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12 Oct 04

mike o’neill: back and better than ever

if you listened to indie rock in the mid-90s and you’re canadian, you probably remember the inbreds – a fun 2 piece pop band from kingston made up of just bass and drums. they released 4 solid albums, two of which were nominated for best alternative album junos, and if you’ve never listened to kombinator (featuring you will know and any sense of time), you should – it’s still amazing ten years later.

after six years and much praise, the inbreds broke up much to my chagrine, seemingly because dave ullrich (drums) wanted to become a computer programmer and because mike o’neill (bass+vocals) felt that he’d taken the bass and drum pop/rock format as far as he could. the timing, at least to me, was especially sad because the announcement came soon after their stint with edgefest 1998, at which dave grohl discovered them and raved to everyone he could about how amazing they were. at the time, i thought they were poised for super stardom.

all was not lost, however. in 2000, mike o’neill released his first solo album what happens now? that didn’t disappoint. unlike his inbreds material, these songs were much fuller (yes, there were guitars in every song!) but they did maintain the pop sensibilities that made me love the inbreds from the start. but then he seemed to vanish.

in early 2004, i was excited to note that mike was touring with sarah harmer as her guitarist, which confirmed that he hadn’t disappeared from the music business all together. finally, in late august, chartattack reported about a new album – an online-only release called the owl available exclusively from zunior.com. i, of course, bought it immediately ($8.88 for new mike o’neill material? how could i not?) and i haven’t stopped listening to it for the last month and a half. it’s sadly shorter than i would have liked (9 songs, less than 30 minutes in length) but it’s even better than his first album – so catchy and GOOD. the album is worth it for stay with me alone.

one more interesting piece of trivia about zunior.com: i poked around their site a bit and discovered that it’s being run by none other than dave ullrich. i guess i know what he did with his computer programming training.

Update: from zunior.com – Zunior Live at The Horseshoe on Wednesday, December 22 in Toronto! The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern hosts Mike O’Neill (11:45), The Kelele Brothers (11:10), The Scribbled Out Man (10:20), and The Mountainside Band (9:30). Cover is $6.00. Come on down!!!

One Response to “mike o’neill: back and better than ever”

  1. 1
    anne... Says:

    i find it almost too ironic that you misspelled ‘chagrin’… tee hee.

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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