Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Al List: Best Fugazi Studio Album Openers

Everyone else is doing 'em (ie. lists), so why shouldn't I? And don't be coy. If you stumbled over here and you're reading this and you think I'm full of shit, speak up! Pretty sure I have the same amount of (time and) cajones as you do. Hit the "Comment" button below!

Just as I tried to grab your attention right there with that first paragraph, I'm giving an approving nod to one of my favorite bands and their best attempts to grab my attention. In fact I'm listing them. We all should try to take a moment to appreciate an artist's skill and swagger required grab the audience by the shirt collar, slap him or her around a bit, and pull them in. Sometimes they do it nicely. Sometimes they go and hit you with a single-arm takedown. Sometimes they miss altogether, and never find themselves on one of my lists. So while it should be clear that all these albums are great and recommended, for the purpose of this list I as only focusing on the way the band constructed its introduction to the audience for that particular album. (Hey kids, remember "albums"?) After considerable thought and analysis, plays and re-plays, below are Fugazi's album openings ranked:

Red Medicine (1995)

Based on the strength of the first two songs, really. I like it when you get a Guy-song and then an Ian-song. On a personal note, I owe Mr. Picciotto big for the "You should pay rent in my mind" line in Do You Like Me. That one got me past third base on a number of occasions.

Steady Diet of Nothing (1991)

Again, based on the strength of the first two songs. Again, Guy-song...Ian-song. Still, I'm already driving above the speed limit at a minute-and-a-half and we haven't even gotten to Reclamation yet. S'funny cause this album, overall, was never one of my favorites.

Repeater (1990)

Okay, so now it's a strong three-song sequence. See where we're going with this? Higher ranking if you can introduce yourself in a shorter period of time.

13 Songs (1989)

Heretical to put three albums before Waiting Room? Maybe. I mean that bass-line was the first Fugazi thing I ever heard, but I tried hard not to get all sentimental or nostalgic on this list.

In On the Kill Taker (1993)

Note how this one goes Ian-song...Guy-song. Are my biases becoming more apparent?

End Hits (1998)

Herky-jerky intro, but the album itself doesn't take off until No Surprise and Five Corporations. Just think they tried to do something similar to the noise-chaos intro of Red Medicine. Maybe they were going for that, good on them if that's the case. Not sure I'd mix it differently. Just don't think Break holds my interest like the previously listed. Like, I could have Break playing and take a phone-call and yammer on and on about something and not even notice the song was over.

The Argument (2001)

Cello? I mean, yeah, kinda atmospheric and might make for a good intro elsewhere. Cashout is a better starter than what follows, but I'm just not as invested and excited until Guy's first rave-out on Full Disclosure. S'funny cause this album, overall, is one of my favorites.