'Burn To Shine' Illuminates Chicago, Portland
Wilco, Tortoise, Shellac, Freakwater, the Ponys, Pit Er Pat and the Lonesome Organist are all featured on the new DVD.The second installment of the "Burn To Shine" performance series will be released Aug. 23 on DVD via Trixie. The brainchild of Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, the project was shot in Chicago last September and, like January's debut Washington, D.C.-based version, spotlights bands playing one song each in the same room of an empty house that faces imminent destruction.
Wilco, Tortoise, Shellac, Freakwater, the Ponys, Pit Er Pat and the Lonesome Organist are all featured on the new DVD. Canty is particularly fond of the performance from the Americana-leaning Freakwater, contributing to what he tells Billboard.com is a "much more varied batch of music this time. In the room, it sounded nice, but in the context of these other bands, I think they're maybe my favorite thing on there."
He also marvels at Wilco's version of "Muzzle of Bees," which featured a sizzling solo from guitarist Nels Cline. "It was shocking how loud it was in a small room," he says. "They did three takes and every time the solo was totally different and totally amazing."
Meanwhile, the third "Burn To Shine" volume was recently filmed in Portland, Ore., and will likely be released in January. The location: a 4,500-square foot, six-year-old house overlooking a golf course and vineyards in the countryside outside the city. The home was then torn down so the owner could build a 10,000-square foot Italian-style villa on the property.
"We're still shooting in the same one room, but it is surrounded by windows," Canty says. "You see mountains and golfers on the golf course staring up at us, as the Thermals start playing [laughs]. So far, the footage looks amazing. It looks totally different than the first two."
The lineup features the Shins, the Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, the Gossip, Lifesavas, Mirah and a group of 11-year-old girls from a nearby rock camp. Canty credits the Decemberists' Chris Fink with helping shepherd the project from beginning to end.
"Trying to organize that many bands almost gave me a heart attack," he says with a chuckle. "Chris just knew everybody. He was a really good influence on this one and I really glommed onto his energy. As soon as he got involved, I could tell his enthusiasm would make it all happen."
As previously reported, Canty will be behind the drum kit for Bob Mould's upcoming Europe and North American tours, and has lately been working hard to learn the short list of 46 songs Mould is hoping to include.
"I'm just over at my rehearsal space every night for a couple of hours, with my iPod and headphones playing drums," he says. The tour, which comes in support of Mould's new Yep Roc album "Body of Song," begins Sept. 4 in Dublin.