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Fugazi

If history is kind to Fugazi, their records won't be overshadowed by their reputation and methods of operation. Instead of being known for their community activism, five-dollar shows, ten-dollar CDs, resistance to mainstream outlets, and the laughably fictitious folklore surrounding their lifestyle, they will instead be identified as setting a high bar for artistic excellence that is frequently aimed for but seldom achieved with great frequency. During their existence, the four-piece created some of the most intelligent, invigorating, and undeniably musical post-hardcore rock & roll. Along with their stridently underground ethics -- which were more out of pragmatism and modesty than anything else -- they gained an extremely loyal and numerous global following. To many, Fugazi meant as much to them as Bob Dylan did to their parents. Somewhat better to look at, perhaps, and certainly more accessible, but just as commanding of attention and adoration. More than anything, Fugazi inspired; they showed that art can prevail over commerce.

Drummer Brendan Canty, bassist Joe Lally, and guitarists/vocalists Ian MacKaye, and Guy Picciotto formed Fugazi in 1987. Initially a trio, Picciotto was added to the lineup after the band's first live shows. Prior to forming, the members already had deep pedigrees in the D.C. punk scene. Dischord labelhead MacKaye, who had previously been in the Teen Idles and Minor Threat, had just come from Embrace. For better or worse, Embrace, along with Picciotto and Canty's better Rites of Spring, kick-started the emocore sub-genre that would rise to prominence ten years later.

After further honing their cathartic live act and expanding their material, their first EP (Fugazi, also known as Seven Songs) was released in late 1988. More of an extension of Rites of Spring's thick, dynamic, varied-tempo soul-bearing than anything else, the EP featured "Suggestion," which would become the band's most well-known song. Though the course of rock history shows that loud music created by angry men tends to be of a predatory nature, "Suggestion" was an anomaly. MacKaye spoke from the female point of view, railing with frustration at how their sex is objectified. Not hampering the song's status as one of the most recognized chunks of late-'80s post-hardcore was its catchy, vaguely reggae-influenced rhythms and searing guitars.

The similarly veined Margin Walker EP followed the next year and was later coupled with Fugazi on CD as 13 Songs. Though suffering slightly from lyrical shortcomings (MacKaye and Picciotto grandstand too much), 1990's full-length debut Repeater is generally regarded as a classic. Toughening and refining the band's shockingly propulsive lockstep dynamics (see "Repeater" and "Styrofoam"), it still left several critics and a few fans wondering if the band was becoming a one-trick pony. A year later, the cynics were proven wrong with Steady Diet of Nothing, clearly the band's most challenging material to date. Branching out lyrically and limiting the finger pointing, Steady Diet also varied from its predecessors with more imaginative arrangements and less visceral qualities. Two years passed until In on the Killtaker, the band's most abrasively black-and-white record. With scabous guitars and extended stretches of discordance, some of the songs were among the band's most aggressive and angular.

At this point, the band's reputation for political correctness got a little out of hand. Word of mouth and touring was providing more new fans than ever, which was good and bad. Fugazi's energetic shows became the stuff of legend, known for the level of emotional release and Picciotto's wild stage antics as much as the band's anti-moshing stance. With the rise of the band's popularity, the venues got bigger and the ignorant crowd behavior became harder to control. There were loads of irony in clusters of bare-chested young men throwing themselves around and injuring others while the band played their often anti-violent material. MacKaye would often stop the band mid-song to calm the crowd down, occasionally offering troublemakers their money back to leave the venue.

Since the band didn't do interviews with major publications, some journalists were left to improvise and opted to take creative license. The rumor mill amongst the fan base was equally imaginative. In fact, some concertgoers might have been surprised to see the band pull up to venues in a van, not arriving by a convoy of camels. Those who spoke with bandmembers were surprised to hear that they lived in houses -- not monasteries -- with running furnaces and that their diets weren't strictly rice-based. Worse yet, the band gained a reputation for not having a sense of humor. Their records never kicked out the yucks (they weren't Ween, after all), but this was probably the most unwarranted myth of all. Those who were resourceful enough to find interviews with the band in small fanzines might have been shocked to read that MacKaye was influence by Ted Nugent as much as Jimi Hendrix. Now that takes a sense of humor.

As the increasing responsibilities of adulthood and outside musical involvements increased, Fugazi's recordings and tours became more sporadic. Red Medicine was released another two years after In on the Killtaker, chipping away some of the latter's abrasion in favor of more jam-oriented experiments. It certainly wasn't a wholesale junking of the band's early sound, but more a matter of wanting to do things differently. They still sounded like Fugazi, but they weren't painting themselves into a corner, either. The even wilder End Hits came in 1998, amidst rumors of the band being put to rest. Eschewing the notion, more choppy touring in support of the record continued throughout the year. In 1999, the Instrument video and soundtrack hit the shelves. The result of several years spent working on a proper Fugazi documentary, friend Jem Cohen assembled a lengthy homage to the fab four, including live performances and interviews. The soundtrack featured demos, jams, and incidental cutting room scraps, still forming an enjoyable listen that focused on the band's instrumental talents. 2001 saw release of the band's sixth proper LP, The Argument, which was simultaneously issued with the three-song Furniture EP. Outside of Fugazi, both MacKaye and Picciotto helped other bands with production. MacKaye continued to operate Dischord, and Lally began his own label, Tolotta. Picciotto also ventured into filmmaking. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Furniture

Comments

radman075
First band I ever saw live, Steady Diet tour, and still the best I've seen ever!
ericcraigsha r p
If your not a fugazi fan we can't be friends!
nuff sed
41 please... you're just a youngin... 49 and still slammin...
I am 41 yrs old and still rock Fugazi to date, up here in the great NW!! Very influential in my my music career. A thousand thank you's Fugazi!!!!!
One of the most underrated bands. An all time favorite band. Thanks for your strong artistic abilities of being a true band and your appreciating lyrics, music, and ethics. \m/
you like fugazi you will love my band called The Sexy Dipshits
Fugazi is awesome one of the bands that diy and succeeded F**k yes
Fugazi is a band that can not be denied of their props. Great music and great ideas.
Great music, one of my favorite bands to come out of d.c. along with Minor Threat.
The first band to change everything for me
The first band that I ever had to see solo! No one was in town to share with me this awesome experience. They were impressive live just like any of their gigs recorded tracks available. One of my fav bands. Just start off with 13 Songs and slowly progress throughout their catalog. F*cked Up Got Ambushed Zipped In
...like this track...
Martin
La Roque
2/14

dgaffn

f4f
Fugazi was, real, raw, and intelligent. One of the best ever
FUGAZI IS FRENCH FOR LAME BAND
ryansletten, agreed entirely. voleniter, play a copy of waiting room for most, and they know it.
Funny all these words left on an instrumental , and every one of them wrong, fugazi didn't play music to live, dance, cry, or even enjoy, merely a medium to provoke a thought about a different way of life, a communal ethic based journey on the edges of as society that could care less about life than consumption. It wad just understood that impressionab l e minds are easily reached and digested through music and melody, nursery rhymes for the million headed child, that still, still got it wrong. Goo
saw them at Harro east ballroom in rochester,NY . excellent. and real
claricentp91 7
If you wanna make some extra cash from home you can go to BLUDOS.COM and Click on Start Today then go from there. You don't need to pay to start.
shawnnavuz71 1
I've been making over $350 a week from home using this site called BLUDOS.COM basically you take surveys for cash. You can do this for free as well.
Am I right or wrong?
Minor threat,fugaz i the best ever! Then EMBRACE really! Sucked!
ryansletten
Voleniter, bio doesn't say they're anything about fugazi being similar to bob dylan. It says they inspired that kind of loyalty within their own fanbase. It's completely true and for the record Dylan's lyrics are fine but his voice irritates the f**k outta me.
Wow. Talk about a fanboy written bio. Jeez man, get off their nuts. Nowhere near as influential as Bobby D. Mainly because no one had ever heard of this band, and everyone in the world knows the words to at least one Dylan song. Great band in their own right, but not a Dylan-esque group.
fugaziq
Best band ever as far as I am concerned! As a bass player/ singer/song writer/ in various bands and a social studies teacher, Fugazi has always been a huge inspiration for me!
The only thing wrong with the bio is that people have no reading comprehensio n .
BENLZ
Fugazi $5 dollar shows were the best!! Miss it
Punks not Dead!
What's wrong with what the reviwer wrote? Serious question I want to know
dcrefinishin g
Grew up around DC but somehow managed to never make it to a Fugazi show, They are good but over hyped in my opinion. Dismembermen t plan was a much better DC band.
punks 4 life
Old Fat and Still PUNK
This bio is an insult to the band & anyone who has ever enjoyed fugazi's music
We need to kickstart the punk movement once again!!!!!! PUNK FOREVER!!!! follow me if you agree!!!!
Great f*cking band. Review written by an idiot.
Please don't leave me to remain.
They are better performers than musicians they fugazi is performance art period nothing more.
These guys were awesome. they came to play a show at Univ of Southern Miss in Fall '88 or Spring '89 based on letters written by a friend of mine!
Red Medicine was the first album I 'd heard. I was in high school and I was sold! The soundtrack to the most pivotal time in my life, and I relish in it.
Long Live Fugazi.
Minor threat was some of my first exposure to the punk rock scene, so Fugazi didn't work too well for me at the beginning, but they're starting to grow on me.
I saw pearl jam open up for these guys at the Hollywood palladium. What does that say about these guys!
Of course I love Fugazi, but holy s**t this review writer deserves some credit.
In on the Kill Taker is the greatest straight edge record of all time. Now, I'll drink to that!!!
Yo PCD....
Get a fricking life, redneck!
It's time to meet Jamaicans :)
I saw these guys play City Gardens in Trenton NJ. Best show ever!
PCD SAYS:There is an ancient story that King Midas hunted in the forest a long time for the wise Silenus, the companion of Dionysus. . . . When Silenus at last fell into his hands, the king asked what was the best and most desirable of all things for man. Fixed and immovable, the demigod said not a word, till at last, urged by the king, he gave a shrill laugh and broke out into these words: Oh, wretched ephemeral race, children of chance and misery, why do you compel me to tell you what it would
Some of my heroes. Thanks, boys!
jo3hn72
I wish I could have seen the show.
nick.difranc o
One of the greatest ever. Truly on another level. Fugazi changed the game because they were one of the first bands to show that punk wasn't a sound..it was a LIFESTYLE. They talked the talk, and most certainly, walked the walk.
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