Tuesday, 19 April 2011

19th April 2011. C:B:22

I have been thinking about music A LOT lately. This is perhaps due to the fact that not only am I volunteering on a very small, very local hospital radio station, but also because in light of the new job I should be starting soon, I will eventually be responsible for managing a record label and radio station of my own.

Oddly the Choose My Music selection this week has also given me some additional food for thought. But lets start from the beginning.

This weeks Choose My Music was picked by Charlie Greenwood (or @LottieDean on Twitter). The fact that she decided to choose my music and thus appear on this blog is, I am told, rather ironic considering she spent most of yesterday morning lamenting about pointless blogs. If there is a blog as pointless as this I would love to read it.

Anyway, Charlie kindly picked the random combination of C:B:22 - which lead me to.....

Fugazi - Steady Diet of Nothing

I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive when my finger counted across to CD number 22. It was a beautiful early spring morning and I was about to take a short drive to Derby - secretly I was hoping for something a little more 'summery', but thems are the breaks when you insist that your music habits will be dictated at random by strangers....but to be fair, once I got going down the A38 I am rather quite pleased and saw fit to crank up the volume.

I was a late comer to Fugazi, which is no surprise as I was 8 years old when they formed. I knew of their existence during my latter school days, mainly thanks to a brilliant drummer by the name of Kalvin (a few years later in 1999, we did eventually start a band which was very good - I still miss them to this day) . But it wasn't until perhaps my early 20's when I really started to take notice.

Looking at the CD cover, inlay and sleeve notes (as is my love - hence why digital downloads are a struggle for me) I registered that the album was recorded in 1991,which got me thinking. If I had heard this album at 11 or 12 years old, as I would have been at the time, would I have liked it?

I am guessing the answer is likely to be NO for many reasons. First, I wouldn't have "got it" as it were. Social / Political punk was not really my thing at that age and to be honest, I have no idea how I would have even heard anything from this album in the early 90's - I can't imagine Simon Mayo cranking out Dear Justice Letter on his Monday morning breakfast show.

As much as I love the body of work produced by Fugazi, I am rather grateful that I didn't hear them until later in my life as I feel many of us music obsessives will reach a point where we stop just liking music and move on to actual appreciation. Not solely enjoying a song because it is there, but listening to the intricate details, the clever rhythm changes, a self serving bass line which doesn't just hit root notes, instruments being dropped in when you least expect them and so on.

As sad as you may think it is, I love listening to music and letting my brain pick out the individual parts which make up the whole and just appreciating the entire ensemble - this explains why The Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds' album is my all time favourite and perhaps why people who do not listen to music in this way do not see it as anything special. I enjoy listening to Fugazi in this way to.

I suppose I should point out for fear of pompousness, that I know I am not the only one who does this...heck, producers get paid by the bucket load for a similar, but even more proficient, listening style.

Speaking of producers. Looking at the history of this album, Fugazi wanted to employ the producer of their first album (Ted Nicely) to work on this release with them. Oddly, Nicely has gone from producing awesome records to being a Chef  so the band landed up doing it themselves.

To be fair, there isn't too much to say about this album. You ether love Fugazi or your don't. They have a very set sound, a very distinguishable style. I sometimes find it hard to distinguish from one album to the other. I suppose if this is a band someone would want to get into then I would suggest starting at the beginning with 'Repeater' or at the end with 'The Argument' and work your way back.

Prior to writing this post, I rightly assumed it would be difficult to find some tracks off this album to post here. So I am sticking on whatever I can find.

Fugazi - Waiting Room - Fugazi by SoundKreep
Fugazi - Merchandise by Rudimentor


  1. Cool. In On The Kill Taker is my favourite. Ian Mackaye has got the best punk voice ever IMO.

  2. Can I put in a vote for Repeater? I heard it when I was 17, 18 maybe - funny how a lot of music I was into at that age still resonates with me now (two decades later cough splutter) - for instance, The Fall or The Cramps who I still have massive love and respect for after 20 years. Anyway - Fugazi's Repeater - what an album, scything guitars over funked up polyrhythms - gotta love it. I've got In On The Kill Taker somewhere - and considering it's a Steve Albini production I really must listen to it, for some reason I've never yet done so. Anybody else have CDs (or vinyl) still wrapped in cellophane as if to break the cover will somehow break the spell?