pretty fast, they occasionally slow down the pace with D.
Boon- like spoken word vocalizations like on “Tokyo”. “Bluegrassish” is a “Black Mountain
Side” type of number (minus sitar) that surprises almost as much as “BMS” did
in the middle of Led Zeppelin 1. In
other numbers there’s the occasional, discordant horn bleating or harmonica. I
was constantly reminded of The Minutemen and Husker Du flavorings in the music.
A pair of live inclusions, “Olerud” and “Forget Who Are’ showcase their
excellent skill on stage.
Pretty talented stuff overall
for a bunch of kids, I’d say. They’ve since devoted themselves to many other
projects like Joan of Arc, Owls, Owen and the Beefheartian Make Believe. Cap’n
Jazz have reformed and are crossing the country to support this re-issue
starting in July. Catch’em if you can.
Cap’n Jazz 2010 Reunion Tour
07/10 Louisville, KY Forecastle Fest / The Riverfront Belvedere – TICKETS
07/17 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge – Sold Out
07/18 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge – Sold Out
07/23 Washington DC The Black Cat – TICKETS
07/24 Philadelphia, PA Starlight Ballroom – TICKETS
08/27 San Francisco, CA Bimbo’s 365 Club – TICKETS
08/28 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex – TICKETS