• Mike

We Need an Instrument

I can clearly recall the moment I waltzed into my roommate’s bedroom and dug through that small collection of CD's looking for anything that I didn’t recognize. One name stuck out more than the rest: Fugazi. I’d heard the name and seen the unlicensed tees around, but I thought they were just another punk band. Yeah - so very wrong. So I head off to work at the new guitar store in Las Vegas to get my friend in pro audio to show me how to use these new CD burners. This is 1999; it took as long to burn the CD as it would have to listen to it - and if we got caught we’d certainly be fired. It took the whole day to sneak in and out of the “studio” room and copy all of 5 disks. But here I had new music! When I put the CD on at home I really had no clue what to expect. My ideas about music had been shifting for a few years now - post high school was about discovery and certainly not what the radio was trying to feed me.


From the opening guitar swells and angular bassline of Turnover to the stark groove of Shut the Door I was hooked. The title track - what IS THAT?! Chaos, noise, starts and stops for no apparent reason, glory. The whole record sounded like it might break apart except for that rhythm section. I’m a guitar player, but there are a few bands that inform what I want to do musically because their strength comes from the rhythm section. Fugazi is one. Joe Lally and Brendan Canty were TIGHT on that record. And when I got into the rest of their catalog I was always impressed. The growth and power that Joe and Brendan showed on subsequent records; allowing guitars to fly around with no destination in sight; always laying it down for Ian and Guy to come back home like they never left; finding deeper and more

complex grooves as time went on - it still gets me.


I never saw Fugazi live, only on the Instrument DVD. But I get to see these guys up close and personal with their new band on April 24th at Jub Jub’s. We are opening for The Messthetics and Bryan McPherson and we are so stoked! I know that I am doing Anthony Pirog a terrible disservice by gushing about the rest of The Messthetics - his work on their record is fantastic. For a fan boy like me, I can’t imagine a better show to be a part of and I cannot wait. See you there!

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