Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and director Christoph Green’s live performance DVD series, “Burn To Shine,” will spawn projects taped in Seattle, Louisville in Atlanta in the coming months. First up will likely be the Seattle edition, which boasts performances from Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder (on ukulele), Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Minus The Bear and the Long Winters, among others.
In each “Burn to Shine,” bands that all hail from the chosen town perform, without an audience, in a house that is scheduled for demolition at the end of that day. But in Seattle, there was a surprise twist.
“At the last minute it was rescued by some guy who came to the filming. He walked by and saw Eddie Vedder playing inside this really cute bungalow,” Canty tells Billboardcom. “So this guy walked by and was like, ‘I have to buy this house.’ I think he bought it for really cheap, lifted it onto a truck and put it on a new foundation in Ballard. He saved it from the wrecking ball. We have footage of the house being moved.”
“It is seriously depressing to have these houses come down at the end,” Canty continues. “These are perfectly good houses. So the Seattle ending is heartwarming.” The DVD “is very nearly done,” according to Canty, who expects it will be out before Christmas via Trixie DVD.
The just-filmed Atlanta installment, with performances from Mastodon, Deerhunter, the Black Lips, Shannon Wright and Snowden, will probably come next. “Mastodon did an acoustic song, minus the drummer,” Canty says. “It is amazing. Their records are totally impressive, but when you hear them play the songs on acoustic guitars, you realize how interesting their music is. Black Lips played and threw sh*t around the room. They brought their own light show.”
Atlanta was also graced by a performance by the Mighty Hannibal, a blind R&B singer who was a contemporary of James Brown and Little Richard. “He has all their names in his cell phone,” Canty marvels.
Some post-production issues are holding up the Louisville DVD, which has songs from Will Oldham, Shipping News and Magik Markers (“they played 20 minutes of noise,” Canty says). “One good thing for the Louisville one is that the house itself is fabulous,” Canty says. “It was built by hand by this guy who was very religious, but also a musician. We have all of his recordings and letters, so I want to use some of those, like him in the house playing piano. He’s still alive, and he gave us permission, but I’d love to interview him and get a little more background on him.”
In addition to wrapping the Bob Mould live DVD “Circle of Friends” (Canty played in Mould’s live band on the tour it chronicles), Canty will likely be involved in filming some Wilco shows next spring for an as-yet-unannounced project and has also scored the film “Indestructible,” about a man named Ben Byar’s struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
“He started three or four years ago, right after he was diagnosed,” Canty says. “It involves his treatment and his emotional and spiritual journey. It’s a very powerful film and I was really moved by it.”