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Burn to Shine

I'm happy with the cooler temperatures. It is good reading weather, sitting on a a wicker sofa with the porchlight on, looking up occasionally to see pretty girls walk their dogs or the ramblings of the neighborhood raccoon family. The light is changing too and is doing interesting things, even on cloudy nights, like the layers of patchwork illumination I saw around ten last night.

I finally saw the first of the 'Burn To Shine' DVDs this weekend. If you don't know about them, 'Burn to Shine' is a great concept and I was anxious to see what they were like. The filmmakers find an old house that has been donated to the fire department. The day before the house is destroyed, they go in and invite local bands to come play one song each. The series has three DVDs so far, set in three different cities; DC, Chicago and Portland. I watched the DC set.

The bands set up in the living room and played one song, no audience but the camera crew. It was very interesting. I do love rock-n-roll in a living room setting and these were some pretty good bands. Personally, I thought the band Weird War stole the show with a very cool song, "AK-47." Bob Mould was another highlight; I've always loved the way his post-Husker Du guitar rings with that hint of Richard Thompson, but minus the whirling dervish feel. Among the extras, there were a collection of stills, including some great photos of Ian MacKaye and Bob Mould together, which is like those photos of Castro and Guevera for certain harcore loving folks, I guess. For me, it was just nice to see these two punk rock elders looking not only like they've not only survived their reckless youth, but prospered. At the end, there is footage of the house being set on fire and footage of the charred wreckage. Very moving.

I think the house must have been pretty cold - it was filmed in January - as all the bands were wearing coats and hats and other toasty winter reminders.

It is pretty hard not to thinkof the life that a house sees from the inside and not be awed. This was a very modest house. An old lady had lived there for a long time and had died. The empty rooms were a solemn and lonely picture, but the music was a nice, loud reminder of what? ...The spark of life? ...Hope? ...Or was it just a glimpse, a memeorial, a proper funeral? Somehow, it reminded me of something I couldn't name.

We've all seen our share of crumbling houses and ruin in our time. We've also all heard a lot of great music, some of you have even made some great music. Combining the two was the audio-visual equivalent of mango-habanero salsa.







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post #416
bio: blaine
perma-link
9/12/2006
11:30

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