The stars aligned this month when we were able to get local indie rockers Odessos into North Avenue Studios for a session just as they release their debut EP, Ursus Arctos Arctos. Now we've got fresh new videos to offer you a taste before the band heads to Will's Pub for their EP release party (Nov. 8). The impassioned four-piece tugs on the melodic ear of singer-guitarist Richard Simunac and the lyrical imagery of singer-guitarist Philip Temple, with their focused sound resting on the backbone created by heavy groovers Daniel Lunde (drums) and Brian Johnson (bass) to create energetic tunes that subtly pull from far-flung, curious influences like Snarky Puppy, Mae and the soundtrack to Spirited Away. The band started as a two-piece called White Chocolate in 2012, but evolved to the current lineup in 2014 when they took on the moniker Odessos. Head here to see Odessos perform two songs live, “Move” and “Star Ride,” plus read a full profile on the band.
- Photo courtesy of North Avenue Studios
Likely the best reason to check out of Orlando during Halloween is for the Fest, Gainesville's annual punk parade that spans the whole weekend (Oct. 30-Nov. 1) in the otherwise mostly deserted college town. This year's enticements include festival-exclusive dates from rad acts like Broadcaster, Teenage Bottlerocket, Foxing, Tim Barry, Mewithoutyou, Young Widows and tons more. Then there are classic offerings like Lagwagon, Mean Jeans, War on Women, Mikey Erg, Prawn and the like creating a reliably furious party atmosphere. FYI: After their Fest date, lots of bands touch down in Orlando, so thank Fest for all the cool shows you can see here this week (Desaparecidos, Lee Bains III & the Glory Holes, Mutts, etc.) without tripping up the Turnpike.
Since 1996, Kick Bright Zine (kickbright.net) has been tracking Orlando's music scene, posting photos from the thick of it and highlighting with a warped pen the worthy bands existing and touring here. It's helmed by Jeffrey Howard (of local garage noise-pop duo Hot Hands), who was essentially a loner in town looking for something to do and incidentally became one of Orlando's most dogged documenters. (If you went to concerts between 1996-2012, his show reviews and photo galleries are worth revisiting for a sweet nostalgia trip.) Now, Kick Bright Zine evolves further into Kick Bright Shop & Buttons, a new vintage shop in Artegon Marketplace where Jeffrey and his wife (and Hot Hands bandmate) Kristin Howard peddle the treasures they've collected while touring the country and scraping Florida's estate sales for weirdo items (like an especially scarring "Ronnie Bear" rubber-face Ronald Reagan teddy bear from 1981 I saw there on my last visit). Their collection includes vintage clothes and pop culture oddities, as well as original art – Jeffrey creates eye-catching collages cut from unusual old record covers, and both design the primarily retro-inspired 1-inch and 1-and-a-half-inch buttons, including Kristin's most popular design, "Uncle Lou for Mayor of Orlando." Read more about this rad addition to Artegon, which, like the shop's vibe itself, takes something old and cool (right from our music scene!) and makes it new again.