With his much-missed Fugazi on indefinite hiatus, perpetually outspoken frontman Ian MacKaye has plenty of other projects to cultivate. In addition to speaking engagements and running his legendary proto-indie label Dischord, MacKaye is back onstage with the Evens, his lo-fi, intense duo with Amy Farina, formerly of Washington D.C.'s the Warmers. The Evens could easily cash in MacKaye's punk-royalty status for the best gigs in town, but they prefer to play small, non-traditional venues including art galleries, libraries and community centers. "I work really hard," MacKaye says from label headquarters Dischord House. "[Other] people, they punch out for the day and go home. I never punch out. I'm never off the clock, in a way." The lure, however, is clear. "I wake up every morning having something to do and wanting to do it," he says. Aside from the advantage of keeping costs down for fans (tickets are $5 at Notsuoh), MacKaye's reasoning for booking alternative venues squares with his famously DIY creed. "The kind of establishments where music can be presented [are] pretty limited, and largely dictated by one of two industries: the rock industry and the alcohol industry," he says. "And since we don't feel beholden to either, why not break free?"
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