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Ian MacKaye to speak at the Library of Congress

April 24, 2013
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Groundbreaking singer, songwriter, and guitarist Ian MacKaye, co-founder of Dischord Records and a key figure in the development of punk and straightedge music, will speak at the Library of Congress on personal digital archiving and the need to educate creators and users in ways to steward our digital cultural heritage.

MacKaye will speak on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at 6 p.m. in the Mumford Room of the James Madison Memorial Building, located at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, sponsored by the Library’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

As both performer and producer, MacKaye has documented music coming out of the Washington, D.C. underground for the past 30 years. Following his remarks, he will take questions from the audience.

MacKaye founded Dischord Records as a teenager in 1980 with partner Jeff Nelson. Their original intent was simply to release a single to document their recently defunct band, The Teen Idles. The label has since gone on to release music from more than 60 bands, with more than 160 albums during the past 25 years. In the process, the label performed a citizen-archivist role, documenting Washington-area music in many forms and catalyzing cultural activity and community-building in the nation’s capital and around the world.

MacKaye and Nelson went on to form Minor Threat, a group that, along with Bad Brains, has been credited in the early 1980s with introducing the DC hardcore ethic to an audience beyond Washington.

In 1986, MacKaye formed Fugazi with Joe Lally, Brendan Canty and Guy Picciotto. Between 1986 and 2003, the band released seven albums and played more than 1,000 concerts in 50 states and several foreign countries. The band’s sound engineers recorded more than 800 of these shows. The Fugazi Live Series was begun in 2004 to create and make available a complete archive of the Fugazi concert experience.

Since 2001, MacKaye has played in The Evens, a duo with Amy Farina, which revels in short-circuiting the conventions of rock music and performs mostly in non-traditional music spaces -- libraries, art spaces, schools and theaters.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s pre-eminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The Library provides information, understanding and inspiration to the public, scholars, Members of Congress and their staffs. Many of the Library’s resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website at www.loc.gov.
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