Time and time again, I’ve professed that Johnny Foreigner know more about Midwestern music than most Chicagoans, Badgers or Twin Cities people. It’s stunning, since they’re from England-far flung from Reckless and Electric Fetus land.

The quartet is back Stateside, having released their latest Names EP via Chicago’s Swerp Records. Nov. 15th, they hit up Subterranean in Chicago just prior to treating University of Wisconsin-Madison’s The Sett at Union South thanks to WUD Music! They’ve been one of the highest energy sets you can see these past years on years, if they’re nearby, definitely go check them out and bring them gin! Before bassist/singing Kelly and guitarist/singing Alexei share their Midwestern music loves, here’s their video for “You Vs. Everything.”

Kelly: In 2001 I was given a tape by a friend. On one side was Oxes by Oxes (a pretty sweet album itself), the other side contained an album that would wind up being one of my top five of all time… Owls‘ self titled record.
For me, this album owns all other Kinsella related offerings. Everything just sits together perfectly and effortlessly; the intricacy of Victor Villareal’s guitars under Tim’s melodies and lyrics just WORK. It’s one of the few albums I own where I never have to skip a track. They sadly didn’t make another album, although to be honest there really was no need; they nailed it with this one.

Lex: Smashing Pumpkins was the greatest band that ever was. If you disagree then you’re an idiot. Or under 20. Or don’t choose to live in a universe where the band broke up for good after machina. In an age where liking alternative rock could get you beaten up at school, Smashing Pumpkins’ righteous bombast was the answer. And even now, having grown out (mostly) of the trite lyrics and guitar solos, I still come back to those epic songs. We watched Viewphoria the other day and they still look cool as shit. In the nineties. Seriously tho, they split up in 2000.

Lex: So I should write about Wilco, or The Sea and Cake, or half a dozen Kinsella things, but we’re on tour with Nervous Passenger and they’ve forced this band on us called Masked Intruder. Honestly, we’re struggling to remember what those other guys sound like. They certainly weren’t as obsessed with girls or close harmonies. This record kinda makes you feel a bit sick after listening to it, but they boast about not using autotune so it must be punk, right?

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