Ian Mackaye is the same Ian Mackaye you probably lionized when he was in Minor Threat and Fugazi. It’s his music that’s changed. Even though there’s constant clamor from fans of his old bands for reunion tours and albums, one of the things most worth respecting about MacKaye is how he has matured, learned from his surroundings, and put these changes into his music.
Since 2001, MacKaye’s main band has been The Evens, a duo he formed with Amy Farina. MacKaye plays baritone guitar, Farina drums. The couple have three albums together—the most recent was The Odds, released in November 2012—but also a life. They have a child together. They tour. And those tours reflect an interest in community and cultural heritage that extends beyond clubs and noise.
The Evens like to keep ticket prices low, and they respect institutions like local art galleries, theaters, historic buildings and especially libraries and historical societies. (Earlier this year, MacKaye was invited to speak at the Library of Congress about his process of digitally archiving and distributing old recordings (including the Fugazi Live Series) through his Dischord record label and website.
So when The Evens play their rumbling, real-world folk music in New Haven later this month, the show will be at the New Haven Museum (formerly known as the New Haven Historical Society) at 114 Whitney Avenue. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $6. It’s an all-ages event.