Have you hugged your local independent record store lately? It might need it, what with all those kids downloading songs and pumping them into their iPods. Whatever happened to long, lazy afternoons picking through used record stacks and cutout bins, hoping to find that deleted 13th Floor Elevator comp or, even better, stumbling on something unknown, buying it, and then playing it to death? Osaka’s venerable Time Bomb Records remembers, and this year they’re celebrating their 15th anniversary with a special tour by two groups whose members epitomize the kind of music you discover in such a place.
The Evens are Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina. MacKaye was (and may still be) a member of Fugazi, Washington D.C.’s favorite do-it-yourself post-punk band for almost two decades; and Farina was the drummer in The Warmers with Alec MacKaye, Ian’s brother. As The Evens, they’ve shucked the angular, loud music that made the DC scene famous in favor of a low-key pop sound that is no less political-minded than Fugazi’s best stuff.
For two shows, they’ll be joined by Blind Beast, an improvisational noise-rock supergroup made up of Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, producer-musician Jim O’Rourke and Osaka’s own Yoshimi, the drummer for The Boredoms.
Since Blind Beast have not released any albums, nobody knows what they sound like, but that may be the point. Like discovering an unheard-of gem in a used record bin, the main thrill of seeing them live will be the shock of delight at stumbling upon the unknown.