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Band: Fugazi

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Fugazi?

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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:35 pm

subprime wrote:What is your issue with their "preaching"? People were getting seriously injured. They were sick of it. Thats basic human decency. Anyone who doesnt do that can get fucked. What would you do if you were a chef and people started to get poisoned by other people regularly at your restaurant? Its fucked.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not into people getting their asses kicked. But all those Dischord guys used to boast of coming up to NYC and starting fights at shows in the early '80s. "Defending the scene" and "bruising the ego" and all that kinda territorial "crew" nonsense. It seemed pretty silly.

So it always struck me as incredibly odd that, about seven years later, these same people would bellyache about an aesthetic they'd essentially helped create. I guess they created a monster, in a sense. Fair enough. But that said, I've attended plenty of hardcore shows in which the band did not attempt to control a rowdy audience's behavior (although I've certainly seen some pretty harsh crowd control on the part of bouncers) and, to the best of my knowledge, no serious injuries really transpired.

I guess I preferred Black Flag's approach to dealing w/ (or not dealing at all w/) the meatheads in the crowd.

I was also none too fond of the figurative policing that goes hand-in-hand w/this sorta music. There are exceptions, but I don't often find myself enjoying overtly political music b/c it too often dates and limits the art. That's just my opinion. And Fugazi's acute overtures towards PETA, straight-edge, vegetarianism, and various lefty causes just kinda gave me a headache. For me, punk rock was always about being a free thinker and making your own choices. The attitude of many Dischord bands throughout the '80s struck me as very puritanical, dogmatic and absolutist. Fugazi, at least in its early days, continued that lineage.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby subprime on Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:38 pm

The issue is that fugazis shows were really fucking big. The issue wasnt what the meatheads did to eachother, its that they would break peoples backs (literally). When did fugazi actually preach veganism or straight edge (not all of the members were even straight edge). Look at what fugazi actually sang about. Did they make these issues overt in it?
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby Angus Jung on Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:43 pm

OrthodoxEaster wrote:...all those Dischord guys used to boast of coming up to NYC and starting fights at shows in the early '80s. "Defending the scene" and "bruising the ego" and all that kinda territorial "crew" nonsense. It seemed pretty silly.

It's pretty disconcerting to read quotes from a grown-up, mature Ian MacKaye in "Our Band Could Be Your Life" and other places, where he still seems to take pride in all the fights he was in (and more specifically the fights he started) during the early days. I find it confusing.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:48 pm

subprime wrote:The issue is that fugazis shows were really fucking big. The issue wasnt what the meatheads did to eachother, its that they would break peoples backs (literally). When did fugazi actually preach veganism or straight edge (not all of the members were even straight edge). Look at what fugazi actually sang about. Did they make these issues overt in it?


Lots of shows are "really fucking big." And really fucking wild. But there's simply no need to police them like so.

I seem to remember someone from Fugazi likening the band's existence to buying tofu in the supermarket (!) in one of their more well-known interviews (in Our Band Could Be Your Life, maybe?). They had a guy in a dress who was a lawyer for PETA dancing w/them onstage in the early days. Two of their best-known songs are about abortion and the perils of drug use. I could go on.

Personally, I am a pro-choice social-democrat who does not take drugs. And I probably even agree w/some of this rhetoric. I just find it tiring when it becomes a central tenet of the music I listen to and it starts creating group-think all around me. I personally don't really like how it mixes w/art. But if other people are into it, live and let live.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby subprime on Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:26 pm

It really doesnt come across as a central tenet of the music. It wasnt even for minor threat (who werent even a straight edge band!).

Also: When someone starts hurting another person at your show, youre supposed to do what, just let them go? Fuck that and fuck any band that lets it happen.,
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:24 pm

Ian MacKaye wrote:“That whole Chicago [scene]—Naked Raygun, Big Black, that crew,” MacKaye says dismissively, “were the guys who smoke cigars and eat ribs."


As if there is something remotely WRONG w/that kinda behavior? Forgive me, father...
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby El Protoolio on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:11 pm

OrthodoxEaster wrote:
Ian MacKaye wrote:“That whole Chicago [scene]—Naked Raygun, Big Black, that crew,” MacKaye says dismissively, “were the guys who smoke cigars and eat ribs."


I'm pretty sure they still do those things.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby Miel on Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:20 am

Angus Jung wrote:
OrthodoxEaster wrote:...all those Dischord guys used to boast of coming up to NYC and starting fights at shows in the early '80s. "Defending the scene" and "bruising the ego" and all that kinda territorial "crew" nonsense. It seemed pretty silly.

It's pretty disconcerting to read quotes from a grown-up, mature Ian MacKaye in "Our Band Could Be Your Life" and other places, where he still seems to take pride in all the fights he was in (and more specifically the fights he started) during the early days. I find it confusing.


Yeah, that was my only waffle with those Minor Threat/Fugazi chapters.

However, I'd take anything I read in 'Our Band Could Be Your Life' with a few grains of salt -- the story in Big Black's chapter about Dave smashing Roland in a drunk rampage apparently didn't happen, so who knows what else is up.

It seems rather out of character for Mr. Mackaye to be proud of violent behaviour, you're right.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby Neuloveyou on Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:40 am

[quote="same"

Fugazi aren't even the best rock band on Dischord. [cough]Lungfish[/cough][/quote]

This is unfair as Lungfish are, of course, the best band ever.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby Robot McGearman on Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:19 am

Not crap, but mostly for their ethics. Some of their songs are great but I could never sit through a whole album without getting bored. I feel it's better to take ten or twelve of your favorite Fugazi songs, list them in the order you want, and still have a better album than any of the albums they've released.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby seanurban on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:17 am

Robot McGearman wrote: it's better to take ten or twelve of your favorite Fugazi songs, list them in the order you want, and still have a better album than any of the albums they've released.

That's true of any band.

Fugazi made great records but these days I'd rather listen to bootlegs.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby subprime on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:20 am

Also: if you think fugazi are preachy then look at the momentum/lightbearer facebook pages. ITs fucking intolerable. Momentums latest album is called herbivore. Its one thing to be vegan/vegetarian (both are cool), its another to be an anti-intellectual archaeological revisionist.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby El Protoolio on Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:33 pm

I liked that Fugazi policed their crowds. I respected them even more for doing it. I hated slam dancing and pits and all that aggro jock bullshit. I just wanted to be close to the stage and watch the band. Fuck slam dancers, fuck body surfers and fuck stage divers. Fuck all the shit. It's fucking stupid, even when David Yow does it.

If some of you people think it's "preachy" to demand some semblance of decorum and mutual respect and non-violence in a public gathering where people could get trampled or worse then you need to take a deep look inside yourselves and figure out what the fuck is wrong with you.

I will also say again that every album was better than the one before it. Fugazi was the greatest rock band to exist in my lifetime. They were something to look up to and an example to follow in the era of "corporate rock" and "selling out" and not being sure who your friends were and who your enemies were.

Fugazi and their behavior displayed very clearly that they were the good guys and that a fake protest major label band like Rage Against The Machine playing music festivals and venues sponsored by Pepsi and Budweiser were the enemy.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby subprime on Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:02 pm

El Protoolio wrote:I liked that Fugazi policed their crowds. I respected them even more for doing it. I hated slam dancing and pits and all that aggro jock bullshit. I just wanted to be close to the stage and watch the band. Fuck slam dancers, fuck body surfers and fuck stage divers. Fuck all the shit. It's fucking stupid, even when David Yow does it.

If some of you people think it's "preachy" to demand some semblance of decorum and mutual respect and non-violence in a public gathering where people could get trampled or worse then you need to take a deep look inside yourselves and figure out what the fuck is wrong with you.

I will also say again that every album was better than the one before it. Fugazi was the greatest rock band to exist in my lifetime. They were something to look up to and an example to follow in the era of "corporate rock" and "selling out" and not being sure who your friends were and who your enemies were.

Fugazi and their behavior displayed very clearly that they were the good guys and that a fake protest major label band like Rage Against The Machine playing music festivals and venues sponsored by Pepsi and Budweiser were the enemy.



This.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:12 pm

subprime wrote:Also: if you think fugazi are preachy then look at the momentum/lightbearer facebook pages. ITs fucking intolerable. Momentums latest album is called herbivore. Its one thing to be vegan/vegetarian (both are cool), its another to be an anti-intellectual archaeological revisionist.


Man, I don't even know who these (presumably) bands are. Based on your description, I think I'll pass.

El Protoolio wrote:I liked that Fugazi policed their crowds. I respected them even more for doing it. I hated slam dancing and pits and all that aggro jock bullshit. I just wanted to be close to the stage and watch the band. Fuck slam dancers, fuck body surfers and fuck stage divers. Fuck all the shit. It's fucking stupid, even when David Yow does it.

If some of you people think it's "preachy" to demand some semblance of decorum and mutual respect and non-violence in a public gathering where people could get trampled or worse then you need to take a deep look inside yourselves and figure out what the fuck is wrong with you.


For me, this sort of behavior sets a dangerous precedent and starts to verge on you-may-not-look-the-performer-in-the-eye-lest-you-be-ejected-from-the-venue bullshit. The central question is: Was a Fugazi crowd actually so "dangerous" that it genuinely needed to be "policed"? Personally, having seen this band twice, I did not think so and I thought that the performers seemed a little self-righteous and assy about it all.

I'm not advocating that shows should turn into a ridiculous GG Allin-type spectacle, but the idea of music-as-culture becomes a hell of a lot more toothless once the performer takes it upon himself to create semi-arbitrary "rules" for the crowd. It just turns into another flock of sheep. If say, a band like Flipper did this in their prime, their shows would have been rather ludicrous.

No, you should not always have to worry about losing a tooth at a rock show, but a wild, even slightly dangerous gig very well might be part of the deal when you're talking about certain rock music that makes people react a certain way. In general, exciting events often involve a little risk. People still talk about infamous and crazy rock shows from the past, and these anything-can-happen events tend to inspire people. And that seems ok, given the relatively small odds of someone getting "hurt." Punk shows were rarely a bloodbath and not often as tough as they looked.

I don't advocate people mercilessly kicking one another's asses or bringing weapons to shows. I'm not a huge guy and I've also not slam danced nor stage dived since I was probably 15 years old (a very long time ago), and I could give a shit about either of those things. But for the most part, this behavior constitutes kids blowing off steam as opposed to any genuine menace to performer or audience. I say, let them have their fun.

And, as stated above, it all seems a little stinky when one of the performers in question still speaks wistfully of pointlessly beating on people during gigs in his youth.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby El Protoolio on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:10 pm

But you could look Fugazi in the eye. You could walk right up to them before and after shows and talk to any one of them. You could challenge Ian to his face about policing their shows, and I witnessed people doing just that, and he would calmly but firmly explain his reasoning. What you could not do was be a crazy violent ape.

So I don't agree that it's a matter of placing themselves upon a pedestal. It was quite the opposite actually. They would also demand that the house lights be turned all the way up so they could see everyone clearly and we could clearly see them. I saw them a couple dozen times and they were the most fair and reasonable people I have ever seen perform rock music.

As for the danger of the crowds... well it could be very dangerous, especially in the late '80's when Fugazi formed. I personally witnessed a kid get his kneecaps displaced on purpose by a group of Chicago skinheads in the "pit" at my first Naked Raygun show. A few of them held him while another couple fucked up his knees. These same people came to Fugazi shows. These same people were policed by Fugazi and in one case I saw Ian give a guy his 5 bucks back if he would just fucking leave. They took responsibility for what went on at their shows.

This brings me to your other point of their own personal violent behavior. The scene they came of age in was very violent indeed, and they perpetuated and participated but they grew up and out of it and saw the error of their ways and, as I said, took personal responsibility for what went on at their shows. Who here wasn't an angry and violent and destructive young man at one point in their lives? What matters is growing out of it and taking and forcing responsibility onto whomever deserves it.

Anyway, we disagree and that is fine. All that maters is that no one is going to kick anyones else's ass over it.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:50 pm

El Protoolio wrote:But you could look Fugazi in the eye. You could walk right up to them before and after shows and talk to any one of them. You could challenge Ian to his face about policing their shows, and I witnessed people doing just that, and he would calmly but firmly explain his reasoning... They would also demand that the house lights be turned all the way up so they could see everyone clearly and we could clearly see them. I saw them a couple dozen times and they were the most fair and reasonable people I have ever seen perform rock music.... well it could be very dangerous, especially in the late '80's when Fugazi formed... Anyway, we disagree and that is fine. All that maters is that no one is going to kick anyones else's ass over it.


Why wouldn't a person be able to walk up to a performer at that level of "fame" and talk to them about their shows? It strikes me as odd that this would even come into question during that time and place.

I suspect you and I are about the same age. I don't think I ever saw Fugazi after 1990 or 1991--in Philadelphia and Trenton, no less, which were not exactly towns that were known for their peaceful punk-rock scenes. I didn't see anything that even approached real violence. Then again, none of the late-'80s hardcore shows I attended seemed terribly scary from where I was standing. Not even the Cro-Mags at CBGB. (As to whether or not they were musically compelling when hardcore was way past its sell-by date, well.... that's another matter entirely.)

People can be assholes and those who desire to hurt people will do so, whether they beat on someone inside the club or merely wait to jump them in the parking lot instead. I guess the latter is marginally more difficult, so there is a small benefit. But it doesn't seem like the vast majority of kids who want to flail around while dancing harmlessly at a gig should suffer and have their buzz killed b/c of a few tough-guy assholes who may or may not be brazen enough to inflict actual injuries on someone while inside the venue.

I don't doubt that the members of Fugazi are fair and reasonable people. But their tone and conduct--no alcohol, no slam dancing, wearing politics on one's sleeve--always rubbed me the wrong way. That's pretty much it. If people are cool w/it, whatever works. But for me, it seems more like babysitting than like a rock show. And the attitude reminds me a bit of the logic that spawned what is perhaps the stupidest chapter ever in American history (temperance, which begat the folly of Prohibition).

All I'm saying is that for me, such a stringent, absolutist worldview seems very strange in the context of a supposedly free-thinking "punk" scene. Agree to disagree, I suppose.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby Pasta on Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:17 pm

HMMMMMM.

On this latest tangent, well, I was able to buy beers the 2 times I saw Fugazi. And, was drinking bourbon on the rocks, while having a 30 minute conversation with Ian, about Lungfish and the Northern Liberties releases, the one time I saw the Evens.


Onto the important part, the music....

I'm pretty sure, earlier in this thread, I'd stated that they had not aged well with me. The wife had been bugging me the last couple of years to sell my Fugazi records, as they'd never been played as long as we'd been together (I've listened to Embrace many more times than the entire Fugazi catalogue combined the last decade). I refused.

Cue the move into the big new house.
Unpacking the records.
Vish posts the Ian interview.
the Guy interview gets linked to.
I pull out "Killtaker", "Steady Diet"(why was this album skipped over in the Guy interview), and "Red Medicine"

Yup, I'm 19 again.

They rocked, tried to do it in a way they were comfortable with, and treat people with respect, but, expected that the people at their shows show respect to the other humans around them. I never saw them stop people from dancing/enjoying themselves, so long as they weren't denying others the right to enjoy themselves. What's so bad about that?
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby subprime on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:14 pm

The issue wasnt that it was a small chance. It was that multiple times they saw people lose their ability to walk because of shit that happened at their shows. That is unacceptable. Anyone that accepts it as simply the cost of doing business is a tool.
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Re: Band: Fugazi

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:48 pm

subprime wrote:The issue wasnt that it was a small chance. It was that multiple times they saw people lose their ability to walk because of shit that happened at their shows. That is unacceptable. Anyone that accepts it as simply the cost of doing business is a tool.


I've seen more auto accidents than I've seen injuries at hardcore shows. People still drive.

And well, anyone so Catholic in their thinking is a ...

[I dunno, fill in the blank, son.]

Pasta wrote:On this latest tangent, well, I was able to buy beers the 2 times I saw Fugazi.


Did Fugazi perhaps modify its stance as it matured? If so, I applaud those guys and I stand corrected.

That said, when I saw them circa Repeater and before, the m.o. seemed to be 1.) no booze at the show, although perhaps this was more to facilitate the all-ages cause 2.) band on stage, who couldn't possibly be able to pay attn. to the nuances of audience behavior from their perch, giving unnecessary fatherly shit to a bunch of run-of-the-mill punk-show rowdies who weren't really hurting anyone. I can only speak from experience. Maybe this dynamic changed to allow more room for the all-encompassing grey area, as time marched on. Hope so.
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