» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

March 23, 2005
Fire always makes things more noteworthy. Without pyrotechnics Metallica is just your 35-year-old next door neighbor's Black Sabbath cover band. This much is apparent to Fugazi's Brendan Canty and Tangerine Studios' Christoph Green.

Recently Canty launched a film series with the intent of traveling from town to town, finding abandoned houses that are to be destroyed, and filming local bands performing within the doomed structures. Entitled Burn to Shine, the series has released its first DVD volume from Washington DC featuring eight songs from local rock standouts including Q and Not U, French Toast, and Bob Mould.

The power of this idea comes from the fact that the performances are real, without overdubs, and combined together in one unique experience to show a sense of local scene. DC has always been a place recognized for its punk rock and hardcore roots, but few people realize that it also hosts musicians like the throwback psychedelic '70s indie rockers, Weird War, or now-solo/ex-Hüsker Dü-er, Bob Mould.

Track-by-track, this is how the first installment, Burn to Shine: Washington, DC 01.14.04, pans out:

1. Q and Not U ("X-Polynation") - The trio romps with energy through a song that is featured on one of the trio's recent 7" singles. Drummer John Davis controls the tempo as guitarist/singer Harris Klahr crackles across the mic and synth player/bassists/vocalist Chris Richards frantically dances about in a sash and low-brimmed hat. Classic Q and Not U, and one of the best performances/songs on this DVD.

2. Medications ("Domestic Animals") - They equal Q and Not U in edginess, except without the squeaking and with the addition of an electric bass player. Members include ex-Faraquet players in guitarist/singer Devin Ocampo and bassist/singer Chad Molter, plus Andrew Becker on drums. Ocampo's cutting guitar and pressured vocals mix well in the off-standard punk rock style. The performance is enhanced by a variance of camera shots, including one from outside the house that shows Becker pounding away on the drumkit.

3. Garland of Hours ("Words Versus") - The weakest song of the performance, Garland of Hours perhaps suffers from the cohesiveness of the other sets. Freelance cellist Amy Domingues leads on piano/vocals in a style of wallowing rock that interrupts the flow of the film and just doesn't create the same level of interest as the other two acts previous. James Canty (Brendan's brother) is featured on drums and Ocampo sits in on guitar.

4. French Toast ("Insane") - Pretty uninsane but a decent track nonetheless. French Toast is James Canty (also of the hallowed Make Up) and Jerry Busher (Fugazi). These two guys have way too much equipment in this little abandoned living room for the amount of sound that they eventually make with it. It's all guitar looping and drum machine tracks, stale in this environment but perhaps be danceable to some.

5. Ted Leo ("Bleeding Powers") - One of the more enjoyable tracks/performances from Burn To Shine. Leo takes it on solo, which is refreshing because even without other members to focus on his brief performance is absorbing. The singer chugs away at guitar chords and twitches his body back and forth as if he is being poked and prodded by a punk rock ghost eager for him to hurry up and finish. But Leo bares his teeth, reaches way back and lets out a trembling ghost of his own.

6. Weird War ("AK-47") - This segment induces a novelty and creativeness to the disc. There is an element of Bob Barker and the Price is Right to this entire performance. Maybe it's that long microphone, maybe it's the strange '70s clothes. "AK-47" is a song that 95% of the music population could write but only these guys and gal could play in this way. The falsetto chorus and wah-wah guitar mix well with fringed shirts and fuzz sunglasses.

7. The Evens ("Mount Pleasant Isn't") - Ian MacKaye takes another step in his career. First the punk rock of Minor Threat and Embrace, then the post punk rock stylings of the legendary Fugazi and now the minimalist post rock girl/guy duo of The Evens. MacKaye strums a low-end, baritone acoustic guitar while Amy Farina rocks the drumkit with soft sticks. Farina sounds great next to MacKaye but looks as if she is about to fall asleep for lack of energy. It all comes together when the two pound on the beat and sing/holler, "The police will not be excused/ The police will not behave."

8. Bob Mould ("Hoover Dam") - The pinnacle performance for old school punk rockers. Mould ties the scene together with his solo acoustic/vocal moment, churning out an oldie from his time leading Sugar. A great cap that shows what the scene is all about and shows that Mould still has it all together.

SEE ALSO: www.trixiedvd.com

Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other articles by Josh Zanger.



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