South Union Arts; Fri 15
Fugazi fans have been left high and dry since the D.C. punk icons went on indefinite hiatus in 2003. Apart from Ian MacKaye’s appearance with the Evens last year and drummer Brendan Canty’s recent swing through town with Bob Mould, the only live fix has been available through the ongoing release of archival concert recordings. Considering how rapturously the band rallied through the politically slack Clinton years, we’ve been clamoring to hear its members’ voices in these troubled times, and bassist Joe Lally is finally stepping up to the plate with the release of his first solo album, There to Here (Dischord).
Lally has crafted a moving set of stark and spare vocal tunes, focused on melancholic lyrics that keenly blend the personal and political issues of modern life: war, apathy, safety, consumerism. His plainspoken singing sometimes borders on beatnik spoken-word flow, and it’s always girded by his warmly enveloping bass lines.While Lally had plenty of help in the studio (including some tunes with Fugazi roadie-drummer Jerry Busher that evoke the ominous grooves of you-know-who), the stripped-down feel prevails, and this show should be a model of tension and restraint, with Lally joined only by percussionist Justin Moyer (a.k.a. gender-bender Edie Sedgwick, also playing with headliners Antelope). They may not be rocking out with any fist-pumping anthems, à la “Waiting Room,” but without the blaring guitars and sloganeering, it will be that much easier to hear the bass and thoughtful message.—Ben Taylor