Next week Washington D.C.’s will release First Demo, the first 11 songs the band recorded in 1988 after playing only 10 shows together. Though the band distributed 10 of the songs from this session via cassette tape at shows, only one track ever received a formal release (“In Defense Of Humans,” on the 1989 State Of The Union benefit compilation), while another, “Take Off Your Guns,” has never been released until now. The remaining nine songs would each be re-recorded for later releases, but First Demo offers a look at some of the band’s most defining songs in their elemental states—so primitive that Ian MacKaye flubs his first vocal cue in “Waiting Room,” his charming, “Aw, whoops” remaining in the mix.
The release of First Demo coincides with the completion of the band’s most ambitious project, the Fugazi Live Series, which has seen the band document over 1,000 shows it played between 1988 and 2003. Nearly 900 of those have band- and fan-recorded audio available for download via MacKaye’s Dischord Records.