Local Wire

Andrew Jackson Jihad / Destroy Nate Allen @ Trunk Space

I first met Nate Allen a couple of years ago, when he played a house show in downtown Tempe where he rolled up in a ramshackle van full of 'zines and self-pressed CD-Rs. I don't think the cops were called that night, but if they were, they would have stumbled onto an interesting scene. Allen, who plays under the nom de punk "Destroy Nate Allen," played a solitary acoustic guitar and sang songs about social justice and existentialist Christianity — his message landing somewhere between the work of disparate theologians Kierkegaard and Mike Ness — before a house full of back-patched anarcho-punks and a curious mix of indie kids. Allen doesn't play by himself anymore. He's joined by his wife, Tessa, and the two perform as a "punk rock I Love Lucy," according to the guys in Andrew Jackson Jihad, who will join Destroy Nate Allen, Porches, and Dogbreth for a folk-punk showcase at the Trunk Space on Thursday. The duo usually performs sans microphone, roaming throughout the crowd, engaging attendees in dance and sing-alongs. Fans of traditional Christian rock need not apply; Destroy Nate Allen makes music less about proselytizing and more about communicating.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.