Help! Our bands are on fire!

Fanning the flames
By LIZ PELLY  |  August 29, 2012

columbiahouse1

Brendan Burns and his 11 housemates were asleep early last Thursday morning when flames engulfed their three-floor Cambridge home around 3:15 a.m.

The building, located at 95 Columbia Street in Central Square — and known by friends as "The Danger Zone" and "The Columbia House" — was home to a fluctuating group of local artists and musicians. Its displaced residents include Burns, who performs his own music and with the Kristen Ford Band and SchoolTree, plus solo artist Mary Bichner (formerly of Box Five), film producer Peter Moulthrop, Jaggery's upright bassist Tony Leva, banjo player Thomas Huber, and seven others.

No residents were injured and the cause of the fire is unknown as of yet, though Burns says they are expecting to know by Friday. The fire destroyed the majority of their possessions, including instruments.

"The local community has been incredible and supportive," says Burns, who'd been living in the house for five years. "There's a lot of resources, from the Red Cross and fire department, that have been outstanding and incredibly supportive."

Two fundraisers are in the works to help out the displaced residents: the first, "Help! Our Bands Are on Fire!," is set for September 9, with 25 bands playing at various venues around Union Square, including Precinct, Sally O'Brien's, and PA's Lounge.

The second is set for September 14 at Flat Top Johnny's. The event, "Dark Angels," is inspired by the Boston goth scene, and will include DJs, performances, and prizes from local artists.

"A lot of these artists that are helping out. . . it's striking," Burns adds. "Because artists don't have a lot of money. [So] it's really incredible to see people helping out. We are an incredible community."

Those interested in donating to Columbia House residents can visit columbiahousefire.weebly.com or columbiahousefire.chipin.com.

  Topics: This Just In , Music, Cambridge, fire,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY LIZ PELLY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   COLLECTIVE THINKING @ BLANC GALLERY  |  March 06, 2013
    In 2010, a group of 20-something art and music enthusiasts transformed an unassuming basement space on Vancouver Street into YES.OUI.SI., a multi-media gallery and gathering spot for young talents that hosted dozens of visual-art shows, film screenings, literary readings, and experimental music performances.
  •   PRIMORDIAL SOUNDS’ LABEL-READY LEARNING CURVE  |  February 20, 2013
    Noah Bond's Allston apartment looks like an antique shop.
  •   BEACH FOSSILS | CLASH THE TRUTH  |  February 20, 2013
    Last year in an interview with the Phoenix , Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils said his sophomore album would be inspired by "a lot of frustration from a lot of different sources."
  •   ICEAGE | YOU'RE NOTHING  |  February 11, 2013
    There's something intriguing about the ways Copenhagen punk band Iceage seem simultaneously to care so much and so little.
  •   BEE-HAVIOR: ''FESTOONING THE INFLATABLE BEEHIVE'' AT BU'S 808 GALLERY  |  February 06, 2013
    An art gallery may seem like an unconventional space for discussions on insect behavior, but Maria Molteni maintains beekeeping is as much an art as a science.

 See all articles by: LIZ PELLY