With his Burn to Shine DVD series, "we're trying to get away from [...] the idea that music always has to be presented on giant stages with a bunch of lights and tons of people," says Fugazi's Brendan Canty. Are concert videos formulaic and cliché? Of course. Whether intentionally or not, Canty's spawned another fairly rigid formula, which by its third installment seems a bit tired as well.
Here's how it works: Canty and director Christoph Green spend one day in a house slated for demolition, as a dozen acts from a given area's music scene come in on the hour and play one song each. At the end of the day, the house is destroyed.
In the Portland edition, the house is generic, newish construction miles from the city, scheduled to be engulfed in flames as training for the local fire department. Bands include The Thermals, The Decemberists, Quasi and others; highlights include a spirited "Saint Simon" from The Shins and a reserved but intense performance from Sleater-Kinney. It works well as a video sampler of groups, but the format seems static and alienating, as indie groups try to perform in a stranger's suburban house in the middle of the day.
But all I could think of while watching was how badass the Pittsburgh installment would be. Hell, one of our major industries is Shit That's Gone. Hey Brendan â€” come burn a whole neighborhood, film it and sell it back to us on late-night cable. Just one easy payment of $29.99. Call 1-800-PGH-BURN now and we'll throw in DVD of the Three Rivers Stadium biting the dust...absolutely free.