The other morning on the way to work, I seriously began to doubt the existence of a fair, just and mindful God. You see, there was this ginormous Hummer hauling ass down the road, taking curves like a maniac and generally acting like Hummers do on city streets: obnoxious. I caught a glimpse of it in my rearview mirror, and what did I notice on its windshield? One of those "clergy" stickers that announces the presence of a parson in the driver's seat. We can all agree that a Hummer is a huge chunk of unbiblical avarice and the cause of some very un-steward-like environmental damage. Thus, the fact that a person of the cloth was driving it (like a jerk, I might add) brought on one of those crippling crises of faith that have me wondering just why hast God forsaken us?
Â Â Â Â Â And then, a few days later, a very
interesting piece of information made its way to me, restoring my belief in a benevolent and watchful Supreme Being. Unfortunately, I have to keep the exact details of this piece of information a complete secret, since there are still some things being worked out. But allow me to preach as much of the good word as I can: Orlando will be getting a brand-new rock club very soon. I'm not talking about a new bar that will be booking bands, I'm talking about a stylish, large-capacity venue that will specialize in bringing great bands to town. Oh yeah, this 1,500-plus capacity club will be downtown and is shooting for a late-October opening.
Â Â Â Â Â Although that means some serious competition will soon be forcing House of Blues, Hard Rock Live and especially The Social (in whose proverbial backyard this club will be landing) to work even harder than they have been, it's nothing but a godsend for music fans. Again, there are details being worked out, but my source for this is quite reliable, and from what I've heard, the person who's behind this new club has excellent taste in music. I can hardly wait.
NO JOKE HERE
Â Â Â Â Â Continuing with the unsubstantiated rumors, word on the street is that there's an "emo gang" prowling downtown, beating up rockers who dare to have muscles. Yes, I'm serious. No, I don't know if it's true, but the image of a bunch of scrawny kids with $300 haircuts and a collective shoulder-chip is just too hilarious to dismiss. And, in fact, a recent incident on Orange Avenue may have been the work of this very gang. Late on the night of Aug. 7 (it was technically the morning
of Aug. 8) band manager Jeff Hanson was hanging out with ex-Drowning Pool/current A.M. Conspiracy vocalist Jason "Gong" Jones. According to the little birds from whom I get all my news (and confirmed by the Orlando Police Department), someone came up behind Jones, knocked the crap out of him with an aluminum pipe and then took off running. Hanson who is both burly and fiercely loyal to his friends sprinted off after the wussy perp around the corner. Unfortunately, waiting around the corner was a bunch of the perp's wussy friends, who proceeded to hand Hanson a pretty thorough beatdown. I've yet to get confirmation that anyone in the gang was wearing a white belt, but if that turns out to be the case, I believe we're facing a huge crime wave that may result in a big ol' rumble between fashion-rockers and jarheads.
RED MEANS GO
Â Â Â Â Â My new favorite place to hang out is Redlight, Redlight, that tiny little bar space above the Ballard & Corum bakery in Winter Park run by Dan Owens and Josie Fluri from New Roman Times, along with partner (and beer connoisseur) Brent Hernandez. Injecting a much-needed dose of grungy chic into a normally upper-crust neighborhood, they offer a great selection of beer and wine, they've got free wi-fi and occasionally, they shove a band into the corner. Some nights it might be gypsy swing, other nights it could be some local rocker putting on his acoustic hat. At a recent acoustic night, I realized what the difference between an acoustic performer and a rocker-playing-acoustic really is. An "acoustic performer" is typically not someone interested in dynamics; they want to tell you a story (usually about themselves). A rocker-playing-acoustic is someone steeped in dynamics, who happens to have lyrics good enough that it doesn't matter if he leaves the stompboxes and kick drums at home. Saturday night (Aug. 13) was a night full of performers who fit the latter description, but most impressive to me was Jordan Wynn (of The Wynn Brothers Band), whose weird, lighthearted intensity served to magnify the strength of his expansive songs. Definitely not an "acoustic performer," his brief set was rock & roll stripped of flash, but not of substance.
This week's make-your-own podcast:
Plena Libre: "Consuelo"
The Undisputed Truth: "Smiling Faces Sometimes"
Gruff Rhys: "Caerffosiaeth"
Bessie Smith: "Careless Love Blues"
The Mountain Goats: "Dilaudid"
High on Fire: "The Face of Oblivion"
Anoushka Shankar: "Tilak Shyam"
Fern Jones: "This World Is Not My Home"
Gal Costa: "Nâ?¹o Identificado"
Flop: "Sister Smile"
Marvin Gaye: "The Star Spangled Banner"
The Cramps: "Goo Goo Muck"