Ian MacKaye has been around Washington DC longer than most congresspeople. The Dischord Records co-founder has been part of two of the most celebrated groups ever to come out of the area, Minor Threat and Fugazi, and now tours with The Evens, his partnership with Amy Farina. Apart from his music and a successful label, MacKaye acts as an archivist, working with others to collect live concert material of Fugazi.
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Born in Moscow, NYC-based painter and illustrator Dimitri Drjuchin creates bright, mystical eye candy that reads like a riddle. You may recognize his surrealist work from gig posters for comics Marc Maron, Jim Gaffigan, Eugene Mirman, and Hannibal Buress — or, more recently, you might have spotted his mind-bending cover for Fear Fun, the debut album from Father John Misty.
Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.
“King of Kings”
The likelihood of hearing another new Fugazi album grows increasingly unlikely by the year, but for a while, it seemed almost as unlikely to hear another new album from Ian MacKaye and domestic partner Amy Farina as The Evens. It has been six years since the release of Get Evens, which might be due to the two having their first child together — but the benefit of such a partnership is being able to pick up again without missing a beat.
Nearly 15 years after it was recorded, Bush Tetras’ 1998 album Happy is finally getting a release. The band, an under-famous staple of the New York post-punk scene, formed in 1979, breaking up and reuniting several times, most recently getting together in 2007. The record, produced by Don Fleming (Sonic Youth, The Screaming Trees), fell into release-and-copyright hell when original distributor Mercury was sold.
William Elliott Whitmore: “Everything Gets Gone”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/04-Everything-Gets-Gone.mp3|titles=William Elliott Whitmore: “Everything Gets Gone”]
Folk songwriter William Elliott Whitmore graced the cover of ALARM 35 back in 2009, right after he had made the jump to Anti- (read story here). At the time, he was promoting his new album, Animals in the Dark, which saw his blues-infused creations bolstered by additions of pedal steel, organs, strings, and drums. Now, he’s set to release a new full-length, Field Songs, which speaks to a uniquely American experience. Never one to hide his political beliefs, Whitmore was kind enough to share with us 10 of his favorite anti-war songs.
10 Anti-War Songs
by William Elliott Whitmore
1. Operation Ivy: “Unity”
A bit of protest from the Bay Area’s premier ska outfit.
The Thermals: “I Don’t Believe You” (Personal Life, KRS, 9/7/10)
We asked The Thermals, the Portland pop-punk power trio, to name a few of its favorite recent releases. The band’s drummer, Westin Glass, responded with a list of five records that ranges from radio-friendly pop to an independent artist that calls himself the “black Bob Dylan.” Whether or not you share Glass’ taste, you can appreciate his sentiment that some music exists to help you laugh and get laid.
This one may be hard to swallow for you indie-rock fans — but I assure you, it’s worth it. Definitely a “singles” record, with three mega smash hits on Top 40 radio. I first heard Jason DeRulo‘s track “Whatcha Say” blasting on the one working speaker in my friend’s car last year and immediately loved it. The digitally distressed Imogen Heap sample in that song makes for the most memorable hook of 2009.
I also love “Ridin’ Solo,” a great post-breakup, self-psych-up song. Jason DeRulo knows how to make a fucking hit — a bubble-gummy blast of ear sugar that will lighten your mood and get stuck in your head. Speaking of which, his track “In My Head” is stuck in my head right now.
Poster Art is a weekly column about today’s independent poster art and the artists who create it.
Based in the Chicagoland area, Justin Santora is an illustrator whose work focuses primarily on the themes of construction and disassembly, as well as “the pursuit for security and the desire for autonomy.” His perspective stems from the concept and process of “constructing something from the ground up” and an ongoing interest in subcultures.
Many of Santora’s illustrations focus on the reoccurring motifs of unfinished buildings, houses, and general architectural structure, while other poster designs simply hint at his love for animals. His pieces often include imagery of abandoned spaces and empty rooms that produce a sense of isolation, as well as despondence within human relations. Additionally, his more recent works include a strong presence of light, shadows, and translucent, haunting human figures.