Fugazi, the one band who never did sell out,are releasing an amazing archive of live recordings on the internet. The band who operated on their own terms and never fell into the traps of rock n roll behaviour made a run of groundbreaking albums in their fifteen year initial run that were an escape route for all the energy of hardcore.
Up to 800 gigs from the band will be made available on the archive available from the band’s own Dischord Records.
The band, who formed in 1987, from the the ashes of key hardcore band Minor Threat and Emo when it meant something very different band Rites Of Spring made their name for concise, intelligent and powerful music that really meant something. Their gigs were powerful and thrilling and they bent the music into new shapes. They also had an independent ethic and didn’t kowtow to anyone.
They band went on hiatus in 2002 and are currently inactive with Ian Mackaye working on the excellent the Evens and bass player Joe Lally touring under his own name. No-one rules out a return though.
In their 15 year run the band recorded most of their gigs and this week they are starting to release them on the internet in batches.
In keeping with its commercial principles of low prices and trust in fans, the shows’ suggested price is $5 each, with a sliding scale of $1 to $100, for the cheap or the philanthropic.
As a career-spanning archival project, the Fugazi Live Series has few equals- perhaps the Grateful Dead and their tape enclosure where fans were allowed to record the gigs.
“Why did we record all the gigs? I’d say it was for posterity, but to what end, we had no idea,”Â Mr. MacKaye said in an interview this week. “As with a lot of collections, once we had a couple hundred tapes, we just continued to amass them. Why stop? We’d already gotten this far.”Â
With a band like Fugazi, no two gigs were the same making this project totally worthwhile.