Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

The Evens Please Treetown Rockers

21. June 2004 • Ari Paul
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Nearly 70 people packed into the Neutral Zone tonight to see the Evens, the new project of punk legend Ian MacKaye, with Max Cloud and Eliza Beatrix Godfry.

The Evens, which features MacKaye on guitar and his partner Amy Farina on drums with both on vocals is touring only on word of mouth and in nontraditional venues such as museums, art galleries, and record stores.

“I have to say there is a traditional approach,” MacKaye said. The Evens, he insists, “is just music.” Staying away from bars and clubs where there are distractions means that the audience can just focus on the music, he said. “We’re trying to fuck with the form.” Mike Medow, who helped organize the event with the RadArt Collective, said “he was pissed that we had two openers.”

However, MacKaye did adjust to the lineup. He sat cross legged and attentively watched Ms. Godfry play acoustic guitar drinking a cup of water, nodding when she hit a note or busted a lyric he liked.

One attendee called his set “Politically-electronic-haunting-folk.” Around his more haunting melodies were a dissident set of lyrics, ranging from anti-war anthems to a song called “Mount Pleasant Isn’t”, which is about a riot in his hometown of Washington D.C. ten years ago.

The crowd was seated mostly, the only person dancing being a six year old girl. He felt that the communal nature without the distractions of a traditional venue “puts music in the focus. It makes me think about early punk rock.”

MacKaye said there are no immediate plans to record an album, but when there is one, he said, “it will probably be on Discord,” the label that he co-operates.

MacKaye was formerly the front man for Minor Threat and Fugazi.