Mike Kinsella Credit: Shervin Lainez

At the Beat Kitchen’s Holiday Toy Drive, a jam-packed lineup of local emo and indie-rock icons will play acoustic sets while raising cash and collecting toys to benefit the SOS Children’s Villages of Illinois. Headlined by American Football’s Mike Kinsella (who moonlights as Owen in a solo capacity), the eight-set showcase includes bandleaders Dave Davison (Maps & Atlases), Bob Nanna (Braid, Lifted Bells), Mark Rose (Spitalfield), Avery Singer (Retirement Party), and Chris Sutter (Meat Wave), among others. Though prolific with his solo material, Kinsella is enjoying a higher profile of late thanks to the popularity of American Football’s reunion—unexpected for a mathy, sensitive, underground band that barely played live before disbanding—and the self-titled second album that it released in 2016. Just months prior to that album, Kinsella released his eighth LP as Owen, The King of Whys (Polyvinyl)—another collection of gorgeous, instrumentally lush, emotionally resonant indie-rock tunes. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist remains at a creative zenith. With a third American Football album on the way, and regular tour dates booked for both of his main projects—he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.   v