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Spotlight: Wow, Owls!

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Signature lyric: "All aboard! We've all bought tickets to share a seat with someone. So let's get down with the sound of flashes of flirtation. It's too late to say I miss you because I never even knew you," from "More Explosive than a Jerry Bruckheimer Joint," off the Wow, Owls! five-song demo. Even band members admit that singer Jeff Byers' material can be a little arcane.

Who's in the band: Members include vocalist Byers, guitarists Peck and John Hall, bassist Tyler Worley and drummer Brian Turk. Band connections include Light the Fuse and Run, Juniper, the Escapists and Crash Diagnostic. All are in their early 20s, and day jobs range from dorm security to deli manager.

Recordings: Wow, Owls! perform in support of their demo EP recorded in March and recently cut two songs for a 7-inch split with another local band, The Set Up.

Everyone's Got a Demo: The Wow, Owls! EP may surprise people who think of a cassette tape when it comes to a band's demo. The handmade chipboard case is sceenprinted with the band's logo, housing a small lyrics sheet and CD, also stenciled with the logo. It looks more like a limited-edition, store-bought album than something homemade. Cheap, readily available recording equipment long ago made it easy for bands like this to record, guitarist Peck says. And bands with salable CDs made on their own probably outnumber bands with record labels.

Name derivation story: Actually there is not much of a story behind the Wow, Owls! name, as curious as it might be. It's from a short story lead singer Byers wrote as an English major. Band names have always sprung from various sources, including nonsensical free association. But these days, names of bands such as Wow, Owls! seem to lean toward the abstract, as the lineup at the group's Sept. 16 show at Nanci Raygun — with Lickgoldensky, Hot Cross, Coliseum and Breather Resist — attests.

No business like no business: Formed a little more than a year ago, Wow, Owls! are still in a formative state and a unique philosophical position. Peck puts it succinctly: "We play to have fun," he says. "If it ever got to the point where it became businesslike, I think none of us could be interested in it anymore." — Wayne Melton



Wow, Owls! perform two shows at the Nanci Raygun this month: Thursday, Sept. 16, with Lickgoldensky, Hot Cross, Coliseum and Breather Resist, 5 p.m., all ages, $7; and Saturday, Sept. 25, with These Arms Are Snakes and Engine Down, 7 p.m., 18 and older, $6.




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