Ian MacKaye on Against Everyone with Conner Habib

4 Aug

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What a wonderful honor to have legendary musician, Fugazi/The Evens/Coriky frontman, archivist, and founder of Dischord Records, Ian MacKaye on AEWCH.

It’s difficult to introduce Ian or to overstate his impact on many people’s lives, especially many artists’ lives. So instead of just describing him, I’ve included a spotify playlist of some of my favorite songs from Ian here. Ian’s music, and his steadfast political engagement have been instrumental in my life, my ethics, and, my creative life. I’m so happy to have had this conversation, and to share it with you. It was a strengthening and enlivening conversation with me, and I hope it is for you too.


  • Finding the sense of joy in life itself as the terribleness of the world appears to encroach
  • The (mis)uses of anger
  • The value of listening to an Order of nuns in Alaska
  • Balancing how much you enter into society and how
  • The importance of everyday sounds and sights
  • Square sounds versus round sounds and the flip book effect of digital media
  • The benefits of landlines
  • The tyranny of options and the importance of limits
  • The moment fear enters an activity
  • Punk as folk music and shows as folk activity


• For more on Ian, here’s a great interview with him and his recording process in the (also great) Tape Op Magazine. And here’s an interview with him in 2015 from Huck Magazine. There’s an entire archive of Fugazi shows available on the Dischord Records site. Jem Cohen’s film about Fugazi, Instrument, is by far one of the best documentaries of music and creativity ever made. You can link to it here, but also consider buying it if you’d like to support Jem’s work. There’s also a great book about Keep Your Eyes Open: The Fugazi Photographs of Glen E. Friedman that’s available on the booklist above. Finally, Ian just had a new record come out with his latest band, Coriky. It’s excellent. I’ve included some of the songs on the playlist above, but do consider buying it (especially on vinyl!).

• Have you seen The Thin Red Line? It’s such a beautiful film. Take some time and watch it.• Here’s that great quote from Tape Op: “The thing I am most interested in is the higher version of music. The one that was around before the recording industry. That deep, connective form that takes over, not one, but two senses – you hear it, but also feel it. It touches us emotionally or spiritually.”

• I think I got my science right on the waves! I’m not totally sure. But, without a value judgment here, it’s also what some of the people worried about 5G say – the length and sheer number of the microwaves creates, uh, all sorts of issues.

• Rites Of Spring is a great band. Here’s their song, “Drink Deep.

• I talk a bit about sex work and the uses of detachment on AEWCH 44 with Kelly Link & Jordy Rosenberg, AEWCH 69 with Heather Berg & Sovereign Syre, and also AEWCH 88 with Johnny Hazzard.

Until next time,

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