Saturday, February 16, 2008

Burn to Shine: Seattle

I can think of few better ways to spend a welcome, sunny but cold Saturday afternoon than watching the fifth DVD in the Burn to Shine series. Produced by Brendan Canty and Christoph Green, the series is impressive on multiple levels. One, each edition meets the needs of the best mix tape or compilation record: They turn you on to great new music, while including and introducing some elements you might not seek out on your own. Two, it's a fun concept: Gather a bunch of local musicians who represent a given scene in a certain state in time, and film them in a house that's about to be destroyed; then film the demolition. And three, visually and musically, the DVDs show a love and care for music that's not precious or protective; they're pure celebration.

Thanks to Deb, who turned me on to a previous edition, I ordered the Seattle DVD, which was recorded on Jan. 27, 2007. There's nothing on here that's bad, and what's good is great. I especially appreciated the performances by Harvey Danger, Dave Bazan, Benjamin Gibbard (who organized the musicians who performed), and the Long Winters. I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed the Eddie Vedder selection, and it was really Gibbard who emerged as my favorite. He's a songwriter and performer to follow.

This is a wonderful project -- elegant in its simplicity and beautiful in its execution... if not sheer existence.

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