Fugazi: Five "Waiting Room" Listening Essentials

What do Fugazi and The Grateful Dead have in common? The similarities go beyond diehard fans and a few experimental instrumental tracks.

These Washington, D.C. post-hardcore juggernauts have joined the ranks of live-oriented acts like The Grateful Dead and Phish by sharing an archive of over 800 live recordings as part of the Fugazi Live Series. Recordings from 130 shows will be released today, and the rest will be posted in increments every month.

In keeping with the band's DIY ethics, the group is requesting a donation of $5 per recording, which includes pictures of ticket stubs and fliers. Listeners can donate anywhere between $1 and $100, and mega fans can pay $500 for an all access pass to future downloads.

Sure, it's not the same as seeing Ian MacKaye and company in person, but considering that Fugazi has not performed in Phoenix since 2001 (or anywhere since late-2002), this project is pretty rad. The archive already includes the group's May 12, 1990 performance at U.A. Local Pipefitter's Hall, and four additional Phoenix shows.

To commemorate the first 130 shows, we came up with a list of five necessities to maximize your listening potential. "You are not what you own [or download]."

1. $5, adjusted for inflation. $5 in 2003, the year Fugazi went on hiatus, is equitable to $6.15 today. If you go by 1987, the year the group formed, you would shell out $9.97. Hey, that's almost enough to buy a Dischord t-shirt!

2. A tattered Minor Threat shirt. One can only hope that Dischord will release some more archived shows.

3. A megaphone, so you can join in and yell at all the moshing/fighting jackasses. Fugazi was known to stop playing when things got too out of hand.

4. A MacGyvered set of headphones. Those DIY folk are pretty crafty. Why waste a 1987 five-dollar bill on a crappy pair of headphones when you can make your own?

5. Non-alcoholic beer. Although Fugazi wasn't explicitly a straight edge band, you can bet a lot of fans love shouting, "I've got the straight edge!"

Check out the first batch of shows here.

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