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Fugazi – Repeater (1989)

September 29, 2017

[Album 570/1001]

McConaughey: “It’s all a fugazi, you know what fugazi is?”
DiCaprio: “Fugazi, it’s a fake”
McConaughey: “Fugaaazi, Fugahhhzi, it’s a wuzzy, it’s a woozy, it’s (fluttering sound effects) fairy dust, it doesn’t exist, it’s never landed, it’s no matter, it’s not on the elemental chart, it’s not f’n real, right?!”
– Scene from The Wolf of Wall Street


Time for some fact-checking.

Claim #1: “it’s not on the elemental chart” is TRUE

Fugazi is not on the periodic table of the elements. I could not find it among the inert gases, nor amidst the lanthanides & achtinides.

Claim #2: “it doesn’t exist” is FALSE

It appears Fugazi played their first show as ‘Fugazi’ in September 1987 (and I believe the above movie scene was set just prior to Black Monday in October 1987). So while they likely weren’t a household name by October, technically…

Claims #3-8: “it’s a wuzzy, it’s a woozy, it’s (fluttering sound effects) fairy dust…it’s never landed, it’s no matter…it’s not f’n real, right?!” are UNCLEAR

I struggled to confirm or deny anything about the wuzzy/woozy/fairy dust claims.220px-Fugazi_-_Repeater_cover

But I can confirm that Fugazi’s album Repeater did manage to land on the 1001 Albums list.

And given that status, it clearly matters to enough people to justify its inclusion.

Not being a post-hardcore aficionado (and not being entirely certain what being post-hardcore constitutes), is Repeater the authentic sound of the genre? Or is it, as Leo defined Fugazi, a fake?

Even if the band itself is the real deal, is this album so good that it’s unreal, or more McConaughey-esque, not f’n real?

At first listen, I guessed the public reaction to Repeater might mirror the public reaction to The Wolf of Wall Street: many viewers/listeners will not necessarily like the subject matter, nor the aggressive/intense behaviour of the main characters.

However, upon further research, I gather the band’s financial model is absolutely antonymous to The Wolf of Wall Street.

Instead of practicing what McConaughey preached (“f*ck the clients, pocket the cold hard cash commissions), Fugazi opted to charge as little as possible for concert tickets, later inviting fans to pay what they could (on a sliding scale) for the concert recordings.

Providing a good product, a product that band wholeheartedly believed in, while keeping the customer experience affordable?

Respecting your fans?

There’s always going to be a (or an f’n) real audience for that.


Verbalize the Positive

Thanks to Wikipedia for confirming that the pronunciation is foo-GAH-zee, looks like McConaughey was right!

From → 1990s

  1. That was a fun read. Can I also point you towards the Johhny Depp, Al Pachino scene in Donnie Brasco (opening scene If memory serves) where they value a diamond as a Fugazi (a fukken’ fake) and Fugazi’s other most awesome record In On The Kill Taker. It’s not as abrasive as Repeater but it has some dark magic at work in it’s core.

    • My thanks steveforthedeaf, I’ll have to check out On the Kill Taker – and Donnie Brasco too!

  2. 13 SONGS is better but just my opinion!

  3. jprobichaud permalink

    Never listened to this one but I have listened to 13 songs and the track one on that album, “Waiting room”, is a phenomenal track!

  4. Big Fugazi fan here, lots to love in their discography! They did have a lot going on besides the music – keeping the straight edge (no drugs or alcohol), being open about a strong dislike of the music industry, cheap tickets and albums, a real DIY attitude to everything and (if I remember correctly), making their shows all ages. They may not be on the periodic table, but they are elemental in their own right!

    One thing I didn’t get from your post, though, was whether you actually liked it or not! You say “many viewers/listeners will not necessarily like the subject matter, nor the aggressive/intense behaviour of the main characters.” But are you among the many listeners? Or did you dig it? Or were you ambivalent?

    • If it was the music as a standalone, I’d say I liked it.
      But I think I like the idea of the group even more!

  5. This will be a new experience to me Geoff.

  6. I’m with Aaron here – a real favourite of mine this. Musically, ethically, aesthetically always a very sussed bunch of guys. .

    • Joe I think you might have just identified an important formula there – the question is, for a group to be appealing, what % of the appeal comes from the band aesthetic? from their stance on certain issues? from the music itself?
      I imagine it varies by group but this is a topic I may have to revisit, thanks for the idea!

  7. What Aaron and Joe say… This is massively good. As is all Fugazi, actually. All of it massively good. Or massively great.

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  1. 1989 | 1001albumsin10years

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