Anna Minard, our former city hall reporter, claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to all the records that music nerds consider important.
I've heard Fugazi's name plenty of times before—almost always in a universal-cultural-touchstone kind of way, a casual jokey reference that everyone in the group is supposed to immediately get. It's a reference to a time they went to a Fugazi show or were listening to Fugazi or a Fugazi-related fashion reference or something—it's '90s-kid camaraderie.
As I listened to this album, I was trying to pull apart what impressionistic knowledge I had about what Fugazi meant to other people. It was definitely warmly remembered, but also a youthful memory, not something people talked about listening to last week. It sounded like it was part of people's teenage or young-adult awakening-to-the-wider-world soundtrack.
My experience, entirely outside the shared experience of listening to Fugazi with a bunch of other same-age young people as we figure out what to be mad about now that we're almost grown-ups, was listening to Fugazi at my house with some snacks and the cat. I think this was probably incorrect, but it worked out okay.
Expecting to hear goofy young-people rage and attacking noise (also tons of yelling because they have a Z in their name), I was surprised to find pleasure and entertainment in the familiar guitar sound—I can picture the hand performing this quick, repetitive electric strum—and vocals that sounded angry for the right reasons, if that makes sense? As opposed to some vocals that sound like they're upset because every girl they meet doesn't want to date them, or because they just read a bunch of nihilist texts while stoned yesterday, these sound less obnoxious. There's a frustration and anger that comes from your first big interrogations of the world, and that shit is real, and everyone deserves music that goes along with it. But sometimes that music is a little silly, because not all of our first battles are all that interesting. Somehow, this feels like people fighting real-feelings battles, even though some of it's about haircuts and fingernails. Like these are satisfying fights that form the foundation of the great confrontations of your life—against greed, privilege, desire.
Still: The funniest part of listening to this was watching the cat NOT GIVE A FUCK. Seriously, check him out (he is three feet from the stereo):
I give this a "cats ain't got time for your rage" out of 10.