Happy Birthday to Ian MacKaye: The de Vere's Irish Pub Quiz Newsletter

About Ian MacKaye, Straight Edge, and Alcohol.

The  Pub Quiz begins at 7 p.m. every Monday. Show up early to get a seat! 

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,

I read today on the website for radio station WTOP that my old friend Ian MacKaye was recently treated to a surprise 50th birthday party. Ian is a central figure in the Washington DC punk rock scene, having founded the groups Teen Idles, Minor Threat, and Fugazi, so a number of his old friends came out to fete him, some of whom hadn’t seen Ian in years.

Ian was an influence on me as a child because of his patience and kind heart, rather than because of his music (which my brother Oliver loved). Ian’s brother Alec introduced me to Ted Nugent, for which he should be forgiven, and Queen, for which he should be celebrated. Ian was older than me (obviously), but he would sometimes attend the musical performances that we would put on in our house, just a half block from his own. One time he accused our band The Headaches of being a rip-off of The Monkees (perhaps because our signature song began “Hey, Hey, We’re the Headaches”).

Ian introduced me and many other young people to the “straight edge” movement, a sub-genre of the punk phenomenon. Taking its name from one of Ian’s songs, followers of the straight edge philosophy abstained from alcohol, drugs, smoking, and violence. Some, like Ian, chose also to be vegans. Staying away from alcohol was a challenge to teenagers in Washington DC where the drinking age was 18, but I managed to do so until I was, say, about 23 (thanks, Kate). I never did pick up those other vices. Now I attract people to the joys of Guinness in a pub with my clever questions and loud humor. I wonder what Ian would say.

Tonight’s Pub Quiz will feature questions on alcohol of various sorts, as well as bookstores, perfection, popular movies, weasels, world leaders with friends in high (American) places, islands where Gilligan never lived, rock bands, milk sickness, baseball, chemical elements that you need or you get sick, rich people, southerners with big smiles, notable deaths, killer politicians, Disney, people named Alex, educations, adventures, champs, hookers, country music (as I do at least once a year), Gaga, the best minds of my generation, even more Disney (too much, really), energy policy, big republics, married co-stars, physics, children’s literature, radio stars, Democrats, humor, basketball, and Shakespeare.

Thanks to all of you who supported KDVS last week. They have almost reached their pledge goal, and they have plenty of premiums left if you want to help.

See you tonight!

Your Quizmaster

Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:

1.         Newspaper Headlines. In what country did the recent Secret Service prostitution scandal take place? 

2.         Four for Four. Which of the following presidents or candidates for president married their cousins? Michael Dukakis, Rudy Guiliani, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

3.         Bottled Water. The U.S. is the largest consumer market for bottled water in the world. China is the third largest, followed by Brazil. What is the second? 

4.         Film. What 2008 film stars James McAvoy, and features previous Academy Award winners Angelina Jolie, and Morgan Freeman? 

5.         Pop Culture – Music. From 1995-2000, American singer-songwriter and record producer Ben Folds was the frontman and pianist of what alternative rock band? 

P.S. Carlos Reyes reads his poetry Thursday night at 8 at the John Natsoulas Gallery. I hope you can join us! The after-party takes place at de Vere’s.

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