Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holy Fucking Fugazi



If there was one band in 1988 whose sound harmonized with the state of my soul, it was Fugazi. I spent months walking around that winter with my four pound "portable" cassette recorder in my pocket, listening to their epochal Thirteen Songs record as loud as it would go. People would turn and look at me as I rode the bus, speculating, I suppose, on the probable extent of my hearing loss. Their raw but smart post-punk sound took up where bands like Mission of Burma left off, and perfectly married radical politics and cultural alienation without, somehow, ever slipping into the didacticism that marred other "political" bands.

Happily, this era of Fugazi's live performances is well documented, and the two versions of "Waiting Room" here are both remarkable in their own ways. Above, we have a tight version and a clear recording before what appears to be a seated (as much as is possible during a Fugazi show) audience in Helsinki. Below, we have Fugazi doing the same song as Dionysian revelers, leading the crowd in what is clearly a rock-induced ecstatic experience.

I am a patient boy
I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait
My time is like water down a drain
Everybody's moving,
Everybody's moving,
Everybody's moving, moving, moving, moving
Please don't leave me to remain
In the waiting room
I don't want the news
I cannot use it
I don't want the news
I won't live by it
Sitting outside of town
Everybody's always down
Tell me why?
Because... they can't get up
Ahhh... Come on and get up
Come on and get up
But I don't sit idly by
Ahhh...
I'm planning a big surprise
I'm gonna fight for what I want to be
I won't make the same mistakes
Because I know
Because I know how much time that wastes
And Function
Function is the key
To the the waiting room
I don't want the news
I cannot use it
I don't want the news
I won't live by it
Sitting outside of town
Everybody's always down
Tell me why?
Because... they can't get up
Ahhh... Come on and get up
Up for the waiting room
Sitting in the waiting room
Ahhh...
Sitting in the waiting room
Ahhh...
Sitting in the waiting room
Ahhh...
Sitting in the waiting room
Ahhh...
Tell me why?
Because... they can't get up