Music News

Burning Down the House

Here's the concept behind the Burn to Shine DVD series, the latest installment of which (Burn to Shine 03: Portland, OR) was released August 22 by Trixie DVD: One city hosts a sunup-to-sundown procession of local bands performing one song each within a house that at day's end will be destroyed (in Portland's case, immolated under the supervision of the Tualatin Fire Department). Call it producer (and former Fugazi drummer) Brendan Canty's attempt to capture a historical moment from the evanescence of both the sentenced structure and one city's music scene. Curated by The Decemberists' Chris Funk and beautifully captured in sight and sound, the Portland episode (other cities in the series include Washington, D.C., Chicago, Louisville, and Austin) unquestionably stars Sleater-Kinney, The Shins, and Funk's own band. But Portland's lesser-known acts — some struggling against shoe-gazing self-consciousness, some delivering overcompensating ADD rock in the small and, at times, claustrophobic living room — champ at the discovery bit, including Mirah and their quaint brand of Eastern European wedding reception folk, and Girls Rock Camp alumni The Ready, a prepubescent pop collective that is accordingly accomplished and adorable.
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Rob Trucks