As a writer, Zachary Mexico chronicles the parallel between Eastern and Western culture in China Underground, a fascinating exploration of Chinese youth published in 2009 by Soft Skull Press. As a musician, Mexico fronts the grunge-punk trio The Octagon, whose brief lo-fi rock numbers are somehow just concise and enchanting enough to land at the unlikely but undeniable end of the pop spectrum. Like Pavement, Silkworm and Archers of Loaf before themand Dinosaur Jr. and Hüsker Dü before thatThe Octagon ride a wave of noisy guitars and clamoring drums into familiar but comforting territory: gritty, grungy, urgent indie rock. Unlike Mexicos timely literary work, records like The Octagons Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever could have just as easily been released 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. No, you wont find The Octagon breaking new ground at The Basement tonight, but you will find them jamming most fruitfully on fuzzy, nostalgic indie rock. Lets hope Mexico never has to choose between writing and playing music.
Tue., Jan. 12, 8 p.m., 2010