text kenny herzog
In an intro to Keep Your Eyes Open, a Fugazi homage by preeminent punk photographer Friedman, former Nation Of Ulysses/The Make-Up frontman, Ian Svenonius points out that rock ’n’ roll is rife with intriguing juxtaposition. It follows then that the core allure of Friedman’s snapshots are their elegant depictions of an inherently visceral and no-frills movement. It’s even more fitting when applied to Fugazi, the D.C. post-everything heroes who merged hardcore’s vigorous energy with compassionate politics and daring musicality. Truth be told though, Svenonius’ essay, while passionate, doesn’t illuminate much for already ardent Fugazi fans.
Keep Your Eyes Open (Burning Flags Press, 2007) is about the relationship between Friedman and the band, the band and the audience, and the band members and their own maturation. The latter’s documentation is most fascinatingly captured in these 100-plus pages, as Ian, Guy, Brendan and Joe metamorphose from shorn-headed Margin Walker punks to erudite In On The Kill Taker bohemians and eventually to statesman heading off to hiatus. Friedman’s personal reflections accompany many of the shots, but it’s the images themselves––fiery, poetic, sexy and searing––that will place this book prominently alongside Fuck You Heroes and Get In The Van.