Legendary Washington D.C. post-punk band Fugazi is set to launch an online archive of their storied live performances next Thursday. The database will launch with about 130 shows (projected to grow to 800) available for initial download. While this kind of project is expected of bigger and more jam-oriented acts like Phish and the Grateful Dead, few bands of the independent and punk persuasion have done as thorough a job of representing a scene and movement as Fugazi.
The database, which was originally announced last year, seeks to be a comprehensive collection of the band in its most natural state, playing before hundreds of writhing and passionate fans in small clubs and community centers across the country. Though the recordings date back to the band's earliest days, this archive was never the end goal. "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," Ian MacKaye, one of the group's founders, told The New York Times.
The tapes, which the band's label, Dischord, spent the last two years digitizing, don't just feature the band's music, but also capture banter (if there's a band whose stage banter is worth listening to, it's Fugazi) and whatever else went on before the tape ran out. Shows will be available to download for a suggested price of $5 each--the same price the band strove to keep concert tickets at--but can actually be purchased on a sliding scale of $1 to $100 depending on what a fan wants to spend.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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