Long live rock, I need it every night

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ian MacKaye

[photo credit]

Ian MacKaye
St. Edwards University: Austin, TX
November 14th, 2008

My wife and I planned to check out a coffee shop on Friday night but that quickly changed when I saw Ian MacKaye was speaking. It's ironic that for five years I lived within a mile or so of the Dischord House and it was only when I moved to Texas that I finally got to hear Ian speak. Well, I guess that's not totally true. I was fortunate enough to see Fugazi a few times. I've also seen The Evens play but I've never talked with Ian or heard him in a Q&A setting. He has an unfair reputation of being a bit puritanical (the whole DIY and Straight Edge stuff). Sure, he has strong beliefs on certain issues but he's certainly not an uptight guy. I found him incredibly funny, intelligent, thoughtful, and even inspiring. The one word my wife used when describing him was "real".

We didn't have tickets so we waited in line and hoped there was extra room. Fortunately, the three of us got in (our 6 month old daughter was with us). Ian casually walked into the packed ballroom wearing his cargo shorts, sweatshirt, and muggers hat. After a brief introduction Ian explained the ground rules for the event: no video please (damn internets), you ask, I'll answer.

Over the next 90 minutes (it lasted two hours but we had to scoot early) Ian described the support he received from his family. He told a touching story about the kindness his Mom showed to the people who visited her Beecher St. home thinking it was Dischord House. His stories of growing up with Henry Rollins were especially funny. It's fascinating how life has taken them in different directions yet they remain best friends to this day.

Other subjects he touched upon were the effect of the internet on regional music, his stances on DRM (he's against any restrictions) and file sharing (he's for it). His views on file sharing were particularly interesting considering he owns a record label. His general advice is to be a patron of the arts - go to a show, buy a record album, let a band crash at your place. Just do something to support those making music. And when you do discover good music share it with your friends. He says music is meant to be free and all record companies sell is plastic.

After a while it was getting close to my daughters bedtime so we scooted out the side door. As I left with my daughter in my arms, Ian gave us a little wave as if to say "good night - thanks for coming". No problem Ian. The pleasure was all ours. Now get to work on that next Fugazi album...


Jumbo Slice said...

I just went back and read my review of The Evens from July of 2006. To quote:

"We scored a nice spot on the lawn with a clear view of the stage. After plopping down, I noticed a strange thing. Kids. Lots of them. The little bastards were everywhere. It seems all the Minor Threat and Fugazi fans have grown up, got married, and had kids. I found this comforting. It's nice to know I'll be able to enjoy some rock even after I have my seven kids."

Okay, we're not having 7 kids but we do bring our daughter to rock shows.

Jimbromski said...

stop quoting your own posts, you arrogant fuck

John Foster said...

I was enjoying this until I saw this self-quoting (felatting) comment. That guy is so smug and arrogant about having sex with his wife once... sheesh.

Jimbromski said...

hear hear