How Mike Kinsella's Work Defined (and Continues to Redefine) Emo

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Mike Kinsella has reincarnated himself yet again, and you have every reason to be excited. Kinsella, along with brother Tim and cousin Nate, helped to usher in the emo movement of the Midwest, setting the underpinnings for the genre with Chicago-based Owls, Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc and American Football.

While he's been incredibly busy over the past five years with Owen, Kinsella's pseudonymous acoustic folk act, he's back behind the drums for Their / They're / There latest EP, Analog Weekend, along with Into It. Over It.'s Evan Weiss and Loose Lips Sink Ships' Matthew Frank.

While Their / They're / There has all the sonic hallmarks of the supergroup's predecessors, it's as good a time as any to take a look at Kinsella's catalog. Often overlooked in the massive, vague indie scope as someone whose body of work rivals that of Ryan Adams, Kinsella's vein of literary description and technical approach to all instrumentation is hardly as honored as it should be.

Joan of Arc plays a significant role in Kinsella's catalog--he's contributed to nine of the band's 22 albums--but it's his work in the long-defunct American Football and as Owen that's worth shining a light on. He's a jack of all trades, manning the drums for Their / They're / Their, but American Football was some of the first full-fleshed work of Kinsella's we were afforded.

There's something big and beautiful to American Football, highly reflective and apathetic. Whereas emo was later affixed to bands like Hawthorne Heights and Dashboard Confessional, American Football's one and only release held enough self-administered grief to inspire an army's worth of restless listeners.

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