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Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

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Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby i am the smud on Sun May 22, 2011 4:16 pm

Why not?
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby SecondEdition on Sun May 22, 2011 4:50 pm

Where's the "bands I don't really care all that much about" option?

They've both made albums that I know, objectively, are good; but which don't speak to me personally.

I'll give it to Shellac. Shellac is great live, plus they have much more of a sense of humor than Fugazi do.

Except Fugazi did make Red Medicine, which I do enjoy.

Aargh. Choices.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby P.J. Craven on Sun May 22, 2011 6:44 pm

In summary:

Objectively, I say Fugazi. I never saw them live, but despite their stop, preach, start, live shows, they could inspire and rip as a live unit. Not all bands are intended to evolve as dramatically as Fugazi did, but I think the rare band that does grow and change the way Fugazi did is to be admired.

Subjectively, I say Shellac. During the period I've been fortunate to see them, they have always had a supertight, entertaining live show. Fugazi has one record I am consistently compelled to listen to (In on the Kill Taker), whereas Shellac has three old standbys (At Action Park, Terraform, 1000 Hurts) and so many additional songs that I have absorbed directly into my DNA. Their sound and approach didn't change too dramatically over the years, but the sound itself was alien to me, and it changed the way I looked at rock music and music in general.

Fugazi was incredibly great, but they could never trump my emotional attachment to the The Shellac Experience. Shellac just does things with their live show now that peers like Fugazi and The Jesus Lizard simply were never capable of achieving. I cite moments like the one where Albini breaks it down during "Wingwalker" as of late as my evidence. Maybe not everyone buys it, but I do, and it moves me. The variation and imagination displayed within the confines of their monochromatic approach live is truly something else.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby steve on Sun May 22, 2011 9:14 pm

I've seen a lot of Shellac shows, and I've seen a lot of Fugazi shows. The best Fugazi shows were among the handful of best music experiences of my life. And anybody who says Fugazi didn't have a terrific sense of humor doesn't know them.

Super great band, beautiful, funny people, generous to and respectful of the people they work with. Inspirational in a lot of ways. Maybe the best band.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby El Protoolio on Sun May 22, 2011 9:17 pm

I have seen both many times and I love The Shellac but, FUGAZI, no contest.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby elisha wiesner on Sun May 22, 2011 9:35 pm

I saw Fugazi when I was 14 in like '88 and it literally changed my life. Shitty hardcore bands suddenly meant nothing to me, all I wanted to do was play guitar and find new bands to listen to etc.... I saw them a bunch after that and have seen Shellac a bunch as well. I think I actually own all the albums that both of these bands have put out. I guess what I'm saying is that I like them both but only one of them changed my life and that was Fugazi.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby elisha wiesner on Sun May 22, 2011 9:37 pm

steve wrote: Maybe the best band.


That sums it up.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby gcbv on Sun May 22, 2011 9:41 pm

Both these bands share similar aesthetics, as they both took from their punk root the same tendrils of ethos, and haven't compromised or altered them to the "other" pre-existing system of "being a band."

So on that issue, by default, it's a tie.


Musically, they both create music that is singularly themselves, and that is always the best. To hear a band and to hear THAT BAND, if you know what I mean.

Shellac is very much Shellac, and Fugazi is very much Fugazi.

Another tie.

Live shows? MUCH more difficult to "judge."

Both of these bands put on shows that were very much their own. Humor, seriousness, fantastic tension and excitement.

Shellac loses this part, only because I think they never had the chance to be fully commit 24/7 to being a band, due to their prospective professions. The band is something they do, from what I have read (not speaking for you guys, really), because they love to play and are dear friends. Damn great reasons to be in a band.

Fugazi WERE the band. It's who they were, what they did. It showed. They absolutely meant everything they did live. Sure, shut down the show and tell the guy to stop hitting people. You know why they did that? Because it wasn't just a gig, it was their lives. You were fucking with their LIVES. ha. But true. They pulled people up, gave them good seats. They made friends and enemies at each show. Each one of those people had a part of their life changed at every. single. show.

Also, they played ALOT OF SHOWS over OVER 10 YEARS. They got REALLY FUCKING GOOD at playing live. Improvised setlists that made each show intrinsically unique. Sometimes they were off, but hey sometimes you eat bad chili and can't go for a bike ride. But when they were ON, holy jesus fuck it was transcendent. It was so good, it didn't seem REAL. You ever been at a show and you suddenly, inadvertently just started going "ooohhh wwaaaaahhhh!" loud because you can't articulate the awesomeness? More than any band, I must have gone OOOOHOHH AWWWWAAHH! more than a dozen times during Fugazi shows.

Fugazi.
But I digress. Please continue with the squirrel circuit semantic debate.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby gcbv on Sun May 22, 2011 9:41 pm

(double)

I'll just add that they are all good people, from both my close friends' connections with them, and personal experiences, so that is another tie.
But I digress. Please continue with the squirrel circuit semantic debate.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby AnthonyCinder on Sun May 22, 2011 9:52 pm

There are very few bands I love more than Shellac. Very few.

Fugazi is one of these bands, and Fugazi is probably my single most favorite band of all time.

Fugazi.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby P.J. Craven on Sun May 22, 2011 10:18 pm

Something I take into account with respect to the live Fugazi/live Shellac question is some anecdotal evidence I got a few years ago from Chris Hall. He told me that he saw Fugazi nine or ten times (I forget which number is correct), and that he was blown away by them only once. The other times, Fugazi felt the need to stop the momentum of their set as they had deemed the audience to be too rowdy at points and wanted to correct their behavior (or the behavior of a knuckleknob minority).

I wasn't there, but I could see this getting extremely tiresome, even if Fugazi's judgment was sound. In contrast, Shellac just rolls through their concerts, "stopping" now only for funny theatrics (though as a Shellac devotee, I am fully used to Greyhound-era live Shellac by now). Some people like extended interpretations/"jam band" Shellac, some people don't, but I think it gives the band a whole new layer to sift through. They make you laugh, make you get misty eyed during moments of near silence, make you bob your head, and more often than not, convert the unconverted.

Points to Fugazi though for playing so many unconventional venues, I like the way they think, mmmhmm. Points to Shellac loosening up typically stiff Chicago crowds.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby Ptommydski on Sun May 22, 2011 10:24 pm

Fugazi have the edge (no pun intended) in terms of recorded output and live shows. The Ex just behind, with Shellac just a bit further back.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby Jeremy B on Sun May 22, 2011 10:43 pm

Ptommydski wrote:Fugazi have the edge (no pun intended) in terms of recorded output and live shows. The Ex just behind, with Shellac just a bit further back.



Exactly what I was thinking, including the part about The Ex. I love seeing Shellac live, and still enjoy their music, but, after Terraform, there are only a handful of songs on the following records that I really enjoy.

Fugazi is/was just an incredible and unstoppable force. Live they were absolutely fierce, to me they were as close as any band got to The Jesus Lizard, who were the best live band I ever saw.

Fugazi.....easy.

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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby lemur68 on Sun May 22, 2011 10:49 pm

P.J. Craven wrote:Something I take into account with respect to the live Fugazi/live Shellac question is some anecdotal evidence I got a few years ago from Chris Hall. He told me that he saw Fugazi nine or ten times (I forget which number is correct), and that he was blown away by them only once. The other times, Fugazi felt the need to stop the momentum of their set as they had deemed the audience to be too rowdy at points and wanted to correct their behavior (or the behavior of a knuckleknob minority).


Do you make a habit of forming opinions by proxy?
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby WMFS on Sun May 22, 2011 10:58 pm

I would like to choose Fugazi DESPITE having had to sit through an evens show and bear witness to Ian's dick-headed behavior but I chose Shellac. Just because I've never had the pleasure of seeing Fugazi live.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby P.J. Craven on Sun May 22, 2011 11:02 pm

lemur68 wrote:
P.J. Craven wrote:Something I take into account with respect to the live Fugazi/live Shellac question is some anecdotal evidence I got a few years ago from Chris Hall. He told me that he saw Fugazi nine or ten times (I forget which number is correct), and that he was blown away by them only once. The other times, Fugazi felt the need to stop the momentum of their set as they had deemed the audience to be too rowdy at points and wanted to correct their behavior (or the behavior of a knuckleknob minority).


Do you make a habit of forming opinions by proxy?


Typically, I let others form something of a consensus and then decide how to feel based on that.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby Trey on Sun May 22, 2011 11:59 pm

Shellac by a mile for me. To me they are the more unique band. Probably my favorite band.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby m3kcomp on Mon May 23, 2011 12:09 am

This is a push.

I once saw Fugazi and Shellac on consecutive nights in Pittsburgh...1995 if I remember correctly. Not sure if Shellac were at Fugazi's show the first night, but Fugazi were all present the following night for Shellac. Two great shows that really stick out in my mind.

I saw Fugazi in 1993 in NYC and it was as close to a transcendent experience as I've had at a show.

Shellac's shows have never let me down. Seeing them play on a Sunday morning after a pair of shows the previous two nights is a very, very fond memory.

Oh, and to those experiencing a Fugazi live show from video footage is like trying to experience sex by watching porn, no?
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby P.J. Craven on Mon May 23, 2011 12:11 am

Oh, and to those experiencing a Fugazi live show from video footage is like trying to experience sex by watching porn, no?


Good point, but like porn, YouTube gives you an approximate idea, and perhaps even a few tips for your own band/balloon fetish orgy.
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Re: Thunderdome: Fugazi VS Shellac

Postby Yuri Zanow on Mon May 23, 2011 12:36 am

By recorded output, I prefer Fugazi. Shellac is a fine band, but the best Fugazi albums are better than the best Shellac albums and Fugazi's best songs independent of the album they are on are better than Shellac's best songs as well.

I've seen both bands a number of times from their beginnings. The best Fugazi show I ever saw was at the Trocadero in Philadelphia right after A Steady Diet of Nothing came out. That was one of the most transcendent musical experiences I've ever had, but I never saw them approach it in any other show and even saw some turkeys.

I saw Shellac play in a guy's apartment in Philadelphia 1994 after the first two singles came out and then a few days later at the Black Cat in DC. Although not quite as great as the Fugazi show at the Troc, they were both amazing, memorable shows. They have never surpassed those performances since then, but they've come a lot closer than Fugazi ever did to that one show and on average are a better band to see live.

Fugazi, but I don't really have anything bad to say about Shellac.
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