not much new music in my pipeline at the moment outside of the Edward Sharpe album and the anticipation of the new Thao, Miles Benjamin, and John K Samson albums, but I’ve been rediscovering stuff up the wazoo. Maybe it was seeing a phenomenal Roadside Graves show a week or so back, but I got the urge to dig out anything and everything I owned that had two drummers on it. And one of the best examples I can think of is The Argument, Fugazi’s last album (to quote one Seymore Skinner for a moment, “prove me wrong, kids, prove me wrong”) from a few years back.
The thing about Fugazi as a punk band is that they were already less melody based and more rhythmic than than most of their peers (save for the other few other Dischord bands that evolved alongside them, notably anything J Robbins was involved in). I think this is partially a result of the band haven been spat out from Minor Threat, a band much more well versed in hardcore than in punk. I think it’s also a result of the true democracy of this band, the idea of them functioning as a collective unit, and if not that, at least a band where everyone gets some real time in the spotlight. I think it’s, finally, a result of the fact that Brendan Canty, the band’s drummer might have been their most technically accomplished instrumentalist, and so the fact that he was bringing complex ideas to the table including time signatures besides 2:4 and 4:4, meant that songs got based around them.
What it lead to was Fugazi being a band built upon rhythms. But when they added second drummer Jerry Busher for The Argument, something special happened. Oftentimes when a band has two drummers, they feel the need to make two divergent drum parts for each to play. The great thing about fugazi is how through overlapping and moments of singularity, the rhythm often peels and pushes. These drums feel fluid and feverish, but never overwrought.
and Hurray for the Riff Raff, who released what I can almost certainly say will be my favorite album of the year, just recorded a Daytrotter session. I haven’t listened, but, like Mallomars or Steve Buscemi cameos, there are something you can just tell are going to work out well.