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|Born||March 9, 1966|
Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.
|Musician, composer, producer, film maker|
Brendan Canty began playing drums at the age of 15, debuting in Washington DC Dischord Records band Deadline, one of the signature bands of the early DC hardcore scene in the summer of 1981. They recorded a demo at Inner Ear Studios that Fall and from those sessions three tracks were used on the Dischord "Flex Your Head" compilation. After playing a number of shows through the following year, Deadline recorded one more session at Inner Ear in August 1982, just prior to disbanding. Canty continued his musical career in 1985 with Dischord band Rites of Spring, after which he played drums in one on/off reunion group One Last Wish, and Happy Go Licky.
Canty joined Fugazi, as their drummer in 1987 and recorded and toured with the group until their "indefinite hiatus" in 2003.
Many of Fugazi's songs since Repeater are based on guitar riffs introduced at rehearsals by Canty. An adept multi-instrumentalist, Canty also writes songs on piano (he plays a skeletal version of "Bed for the Scraping" on the Instrument DVD), as well as bass lines for some songs. He is also noted for using a large farmers bell as part of his drum kit.
Canty frequently composes soundtrack music, primarily for documentaries, often with National Geographic and Discovery Channel. He also contributes to or helps produce other Washington D.C.-area recordings. During Fugazi's post-2002 hiatus, Canty took part in a side project, Garland of Hours, with vocalist/cellist/keyboardist Amy Domingues and drummer/percussionist Jerry Busher, both of whom have contributed to Fugazi recordings and performances. Their first self-titled album was released on the Arrest Records label founded by Busher and Canty's younger brother James, formerly of Nation of Ulysses.
Canty's score for the Sundance Channel documentary series The Hill premiered on August 23, 2006. He continues to Score the National Geographic Channel's "Hard Time".
In 2004, Canty and director Christoph Green co-founded the film Production company Trixie to release an ongoing series of music-related films entitled Burn to Shine. The series involves independent alternative music bands from a particular region showing up to perform one song live, without overdubs or corrections, in a house that is about to be demolished. The first volume was filmed in Canty's home region of Washington, D.C., and features performances from Bob Mould, Weird War, Q and Not U, Ted Leo, French Toast, Medications, fellow Fugazi member Ian MacKaye's side project The Evens, and Garland of Hours. A second volume, filmed in the Chicago area, was released in 2005, and a third filmed in Portland, Oregon came out August 20, 2006.
In late 2004 and early 2005, Canty contributed drum tracks to Bob Mould's 2005 solo album, Body of Song. Canty was also the drummer for many dates on the winter 2005/2006 tour in support of the album. Canty returns as the drummer for Bob Mould's District Line, to be released February 2008.
Using the same crew and filming style as on the Burn to Shine series, Canty and Green made a concert film of a Bob Mould show, entitled "Circle of Friends."[when?] Canty produced the film and played drums during the show, which took place at Washington D.C.'s 9:30 Club.
In 2006, Canty and Green also madeSunken Treasure: Live in the Pacific Northwest, a 2006 Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) tour film, and the Wilco tour film Ashes of American Flags, which was released in 2009 and toured festivals extensively, eventually being broadcast on the Sundance Channel in the US, and being released on DVD and iTunes.
He produced Ted Leo and the Pharmacists's Living With the Living and The Tyranny of Distance albums. He also produced Benjy Ferree, The Thermals's The Body, The Blood, The Machine, and French Toast records, as well as mixing the self-titled debut album for The Aquarium.[when?]
In 2007, Stylus Magazine ranked Canty at #29 on their list of the "50 Greatest Rock Drummers" based on his drumming work with Fugazi. In a 2015 interview drummer Joe Wong stated seeing Fugazi was a formative experience.