Three DC-based bands on Ian MacKaye’s Dischord Records travel to Indio, Calif., for the next two weekends to play at one of the largest and most exciting music festivals — the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Deathfix, The Make-Up and The Evens, featuring MacKaye, play the Gobi Stage. Deathfix appear on Friday at 1:10-1:40pm, The Evens on Saturday at 2:35-3:15pm and the Make-Up on Saturday at 7:05-7:55pm.
Deathfix, a relatively new band consisting of veteran musicians Brendan Canty, former drummer of Fugazi, and producer Rich Morel, recently put out their first album on Dischord. I caught up with the talented and gracious Mr. Canty to ask him about playing Coachella and what’s next for his band.
My jaw dropped when I looked at the Coachella lineup this morning and saw The Evens on there! The Evens are a DC-based duo consisting of hometown hero Ian MacKaye (founder of Dischord Records, Fugazi, Minor Threat…) and his wife Amy Farina (formerly of The Warmers). The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is a big, three-day music & arts extravaganza that happens outside of Palm Springs, California every April. It is a strange event to imagine the super-DIY/indie duo appearing at, but kudos to them! That’ll be something to see!
Also representing our nation’s capital at the Coachella Festival will be the recently reunited Make-Up. Frontman Ian Svenonius (formerly of Nation of Ulysses, Weird War, currently in Chain & the Gang) is well-known for his style and crazy southern-revival-type stage antics. The group reunited in 2012 for the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival (along with a couple DC shows). (Svenonius also has a book out right now titled Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group, which is awesome- laugh-out-loud funny, smart, artfully written and educational at the same time. I highly recommend it.)
Hooray for DC bands representing the District at Coachella!
At this point does Henry Rollins really require an introduction? Since the hardcore punk era Rollins has been a jack-of-all-trades entertainer and thought-provoker with his bands, books, acting gigs, radio shows, spoken word tours, stand-up comedy, and most recently two National Geographic television specials about ‘the warrior gene’ and about snakes! Rollins grew-up in DC and to celebrate his 50th birthday on Sunday (50th!? We’re getting old!) he is coming home to put on two sold out shows at National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium. I recently caught up with the notoriously tight-lipped Rollins and wrestled a few answers out of him.
“The reason this is the best club in America is the people that work here. Trust me, most nightclubs are terrible places. You don’t want to go there.” – Neill Fallon of Clutch.
“I can not imagine a DC without the 9:30 Club. It is unimaginable. It’s just unimaginable” - Mark Noone of The Slickee Boys.
“I love the fact that I’m from DC!” – Henry Rollins
“Let’s kick on the way back machine and get this thing over with.” – Bob Mould.
One of the truly singular music events I have ever attended took place on Monday night at the 9:30 Club. It was a special free concert held in celebration of this legendary club’s 30th anniversary. The night was also a celebration of the people who work (and have worked) there, the icons who got their start there, and the wonderful music that has been played there over the last 30 years. The night was full of anecdotes and music from 13 bands and artists that have strong ties to both the old and new 9:30 Club locations. For some the evening was a living, breathing, crash course in DC music history; for others it was a fun and at times even emotional trip down memory lane.
The 9:30 Club (original location) is the nightclub I cut my teeth on when I moved here in 1993. Within a few days of arriving I was catching my first show there (British twee-band Heavenly); and in the months and years after many, many more shows followed. I once took a date there to see The Boredoms and she left with a black-eye. My little brother did his first stage dive when I took him there to see Helmet. I was completely enthralled with industrial music after hearing Einstruzende Neubauten on the PA before the melodramatic, dynamite-strapped Sheep on Drugs brought the house down with their industrial-dance mayhem. And I was seduced along with everyone else in the crowd by Toni Halliday and the sounds of Curve. The old club opened my mind to most of the music that I still passionately love today.
The V st. location is without a doubt the best club-venue in the country. I’ve been to concert halls all over the U.S.A. and it always comes back to the 9:30 Club’s awesome sound-system (which I have written/gushed about at length over the years). Seeing a concert at the 9:30 Club is a sublime experience for a die-hard music fan. Perhaps none more-so than the amazing show that club-owner Seth Hurwitz treated dedicated DC music fans to on Monday night.