Ambient nerds and chillgazers, rejoice. Total Bummer starts NOW. Between Thursday, Aug. 29, and Sunday, Sept. 1, Mills 50 becomes awash with twice as many bands (60) as the bucks you spend ($30 weekend pass) for one of the biggest music events Orlando sees each summer. The lineup includes acts I’m already loving from area labels Relief in Abstract and New Granada, like Spies on Bikes and Permanent Makeup, alongside dependable freak-experiences from Japanther, Reptar and Brooklyn’s Helado Negro, who if you don’t know, you should. I first noticed him remixing “Vow” on Julianna Barwick’s Matrimony Remixes – a song Diplo also took on – and never looked back. His creativity astounds on Island Universe Story 2, which was just released this week. Celebrate with him! Other standouts I’d be sure not to miss: Vacation Dad, Meth Dad … basically, all the dads. For more help in planning your Total Bummer weekend, visit the Feedback Guide to Total Bummer, where there’s a suggested festival itinerary and a Total Bummer playlist.
Say whatever you want about Morrissey, I am a total drip about the Smiths and I always will be. So, I can’t help but feel a kinship with the folks behind Sandwich Bar’s newest recurring event, Everyday Is Like Monday. It’s an open mic they say we should expect to be dominated by Smiths covers, but there’s original music being played too. A couple weeks back – and I’m kinda sore I missed it – experimental musician Ray Brazen, who R. Stevie Moore fans might recognize as a collaborator, did what he calls a special rare live performance during the open mic. I hope it’s not that rare and maybe I can catch him some Monday soon. Maybe if I’m real nice, he’ll say, “Ask me, I won’t say no, how could I?”
While I was tallying votes for Best of Orlando last month, I noticed a bar/venue that I had never been to repeatedly cropping up in the ballots. And while Red Lion Pub didn’t get enough votes to take any particular category, there were ample exclamation marks from its fans, which piqued my curiosity. It turns out I’ve been neglecting some truly decent activity in their live music offerings (frequently featuring talented locals a la Evan Taylor Jones) that I would like to now acknowledge. Their most recent effort is an event called Thursday Triple Frets and will showcase a set of three singer-songwriters each week. Because those Red Lion folks seem determined to give us a good time, they’ve added a trivia component to the night, where each performer strikes three opening notes of a mystery song, after which whoever names the song first wins a free drink. Any chance it’ll ever be a Patty Griffin tune? I get thirsty.