Sunwolf - Sunwolf has the dubious task of beginning the musical part of the evening. Locals from DC, this trio also has a Fugazi connection. Sunwolf is built, as I imagine most local bands are, with the pieces of other local bands; singer/songwriter Kalani Tifford recruited both Tom Bunnell from the Felt Letters and Jerry Busher from Fugazi. It's a quick set. Despite the film running a little long, Sunwolf finish their set within half an hour. It's a mix of garage and power pop. The compositions are quick, catchy, and with a more receptive audience, singalongs wouldn't have been out of the question. Following the movie was no easy task; about half the room emptied after its completion and the remaining half seem somewhat distracted from what they just saw. Something is definitely missing from the set and I don't fault Sunwolf. It's tough to follow a piece seeped in nostalgia but they power through it and their music does a good job of trying to lighten up the room again. The last piece is different; they slow things down as the reach the halfway point; quick chords become long, sustaining, whole notes. The drums though continue their steady beat, almost as if they are leading the guitar, a crumb trail back home.
Algiers - The evening ends poetically; despite the good intentions, serving “as a time capsule of that scene on that particular day in that particular city, and as an epitaph for the building the performances take place in”, the Burn to Shine series can be quite depressing. With each film, we witness not only the death of a home but too the death of these very close, amazingly talented communities. As the teeth of the heavy machinery cut into the walls of these homes, Green closes a door. While that particular moment in Atlanta may have died almost a decade ago; Algiers lets us all know that Atlanta still has a lot to offer. Algiers is more rhythmic than anything featured in the Burn to Shine piece this evening. The beats, the constant thud of the drum and the accompanying computer, seep through, and wrap their way around each member. Like the movie, interstitials play a part in Algiers' set. Each piece begins with something out of a Tangerine Dream score. These are quick, progressive pieces that set the table for the songs that follow. It works well and reminds me of Zechs Marquise as well. Algiers, in particular, is a pleasure to watch as the passion for what they are doing is hard to ignore. Usually that passion is most clearly seen in lead vocalist, Franklin James Fisher. It’s worth noting that his melodies are particularly strong. Since the compositions tend to emphasize rhythm, Franklin is often left alone to do the heavy lifting and he does not disappoint. It's a shame that the room remains sparsely attended. Both bands have put on excellent and varied performances.