I was very fortunate to grow up near Washington, D.C., the home of Dischord Records, arguably one of the most important and influential independent record labels of all time.
When I was 15 — long past the point of discovering my love for music — I started going to Smash Records in Washington, DC. It was there I would spend much of my part-time job paycheck — upwards of $100 a month — buying CDs and other music merch. It was this record store that brought Fugazi and countless other non-radio-friendly bands into my life.
By October 2001, Fugazi released ‘The Argument’ and my life would never be the same.
I’ve read that Ian MacKaye conceived the titular song/album name as “an anti-war manifesto.” MacKaye elaborates, “A main point of the song is that I will not agree with war across the board. It also talks about a greater argument: that these giant airplanes are dropping tons of homicidal weaponry, blowing the shit out of everybody, and guys are running around with guns. And that is an argument of colossal scale.”
The album is aggressive. Experimental. Beautiful. While many Fugazi fans will say their earlier records were their best, it’s my opinion ‘The Argument’ is their most cohesive and grandest masterpiece. I also think “best” can be generally subjective. This album is simply one of my favorites of all time. It’s a funny coincidence my former client James Jackson Toth (Wooden Wand) posted this on Stereogum the day after I got a tattoo (he agrees!).
But an argument can be made for anything; listen to it on Spotify here: Fugazi – The Argument
‘The Argument’ is now a part of me for the rest of my life and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
First, I would like to thank the artist of the fantastic album art, Jem Cohen. But Myles Karr at Three Kings Tattoo Parlor in Brooklyn is the real hero of this story. Without his attention to detail, this tattoo could’ve been disastrous. Like most tattoos.
But instead, this tattoo turned out aggressive. Experimental. Beautiful.
Bonus shot: Me about to pass out from the pain!