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.
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.
This interview appears in ALARM #40. Subscribe here to get your copy!
[Ed. note: ALARM contributing writer Bobby Markos was improperly uncredited in print. We sincerely regret the error.]
“Fuck Your Stuff”
With an ear for diversity and a mind for critical thought, Stefon Alexander — better known as rapper P.O.S — has maintained operations as a multi-instrumentalist by day and rap artist by night. The early-30-something is a man whose DIY/punk upbringing aligns him more with Ian MacKaye than Kanye West, and that’s reflected in his many and assorted rock-band roles, including his current gig as keyboardist/vocalist for Marijuana Deathsquads.
But no matter the project, Alexander continues to reinvent himself with each release. His latest as P.O.S, We Don’t Even Live Here, is a testament to his 360-degree perspective of both music and the world we live in. Here he discusses what has changed in his life as well as the new album’s danceable vibe and anti-capitalist theme.
“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.
Each Tuesday, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.
This week, we spoke with Neal Becton, owner of Som Records in Washington, DC. The small, well-curated record store is a staple in the DC community, and Becton is the force behind a number of events like the annual DC Record Fair and the monthly Brazilian Rhythms party. Having made three trips to Brazil primarily for the purpose of digging crates, there’s no question that Becton is committed to his craft, and Som’s diverse selection reflects his unequaled passion for music.
What can someone expect when visiting Som for the first time?
A small but tight shop with the best selection of used vinyl in DC. Being fairly small forces me to curate instead of just throwing everything out in the bins. I dig for records four to five days a week, so there’s always new stuff in here. I do sell new releases and touch a few genres that the other local stores don’t touch.