The fight for the U.S. election isn't over yet, and I don't mean that in the laughed-out-of-court Trump sense. I'm talking about the Waterloo of the Georgia runoffs that could flip the Senate and completely guarantee the correction our country is trying to make.
To that end, Orlando punk band Debt Neglector are local heroes this week — and, if all goes right, true national heroes come January. They're using the release of their latest record, the Bad Faith EP, to help fuel that battleground blitz and bring it over the goal line. They're funneling 100 percent of the money earned from sales of this digital EP on Bandcamp directly to Fair Fight Action, the Stacey Abrams-founded, pro-voting organization that's mobilizing hard right now in Georgia.
Now, of course you'd still be a perfectly upstanding citizen if you just donated directly to Fair Fight. But why not get some empowering punk rock tunes out of it? Still, if you don't care about this cause then you're an asshole.
Just kidding ... asshole. Eventually, though, the music will be made available for general streaming next month after this noble campaign — you know, for all you assholes.
CONCERT PICKS THIS WEEK
Sleigher: The Heavy Metal Xmas Party: Holiday cheer is for headbangers too, and with the year we've had, a little raging is definitely in order. Featuring Withering Earth, Auditory Armory, Darkness by Design and Beyond Silence, this Central Florida roundup is a stuffed stocking of theatrical metal. Anyone wearing a Santa hat or an ugly Christmas sweater gets drink specials. Mask required for entry and standing, and drinking allowed only when seated. (7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, The Haven Lounge, $10-$12)
LPT: With all the surprisingly sustained cool weather we've been enjoying lately, surely some of us Central Floridians are shivering like chihuahuas. Well, this event is the perfect chance to thaw out in glory. With a whopping 10-piece orchestra, Jacksonville salsa syndicate LPT will blow through town like a hot tropical wind with their true-school Afro-Cuban heat. Limited capacity show. (8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, The New Standard, no cover)
Carol Stein: When the headliner of a 2016 Timucua concert was a no-show, I watched this local performer agree to take the stage at a show she was only at as a spectator and completely bring down a house full of people who had devoted their evening to seeing someone else. It was an impromptu marvel that nutshelled the pure joy of watching a consummate piano performer like Stein deliver music as entertainment and not just art. (8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, $25)
Cosmic Gate: From construction delays to pandemic ones, anticipated new venue the Vanguard has loomed as the biggest question mark in the city's music landscape for over two years. Now, the most dramatic reboot of the historic nightclub at Firestone since probably the 1990s has finally opened. But instead of some grand, bottle-popping reveal, the big new hall has so far slowly and cautiously unveiled itself in a slow trickle of events. The next features German trance breakouts Cosmic Gate along with Luccio, Robb Blak and Suzy Solar. Safety measures will include mask requirement, temperature check, half-capacity restriction and a new Reme Halo air purification system. (9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, The Vanguard, $14.99-$44.99)
The Byrne Brothers: While checking out the plentiful Irish music offerings at Raglan Road a couple years ago, probably the most genuine and charming display I saw was this Byrne family act, who were then in residence at the Disney Springs entertainment spot. Accompanied by their father Tommy, the three young brothers — Luca, Finn and Dempsey — bring traditional authenticity straight from the old country. They're based in Orlando now but hail from Dublin and hold championships in Ireland in traditional instruments and even dancing, so expect a lively display with as many jigs as jams. (7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Claddagh Cottage, no cover)