Arts & Culture » Arts Stories & Interviews

George Carlin, Cornerstone Festival, Hacienda Brothers, Pinback and more

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Thursday • 12

INVISIBLE CHILDREN We've all heard of the United Nations, but not so many people are familiar with its support organization, the United Nations Association of the United States of America. In addition to its usual bimonthly lunch meetings, the Greater Orlando Chapter of the UNA-USA is hosting a special fund- raising screening of the documentary-in-progress Invisible Children. The film exposes the brutal treatment of children caught in war-torn Northern Uganda, where, for 18 years, they have been systematically kidnapped and turned into soldiers and sex slaves for warlords in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) . The film is part of the Invisible Children project, started by three college students on a trip to Africa, who recently returned to Uganda to complete filming and to make arrangements for the rescue of some of the children. If you can't make the screening, it's still possible to donate to the cause via their website (www.invisiblechildren.com). House party kits ($20) are also for sale, so anyone can throw a grassroots fund-raising screening of their own. (5:30 p.m. at DMAC; RSVP to 407-719-7060; $10)

Friday • 13

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GEORGE CARLIN Those of us who cut our teeth on classic comedy discs like Class Clown and Occupation: Foole know to approach George Carlin's every latter-day move with a combination of enthusiasm and trepidation. His act retains just enough of the altar-boy-gone-stoner mischief that made him a household word (OK, seven words) to carry us through the crotchety, occasionally forced ranting that has gradually become his bread and butter. We love George, which is why we wish he'd decide if he's an elitist, a populist or some expedient marriage of the two; plus his references can be just flat-out bizarre (and not in a good way). But we're totally in his pocket whenever he launches another assault against the dolts who would murder the English language for their own mercenary purposes. With basic literacy taking it in the can left and right, thank your lucky stars we have this foole on our side in the fight against obfuscation. (That is a word, right?) (8 p.m. at Carr Performing Arts Centre; 407-849-2020; $39)

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HACIENDA BROTHERS If the voice of Chris Gaffney – the main singer in the not- related Hacienda Brothers – sounds heavy and world-weary, there's a reason for it; Gaffney has been on the road for more than a quarter-century, both with his own band (Cold Hard Facts) and with the likes of Dave Alvin (who knows good talent when he sees it). Gaffney's resonant voice is as deep as it is rustic, and is perfectly complemented by guitarist Dave Gonzalez, who takes time off from leading the Paladins to collaborate with Gaffney as the Hacienda Brothers. The Brothers' self-titled debut is twangy, but drenched in Texas soul and ballad-singer emotions, just the way we like it. (with The Goldminers; 6 p.m. at Copper Rocket Pub; 407-645-0069; $5)

THE BIRDS Who needs 3-D? Getting to watch Tippi Hedren being viciously attacked by feathered fiends is upsetting enough when you can hear the real thing fluttering overhead. An outdoor screening of Hitchcock's eye-pecking thriller makes for a suitably meta kickoff to the "Eola Classics After Dark" series of al fresco movie nights, which brings a touch of the AMC channel to the downtown calendar for the rest of the month. From the very idea of it, you can tell that members of the Downtown Orlando Partnership (the series' main presenter) have attended the popular "Popcorn Flicks" in Winter Park's Central Park; too bad that the Eola lineup isn't nearly as carefully chosen, rounded out by Creature From the Black Lagoon on May 20 and Rear Window on May 27. Fine films all, but two Hitch features in three weeks? That's a schedule as lopsided as your tuchis is going to be after a while in one of those amphitheater seats. (8:15 p.m. at Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola; 407-435-5350; free)

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CORNERSTONE FESTIVAL We've been over the whole "isn't it weird how there are all these good bands that happen to be Christian and none of 'em sound like Stryper" thing a lot. And we're kinda tired of it. We don't like being preached to, and we don't like the smug superiority that lots of Christians exhibit. But we do like Starflyer 59. And David Bazan. And Copeland. And Lovedrug. And Zao. And John Davis. And The Kick. And The Party People. And since they're all gonna be there, we're thinking this will be another great year for Cornerstone. (1 p.m. at Central Florida Fairgrounds; www.cornerstoneflorida.com; $20-$50; continues Saturday, May 14)

BIIRDIE Biirdie is just a weird band. We didn't think so at first; on initial listens, their Morning Kills the Dark album was engaging, atmospheric, a bit mournful. Quirky, yes. Weird, no. But after seeing them perform a couple of times, we've come to the realization that this band is well beyond "quirky." Skittering between bouncy pop, piano-laden gut-wrenchers and a group-sung a cappella number that will make you feel incredibly uncomfortable, a Biirdie performance is a unique thing indeed, neither too cool for school nor too willing to please. (with Of Montreal, I Am the World Trade Center; 9 p.m. at The Social; 407-246-1419; $10)

Saturday • 14

IL FESTIVAL DI PESCE E DI FIORI This sort of took us by surprise, because we don't often hear about interesting combined-media events; usually it's really good movies or really good bands, but seldom both. We're not sure exactly what prompted this cross-pollinated festival (the title of which translates to "The Festival of Fish and Flowers"); that title makes us suspect that it was the advent of spring. Hey, anything that brings together bands we adore as much as New Roman Times, Summerbirds in the Cellar, Fantasie and Franchise with intriguing indie films like The Boy Who Lost His Song (an award-winner at the 2004 Florida Film Festival) and An Evening With Ivan Gorsky (which manages to cross-pollinate vampires and billiards) is exactly the kind of event we want to encourage. (9 p.m. at DMAC; 407-992-1200; $5)

Wednesday • 18

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PINBACK We've been pretty vocal about our affection for Pinback in the past, so it would be unbecoming of us to begrudge them their recent successes. Plus, we thought we were the only people in the world who love Slint (Pinback recently opened for them) as much as we love The OC, so when our boys got songs in not one, not two, but three episodes of that hormonal drama, we were proud in a dirty kind of way. After all, it's not every day we get to hear Rob Crow on television … OK, well, maybe now it is. (9 p.m. at The Social; 407-246-1419; $13, $14)


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