Fugazi

The sound engineers for DC postpunk heroes Fugazi, one of the greatest live bands on the planet back when they were still a functional live band, did the world a favor by recording most of the shows that the band played over the years. And recently, the band launched a massive archive of those live recordings, available to you for anywhere from $1 to $100 (the suggested price is $5) right here. This is a new venture; they’re still adding shows, and will get up to 800 or so by the end of it all. The search function doesn’t work too well at the moment. But Fugazi never did anything halfassed, so chances are they’ll get all that ironed out soon. As far as I know, the band never played a live show that wasn’t worth hearing, and the site also includes a ton of photos and bits of info, and users can contribute more; it’s fun to browse around and wonder what the 1/20/88 show in Matt Kelly’s basement in East Lansing was like, for instance. And who knows? Maybe all this will lead to Fugazi getting back together to play a few more shows. They never officially broke up, after all. Check out the live archive here.

Also, the New York Times’ Ben Sisario recently published a big article about the project’s genesis, which includes quotes from Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye and Guy Piccioto. It’s well worth reading; check it out here.

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Comments (10)
  1. Maybe I’m not seeing it in the New York Times article, but I read somewhere that they apparently poured tens of thousands of dollars into this project, which I think gives you a good picture just how passionate Dischord is as a label to pseudo-sanctify music (as it should be.) I don’t even know where to start in this archive, but it’s one of the cooler things I’ve seen in some time.

    Also, the Void reissue is a must-have.

  2. Sort of hoping that this could mark the start of a shift in music, where there’s maybe less emphasis on bands recording albums and more emphasis on taping and releasing live recordings like this that serve as a snapshot of the band at that time.

  3. Took me a couple of tries to download my shows, but I am listening to them now. In an effort to keep a lot of you from pulling out your hair, PLEASE read the “Store Help” information offered on the Dischord website. Windows wouldn’t let me extract the files, even after I manually marked them safe. I went through WinZip and one other application without success before I read on the Dischord site that Windows users will likely have to get FLYzip. They link you to everything you need, and it is free.

    Also, I wasn’t prompted to the download. I had to click through “shipped” on “My Account” to actually download manually.

    I am sure they are working through these issues, what a ridiculous undertaking on their part.

    The shows I got sound unbelievable.

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