Arts & Culture » Arts Stories & Interviews

In Flames, W.A.S.P., Gary Baseman, BRMC and more


Thursday • 23

DOROTHY ALLISON READING Purely coincidentally, we're sure, all four writers booked for this year's Winter With the Writers event at Rollins College are known to varying degrees as memoirists. Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life kick-started the current mania for confessional prose; Nathan Englander's short stories are mostly set in the same "shtetl-mentality" milieu he was raised in; Nikki Giovanni is a more militant Alice Walker; and finally there's white-trash bard Dorothy Allison, whose Bastard out of Carolina chronicled a grim-to-grisly tale of growing up redneck "inspired" by her own childhood in Greenville, S.C. Most memoir writers are probably feeling a little skittish these days, wondering when the press is going to come Smoking-Gunning for them, but skittish doesn't seem to be in Allison's vocabulary – try fearless, fiery or unflinching instead. (8 p.m. at Bush Auditorium, Rollins College; free; 407-646-2666)

OUT OF THE SHADOW What's known about schizophrenia is mostly taken from television shows' takes on the wonderfully dramatic condition. To balance the mythology, the nonprofit NAMIGO (National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Orlando) is screening Out of the Shadow, a documentary about a woman's real-life struggle with schizophrenia and its impact on her family. A panel discussion and Q&A follows the film and includes local psychiatrists and others with expert knowledge. (6:30 p.m. at Orlando Regional Healthcare Multipurpose Room; free, advance registration requested; 407-253-1900)

Friday • 24

THE COTTON CLUB That the Florida A&M University College of Law is up and running in Orlando is no secret, but still there's not much heard about the thriving students therein. To change that perception, students and faculty are putting together a talent show of sorts called The Cotton Club, a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance and Black History Month. Passion is the key ingredient for this group of overachievers, who'll put their heart and soul into dance and song and spoken word. (5 p.m.-9 p.m. at Florida A&M University College of Law, Room 259, 201 Beggs Ave.; free; 305-785-7358)

Saturday • 25

FLORIDA WRITERS ASSOCIATION BOOK FAIR In conjunction with the group's one-day conference at Maitland Art Center, the Florida Writers Association is taking over the next-door Quinn Strong Park for an all-day book sale. You never know what one-of-a-kind treasures you'll find in these stacks, and the prices are reasonable. Plus there will be a passel of association writers on hand selling and signing their personal contributions – see the faces responsible for what's between the covers. It's a day for bookish types to revel in the written word in the park's picturesque setting. And it's also the last chance to view the André Smith@125 exhibition (closing Feb. 26) commemorating the founder of the art center's paintings, prints, sculpture, writing and architectural renderings. Smith's out-of-the-ordinary visions are visible in every detail of this enchanting cultural enclave. (10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Quinn Strong Park at Maitland Art Center, Maitland; free; 407-539-2181)

Sunday • 26

IN FLAMES By our calculations, the inevitable backlash should begin right about now. With impressive sales numbers, infallible critical credibility and an ever-expanding audience, In Flames' decision to go for broke with their excellent new album – Come Clarity – is just the sort of thing that degenerate metalheads hate. Despite the fact that Clarity is as fierce as it is trend-defying, the band's decision to sign with a major-distributed indie label (Ferret) and utilize those resources to reach out to the MTV2 crowd will undoubtedly cause the band to be the victim of sellout scorn. Whatever. We stopped caring about bands selling out when we were 13 years old. All we care about is that they still rock mightily onstage (In Flames does) and deliver exceptional and uncompromising albums (Come Clarity is). So stop worrying that the jocks who kick your ass in gym know who In Flames is, and enjoy the show. (with Trivium, Devil Driver, Zao; 6:30 p.m. at House of Blues; $18.50-$22; 407-351-5483)

W.A.S.P. Blackie Lawless is no fool. Although temporarily deluded into thinking people wanted to hear a series of W.A.S.P. concept albums, he's come to his senses, and for this tour, he's trotting out the full-blown, old-school W.A.S.P. set list and stage show. (Sawblade codpiece? We can only hope.) He says it's in deference to the teeming multitudes of "new" W.A.S.P. fans who never got to see the "classic" performances. If by "new" he means "aging, nostalgic metalheads in their mid-30s who have no real future because they spent their high school years listening to W.A.S.P.," we believe him. (8 p.m. at Hard Rock Live; $15-$23; 407-351-5483)

Monday • 27

GARY BASEMAN Few artists keep their street-level cool amid widespread exposure as easily as has Gary Baseman. Though his whimsical style has become immediately identifiable thanks to mainstream projects like the much-missed ABC-TV cartoon Teacher's Pet and numerous corporate campaigns, it still retains an underground patina that keeps his gallery shows and limited-edition designer toys feeling endlessly pertinent. "How do you do it, Gary?" thus seems an ideal query with which to cap Baseman's Rollins College lecture, in which he'll address the subject "Pervasive Art" (the same topic he discussed in a 2004 appearance at the Orange County Regional History Center). Attendees will also have the chance to win original art that'll be awarded the following evening during a product signing at Winter Park's überhip Überbot store. Look for copies of Baseman's book, Dumb Luck, and some of his new adult playthings to arrive in time for the store visit. Just like him, this guy's "pervasive" art really gets around. (7 p.m. at Bush Auditorium, Rollins College; also 7 p.m. Tuesday at Überbot; both events free; 407-788-8237)

FABULOUS FRINGE FUNDRAISER Vocalizations by songstress supreme Becky Fisher. Onstage shenanigans by the Ladies of Eola Heights. Dancing by Jessica Mariko Omura and performances by the Jester Theater Company and Rob Ward and The Superfiends. Original music by Tod Kimbro (who, by the way, has a new CD out titled Soundtrack to a Chemical Spill). Auctions. Raffles. But what you really want to know is this: Even though the traditional benefit for the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival is taking place at the Orlando Repertory Theatre instead of The Peacock Room, food, beer and wine will still be available. All together now: Wheeeeew. (6 p.m. at Orlando Repertory Theatre; $30;

Tuesday • 28

BREATHLESS If the phrase "Jean-Luc Godard's debut feature" doesn't entice you into attending this month's edition of the Sundance Channel Film Series, be informed that its Tomatometer rating on the obsessively referenced movie-review site stands at a healthy 94 percent. We could say that showing up is a great way to learn why 6 percent of working critics are always idiots, but that's the selfsame job Godard was working before casting Jean-Paul Belmondo as a thieving fugitive, so we'll cut the Bill Diehls of the world some slack for once, just to be nice. Oh, and if you're wondering why the Enzian isn't screening the 1983 remake that starred Richard Gere, it might be because that one is only pulling an anemic 57 percent. Among other reasons. (9:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater; $5; 407-629-1088)

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB Seriously, when your dad e-mails you and asks you about a band – no matter how cool your dad is – and you have to explain both The Jesus and Mary Chain and Brian Jonestown Massacre to him … well, that's when a band just becomes too much work. But with the NPR anointing that BRMC recently received, that's exactly what happened to one of us. We've always appreciated BRMC's willingness to keep the fuzz-drenched sound of post-shoegaze alive, so when they decided to abandon their JAMC records and picked up a Byrds box set instead, we were pretty confused. Our dad, however, completely loved it, which is either really good or really bad. We're not sure which yet. (with Elefant; 7 p.m. at The Social; $15; 407-246-1419)

Contributors: Jason Ferguson, Steve Schneider, Lindy T. Shepherd, Jessica Bryce Young

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