Fugazi Opens Up Live Archive

Indie band to sell concerts online.

Pioneering Washington, D.C.-based rock act Fugazi has begun selling 20 complete concerts from its archive online, under the banner Fugazi Live Series. Priced at $8 for a single-disc show and $10 for a double-disc, the performances run the gamut from Fugazi's first show on Sept. 3, 1987, in D.C., to a May 7, 1999, appearance in Kilkenny, Ireland.

"These are very much the original recordings without any attempt to correct for things like volume changes, strange mixing effects or the occasionally out-of-tune guitar," reads a statement on the Live Series Web site. "Though the sound quality on these tapes does vary, if a show was too poorly recorded it didn't make the cut." The discs will be burned on-demand and will come housed in a "generic cover with concert information and a track listing."

Fans can sample MP3s and view set lists from each show on the Web site. Fugazi's members have been kicking around the idea for several years, but the concept finally came to fruition in the past few months, while the group enjoys a hiatus from recording and touring.

"I like the idea more of shows being kept in their entirety," guitarist/vocalist Guy Picciotto told Billboard in 2001. "That's the thing I love about live performance. There's something that just evaporates. That's why I consider it such a different thing from making records. The thing is, live, we change the music around so much. There's so much room to improvise. A lot of the songs have been considerably reworked since their recorded versions."

In related news, Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye has launched the Northern Liberties label, to release "work that may seem obscure, but in MacKaye's opinion speaks clearly to the point of music and expression," according to its official Web site.