Fugazi (band)

From Academic Kids

Alternate meanings: Fugazi (disambiguation)

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Fugazi1.jpg
Fugazi (left to right): Ian MacKaye, Brendan Canty, Joe Lally, and Guy Picciotto

Fugazi is a post-punk band from Washington, D.C., formed in 1987.

After the seminal hardcore punk group Minor Threat dissolved, Ian MacKaye (vocals and guitar) was active with a few mostly short-lived groups, (notably early emo-core band, Embrace) before forming a new trio, Fugazi, with drummer Brendan Canty and bass guitarist Joe Lally. Many of the trio's songs ended up on Fugazi's first album, 13 Songs. They had one major alternative hit, "Waiting Room", from that album.

They performed briefly as a trio, then added Guy Picciotto, earlier of Rites of Spring. Picciotto originally only sang, but quickly incorporated his guitar playing into the quartet.

Fugazi developed an experimental, unique sound that became influential on some later punk music groups. Fugazi blend elements of noise with an inventively syncopated rhythm section often steeped in dub or reggae influence. Notable are MacKaye and Picciotto's inventive, interlocking guitar playing: They often feature unusual and dissonant chords and progressions, sometimes reminiscent of the Verlaine/Lloyd pairing from Television filtered through a hardcore punk lens.

Lyrics and vocals often feature strong emotional intensity. This style has led many critics to call their music post-hardcore and emocore, as it is seen as a progression of and a reaction to the hardcore punk movement.

Fugazi also stand as a rare example of a band that have achieved a level of mainstream success while remaining loyal to independent recording and distribution values, following through in the spirit of the original "DIY punk ethic". They have rarely charged more than $5-10 admission to their live shows, have kept their album prices at about $10, and do not sell merchandise such as t-shirts or posters.

All Fugazi's albums have been released by Dischord Records, co-owned by MacKaye.

Fugazi's career is chronicled in Our Band Could Be Your Life, a study of several important American underground rock groups. Mark Andersen and Mark Jenkins' book Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital also covers Fugazi -- and its contributing members' bands -- at length.

Fugazi are currently on what the band describes as a "hiatus," partly brought on by the recent forays into fatherhood by Canty and Lally, and may or may not reunite in the future. They have recently put out twenty unmixed live shows that are exclusively available for sale at www.fugaziliveseries.com. In the meantime, the members are currently undertaking side projects, with MacKaye forming the duo The Evens with his wife Amy Farina, and Canty doing a variety of soundtrack scores and playing bass in the trio Garland Of Hours with frequent Fugazi guest contributors Jerry Busher and Amy Domingues.

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