- PHOTOS BY ASHLEY BELANGER
Any time a new band arrives on the scene, I get a little excited and start forming wishlist lineups in my head, imagining how their distinct vibe would fit into the existing local scene. So when I first saw grungy punk duo the Welzeins, my mind raced toward the future and how they could deepen our scene and add dimension to national touring shows. Then it seemed the band might drop off nearly just as I discovered them when the original drummer, Matt Rawls, left the project. Luckily, guitarist R.J. Nordstrom met drummer Matt Wassum, who was also an early fan of the band, and so their raw energy continues unfettered. We selected them for this month’s featured band on North Avenue Studios’ series “Off the Avenue,” and the guys performed two songs off their debut self-titled LP, the charging “Zhark Attack” and the gritty swoon, “Cigarette Girls.” Both videos are online now, as well as photos from the recording session and a band profile.
Here’s something you may not have realized about Will’s Pub and neighboring dive bar Wally’s: They share an anniversary. This year, Will’s Pub turns 19, but Wally’s hits an even bigger mark, celebrating 60 years of business. I know countless folks must be willing to drink to that. To acknowledge the milestone, Will’s Pub is expanding its month of anniversary show offerings to include a stage at Wally’s. It’s always special when bands are drawn to the well-loved Mills Avenue watering hole, so we’ll keep you posted on Orlando Music News about all the details involving music at the double-dealing dive bar. **UPDATE** Wally's and Will's are still tight, but they're going to keep their parties separate. On Sunday, Sept. 14, Wally's will feature bands in the parking lot including Ben Prestage, Milka and Derek & the Slammers.
Local hip-hop showcase Dope Operatic also has an anniversary, so they’ll be partying extra hard on Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Peacock Room. The night commemorates three years of freshness with special performances from Rubox, Jorok with AmIAm and Table for Three. Then, of course, you’ve got residents Chrono, Rod Uno and Ze Brainchild to carry the rest of the night, hosted by DII. Thanks for three years of bumping the best local, national and international talents within soul, funk, hip-hop, R&B and classic breaks, guys.
In my excitement to share the news of the Timucua White House’s international film-festival premiere, I made a hasty error and misspelled the director’s name, Steve Radley. I’d like to correct the record now and congratulate him on his documentary, The White House Overture, and its successful premiere this past weekend at the Montreal World Film Festival. If you’ve been to the magical local venue and you’re curious to learn more about the film, you can follow updates at facebook.com/whitehouseoverture.