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Gossip Wolf: Owls finish their first album in 13 years

Plus: Hot Bagels release Toasted, Gary Records launches with two international split singles, and more

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Last year, long-dormant local rockers Owls—aka the four dudes who founded emo-punk band Cap'n Jazz in 1989—finished their first album since 2001, working with engineer Neil Strauch at Strobe Recording. Front man Tim Kinsella says it's been in the works since the 2010 Cap'n Jazz reunion, but "schedules were very difficult to synchronize. We had a few false starts and threw the whole thing away and started over." Asked about the album's title, Kinsella says, "There were a lot of compromises. Through the entire last year of writing, I knew that the record had to be named I Keep Putting Books Where the Pussy Is Supposed to Be, but instead it will be released as Two." Owls have no tour plans, but Polyvinyl will put Two where our record players are supposed to be later this year.

Gossip Wolf has fallen for Hot Bagels' new Bandcamp release, a punky, lo-fi rock record called Toasted. Hot Bagels, aka singer-­songwriter Craig Woods (he's trying to get a live band together), started the album when he moved to Chicago in October, working on it wherever he could—he even recorded some vocals while in his car on a job hunt. "[I'd] just drive around yelling into my phone," he says. This wolf hopes Toasted ends up on vinyl, but for now it's a pay-what-you-want download at Hot Bagels' Bandcamp, bit.ly/hbtoasted.

Want to expand your collection of rock from around the world? This wolf recommends Gary Records, a new local label cofounded by former Reader intern Robyn Chang that's all about international jams. Gary's first release is a split seven-inch with Australian garage-poppers White Lodge and Taiwan "sweater-punks" Forests (the Reader premiered Forests' new No Fun last week). Also out now is a seven-inch pairing Philly fuzz lover Shape Breaker and Dublin rippers Fuck Mountain; next is a split with Taiwan's Skip Skip Ben Ben and Moniker Records' favorite trans-Pacific band, Hot & Cold.

Got a tip? Tweet @Gossip_Wolf or e-mail gossipwolf@chicagoreader.com

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