"Oh, California, you have your boundaries..."
  • "Oh, California, you have your boundaries..."
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The Evens, a D.C.-based duo of Ian MacKaye (formerly of Minor Threat and Fugazi) and Amy Farina (formerly of the Warmers) performed a lively, powerful set at the Irenic, playing several songs from their debut, self-titled album as well as select cuts off of their second and third Dischord releases, Get Evens and The Odds.

Both sing while Mackaye plays a red baritone guitar with Farina on the drums. Their song lyrics focus primarily on social and political issues. When singing them, the pair trades off lines in a call and response. Their voices are compatible, and the harmonies complement the lo-fi instruments and jazz-punk stylings.

The hour-long set may not have sounded as loud and fast-paced as a Minor Threat show, but the Evens evoke a similar force in their tension-filled songcraft.

The first song that they played, “Shelter Two,” has a repeating chorus of “It’s all downhill from here.” MacKaye explained how this song does not have a negative theme, that if it is, in fact, “all downhill from here,” you must be at a pretty high up place in your life. MacKaye talked about the lyrics to “Let’s Get Well,” in which he sings, “Oh California, you have your boundaries.” He explained that this is about how three out of the four California borders were made by man. After a quiet pause of people considering what exactly he meant, MacKaye joked, “That shit’s deep,” and then invited the crowd to check out their ten-dollar albums at the front of the stage.

  • Concert: The Evens
  • Date: April 10
  • Venue: The Irenic
  • Seats: General (front left)
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