Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ex-Fugazi guy to Texas cometh

It seems like all the old post-hardcore 'Meercun underground guys are back on the boards these days: Keith Morris (ex-Black Flag/ex-Circle Jerks) with OFF!, Greg Ginn (SST Records/ex-Black Flag) performing solo with looped samples under the rubric "Greg Ginn and the Royal We" (returning to the Fort, specifically Lola's, with Brooklynites Cinema, Cinema on Thursday, 11.3), and now ex-Fugazi bassist Joe Lally, who'll play Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin on Saturday, 11.5, then visit the Metromess for a stand at Big D's Bryan Street Tavern the following evening, Sunday, 11.6.

Depending on your perspective, Fugazi -- vets of the D.C. hardcore scene and founders of the straight-edge movement, fightin' the corporate powers that be before Pearl Jam took on Clear Channel -- were either principled or po-faced. A favorite, if apocryphal, story from a Sonic Youth bio I read had De Yoof's tour bus passing Fugazi's broke-down van on the side of the highway and Thurston, Kim and Co. throwing five dollar bills out the window at them. I missed out on all of the above in their heyday because I spent the decade '82-'92 guarding freedom's frontier and winning the Cold War. When I got out of the service, I went to my old rekkid store in Fort Worth and asked John Bargas, "What'd I miss?" He said, "The Replacements, the Minutemen, and Husker Du." My loss.

So until recently, Joe Lally was known to me principally as the impresario behind Tolotta Records, which released CDs I dug by Spirit Caravan and Stinking Lizaveta around Y2K. On his third solo CD, Why Should I Get Used To It, released on his Fugazi bandmate Ian MacKaye's Dischord label, he purveys a skronky, minimalist line in post-punk anomie, featuring his own bass and Everydude vocalismo alongside a pair of Italian musos (Lally currently resides in Roma): guitarist Elisa Abela and drummer Emanuele Tomasi. (For the U.S. tour, Allison Chesley from opening act Helen Money on amplified cello and Ricardo Lagomosino on drums are his bandmates.) The music has a nice brittle tension to it, like something's about to snap -- the kind of low-key psychodrama that'd go well in a small room like the Tavern.


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