Arts Desk

Sweating to the (Punk Rock) Oldies at Ian MacKaye’s 50th Birthday

This is not a picture from Ian MacKaye's birthday party.

So, what'd you miss at local punk godfather Ian MacKaye's super secret 50th birthday party at St. Stephen's? WTOP's Neal Augenstein has an anonymously sourced report (and some pictures to boot):

The party was thrown Saturday night by Amy Farina—MacKaye's wife and bandmate in The Evens, and Jeff Nelson—MacKaye's former bandmate in Minor Threat and co-owner of Dischord.

"It was a heavily guarded secret," reports one invitee.

The emailed invite requested guests not bring presents for MacKaye, who throughout his career has insisted on low prices for his bands' concerts and records.

"Ian was totally blown away," says an insider. "He arrived with his two year old son on his shoulders, and was clearly surprised."

Augenstein reports there were 50 7-inch-sized cakes, and a handful of musical performers. (One wonders: If it were the birthday of MacKaye's Fugazi bandmate Guy Picciotto, would they have served ice-cream cakes?)

The musical lineup was this, according to my own anonymous source (as well as the Facebook page of Government Issue frontman John Stabb) Updated with more info:

  • A solo set by Ted Leo, who also played two shows at the Black Cat this weekend. Leo also switched to bass to accompany Minor Threat's Brian Baker, Fugazi fifth man Jerry Busher, and MacKaye's siblings Alec and Amanda in a cover of Sham 69's "Borstal Breakout."
  • Kid Congo Powers—joined by Medications' Mark Cisneros, Fugazi's Brendan Canty, Tom Bunnell, and Alyssa Bell—did some classic garage-rock covers, including "Goo Goo Muck" by Ronnie Cook (famously covered by Kid Congo's old band, The Cramps), "Psychotic Reaction" by Count Five, and "We Love Peanut Butter" by The One Way Streets.
  • Mary Timony—with Baker, Cisneros, and Jonah Takagi—covered "I Know a Girl" by The Undertones, "Do You Wanna Dance?" by The Ramones, and "Ex-Lion Tamer" by Wire.
  • Chain and the Gang closed it out. And Ian Svenonius DJed.
  • Speakers included Jeff Nelson and Fugazi soundman Joey Picuri.

Wish I'd been there to see it. I bet you do, too.

Photo by Bert Queiroz/courtesy Dischord Records. And oops: Neal Augenstein's first name is not spelled "Neil."
Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • Ben

    What kind of beer did they serve?

  • Simon Jacobsen

    Ian is Washington's own "George Baily", he never does anything for himself and is always looking out for others. It is good to see that he got a big party for his birthday. I am sorry that I had to miss it, but I knew that it would be over the top.

  • Hesaposer

    He's DC's biggest poser.

...