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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, and resistance to mainstream outlets, they will instead be known for their intelligent songwriting and undeniably proficient musicianship, which drew from their roots in Washington, D.C. hardcore, as well as post-punk and dub reggae. Songs like "Waiting Room" and "Suggestion," as well as albums such as Repeater and Red Medicine, are considered post-hardcore benchmarks. 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 roots 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 emo sub-genre that reached prominence years later. After further honing their cathartic live act and expanding their material, their first EP, Fugazi, was released in late 1988. More an extension of Rites of Spring's thick, dynamic, varied-tempo soul-bearing than anything else, the EP featured "Suggestion," which became 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 a woman's point of view and railed against objectification. The similarly Margin Walker EP followed the next year and was later coupled with Fugazi on CD as 13 Songs. Repeater, the band's first proper album, was released in 1990. A toughened and refined progression, it's generally regarded as a classic. Steady Diet of Nothing, issued in 1991, it was clearly the band's most challenging material to that point. Two years passed until In on the Killtaker, an abrasive set that registered on Billboard's main album chart, the Billboard 200, at number 153. While major labels were interested in signing the band and even linking with Dischord, a label that had lost Jawbox to Atlantic and Shudder to Think to Epic, they were turned away. As the increasing responsibilities of adulthood and outside musical involvements increased, Fugazi's recordings and tours became more sporadic during the latter half of the '90s. Both Red Medicine (1995) and End Hits (1998) were looser and more exploratory than the band's earliest recordings. Instrument (1999), a documentary video directed by Jem Cohen, was released with an accompanying soundtrack and included live performances and interviews. The soundtrack featured demos, jams, and incidental cutting room scraps. Fugazi's sixth proper album, The Argument (2001), was simultaneously issued with the three-song Furniture EP. Outside 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. Though they never officially disbanded, Fugazi remained dormant as the years spun on, MacKaye touring and recording more with the Evens, his band with Amy Farina. In 2011, Dischord launched the Fugazi Live Series, an online archive that grew to house recordings of various qualities of every one of the band's more than 1,000 shows. When the series reached it's goal of complete documentation of the band's live work, Dischord marked the end of the phase with the release of First Demo, a re-mastered issue of the band's preveiously unreleased ten song demo recording from 1988. ~ Andy Kellman
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Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Waiting Room
  3.   Smallpox Champion
  4.   Great Cop
  5.   Repeater
  6.   Blueprint
  7.   Bed For the Scraping
  8.   Target
  9.   Give Me the Cure
  10.   Suggestion
  11.   Merchandise
  12.   Reclamation
  13.   Two Beats Off
  14.   Song #1
  15.   Styrofoam
  16.   Sweet and Low
  17.   Burning Too
  18.   Promises
  19.   Burning
  20.   Provisional
  21.   Downed City
  22.   23 Beats Off
  23.   Latest Disgrace
  24.   Birthday Pony
  25.   Turnover
  26.   Nightshop
  27.   The Kill
  28.   Full Disclosure
  29.   Fell, Destroyed
  30.   Do You Like Me
  31.   Lockdown
  32.   Returning the Screw
  33.   Shut the Door
  34.   Reprovisional
  35.   By You
  36.   Strangelight
  37.   Brendan #1
  38.   Epic Problem
  39.   Dear Justice Letter
  40.   Runaway Return
  41.   Exit Only
  42.   Long Distance Runner
  43.   Combination Lock
  44.   Glue Man
  45.   Bad Mouth
  46.   Walken's Syndrome
  47.   Cassavetes
  48.   Public Witness Program
  49.   Facet Squared
  50.   Last Chance For a Slow Dance
  51.   Instrument
  52.   Sieve-Fisted Find
  53.   Greed
  54.   Joe #1
  55.   Break-In
  56.   And the Same
  57.   Nice New Outfit
  58.   Stacks
  59.   Latin Roots
  60.   Steady Diet
  61.   Margin Walker
  62.   Bulldog Front
  63.   Long Division
  64.   Polish
  65.   Argument
  66.   Version
  67.   Cashout
  68.   Forensic Scene
  69.   Ex-Spectator
  70.   Oh
  71.   Life and Limb
  72.   Back to Base
  73.   [Untitled Track]

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