This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"The capitol is your proving ground" - The Evens

News item the first: The Stooges have been nominated for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame (fucking about time). Much respect to REM, Van Halen, the Ronettes, Chic (shut it), Grandmaster Flash, and Patti Smith, but if any of those dudes make it and the Stooges don't, I'm going to burn Cleveland to the fuckin' ground.

News item the second: Reading Dream Boogie in your underwear while rocking Blind Lemon Jefferson and the Cramps is probably the best way to spend a sick day if you don't have beer and Chappelle's Show DVDs.

Ian MacKaye has probably the most commanding vocal presence in indie rock. This probably explains why when the Evens made their debut on DC children's show Pancake Mountain with the song "Vowel Movement," MacKaye made grammar sound like an anti-authority anthem. No matter what he actually sang, all I could hear was "they don't want you to have the vowels/the vowels are power!" MacKaye has had something inexplicably charasmatic and defiant about his voice, going all the way back to when he was yelling against the beat in Minor Threat in the early 80's. And while that voice and delivery have become more refined over the course of his time spent in groups like Pailhead, Egg Hunt, and especially Fugazi, it's still got that snarling, fuck-you tinge that has made him one of the most compelling rock vocalists ever.

After Fugazi went on hiatus following 2001's absolutely astounding The Argument (which friends and loyal readers will recognize as probably my favorite record of the 00's), MacKaye began writing songs with his "partner" (getting married is so not punk rock) Amy Farina, who used to play with DC group the Warmers. Rather than adding members to the group they were planning, they opted instead to cap it at the two of them - MacKaye on baritone guitar, Farina on drums, and both of them sharing singing duties.

Surprisingly, the combo worked better than I had expected when I first heard about it. On their first album, 2004's The Evens, they filled up the space in creative ways. As is MacKaye's M.O., he takes limitations and sees what he can do within those certain restrictions. Just listen to Fugazi's Repeater to see what he could do with just a Gibson, a Marshall stack, and no effects pedals. Of course, it's not just all Ian's show. Farina shows herself to be a creative, rhythmic players with a great sense of fills and the ability to complement. What really surprised me the most about the record honestly was how mellow it was. Songs like "Blessed, Not Lucky" showcase MacKaye's gentle croon, something he had never before brought to bear.

This seems to have largely fallen by the wayside with their new record Get Evens, which came out last month. By and large, it's a much harder rocking record, and songs like "Everybody Knows" shows MacKaye and Farina getting more in touch with their punk roots than on the previous record. It's still fucking killer, and one worth seeking out if you hang out in cool record stores like Crooked Beat or Orpheus. I can't wait to see these dudes live.

http://www.mysharefile.com/v/8199484/Evens_Blessed,_Not_Lucky.mp3.html

http://www.mysharefile.com/v/4864479/Evens_Everybody_Knows.mp3.html

4 Comments:

Blogger AmyMeacham said...

I saw them at the Eyedrum, of all places,(and it was packed) about 1 1/2 years ago. They were great! Very intense.

5:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope iggy and the gang tell them to fuck themselves!

1:10 AM

 
Blogger Matt Ramone said...

I don't even know where they're playing. I need to get on that shit. I'd rather see it in a small room with 150 people that care than in a huge nice place with 600 that don't.


And I only hope the Stooges win so that when they come onstage, they start knocking shit over and Iggy unzips and starts pissing onto Bono's sunglasses.

8:29 AM

 
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3:57 PM

 

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