Two decades in, it's about time the post-punk scene got its own coffee-table books. Glen E. Friedman—who gained notice for photographing nascent punk, hip-hop, and skateboarding scenes—began documenting Fugazi in pictures shortly after the band launched, and Keep Your Eyes Open: Fugazi captures the D.C. stalwarts from the late '80s through their last American show in 2002. A good chunk of the beautifully printed hardcover is dedicated to live shots, which is unsurprising, considering Fugazi's live reputation: Friedman illustrates their interconnectedness onstage via kinetic shots that capture the spontaneity of one of rock's best live bands ever. It's like a still version of the band-approved documentary Instrument: Both get deep enough inside the cocoon to describe it with impossible detail. The windy introduction from former Nation Of Ulysses/Make-Up frontman Ian Svenonius is about twice as long as it needs to be, and it features a number of silly alter egos, but it also gets at the heart of Fugazi's singularity. The band decided on a set of principles at its birth and stuck by them to the end, ultimately benefiting themselves (spiritually and artistically, though not financially) and the many people who consider their music important.
But the definitive Fugazi photo might belong to Pat Graham, a photographer who came of age right alongside Fugazi in the D.C. scene. His shot of frontman Ian MacKaye, legs spread, concentrating intently, standing in front of the Washington Monument, is one of many iconic snaps in his Silent Pictures. Graham was also there to capture scene- and life-changing moments from Bikini Kill, Modest Mouse (with whom he's toured and worked extensively), and The Jesus Lizard, each captured in images that do more than just convey a moment. They convey entire careers: Bikini Kill amazingly in control, just sitting on stage, Isaac Brock asleep and probably wasted, Fugazi's Guy Picciotto teetering as always on the edge of explosion. Though Graham's photographs are just as physically close as Friedman's, there's a bit more artistic difference, a sense that he's excellent at capturing a moment even when he isn't a part of it. Both collections succeed in conveying how affecting the subjects could be, with the best shots so striking that it's almost possible to hear the music.