Three things surprised me about the Editors/Stellastarr* show at The Social April 7. One, I was stunned to see that it sold out. I figured that Stellastarr* had worn out their welcome here in town, and didn't know that enough Orlandoans read Fader to draw in a crowd for Editors. There you have it: proof that I'm the dumbest guy in town. Because not only was the venue packed, it was packed with people singing along to Editors' surprisingly energetic set.
Surprise No. 2: Editors have a pulse. From the sound of The Back Room, I figured 'em to be another good-clothes-bad-stage-presence ball of post-Joy Division melodrama. And though the lead singer was locking into some sort of cyborg Ian Curtis vibe as a friend pointed out, the entire band moved like robots there was nonetheless a palpable energy coming from the stage. Plus, they were loud as fuck, which makes anything great.
Third surprise? A paucity of those awful poofy-on-top-long-in-the-back haircuts that someone has deemed acceptable. These girly-man mullets have become far too omnipresent lately, especially among struggling scenesters with fat asses and man-tits. I am the last person to be handing out clothing or hair tips, but I know a dork when I see one, and I know that having a birds' nest atop your head does not distract people from the fact that your XXL Interpol shirt is tight around the midsection and your studded pink belt is having a tough time holding up those $150 jeans. Anyway, at such a hipster-friendly show I was shocked to see so few of these tonsorial monstrosities. Instead, there was an overabundance of soccer jerseys. Go figure: a bunch of Brits at a Britpop show.
The new disc by Gotan Project (Lunático) is just about perfect. I was a big fan of the Paris combo's 2002 debut, La Revancha del Tango, but Lunático is a far more sophisticated and complex album. The future-lounge vibe has been muted and instead there's a renewed emphasis on the rugged sway of the Argentinean cowboys these cats so clearly wish to be. It's still thick with sequences and glossy production, but it's also got Calexico!
Despite its excellence, though, Lunático has been vying for airtime with another recent tango-oriented release, the stupefyingly strange debut of a project called The Tango Saloon by one Julian Curwin. Mixing his musical metaphors Argentinean cowboys, Dodge City cowboys … what's the diff? Curwin's crew (a 15-strong collective of Australian experimentalists) spits up a weird, prog/psych take on "tango" that's as much Sabata as it is Piazzolla. Pick Lunático if you're feeling urbane, sophisticated and slightly shallow; go for Tango Saloon if you're in the mood for some substantial surprises.
It was surprising enough that someone e-mailed me a rundown of the set list from the recent Go-Go's show. (Is anyone besides Billy Manes that concerned with what they played?) However, it was downright shocking that said e-mail came not from some degenerate nostalgist, a fan-club president or Billy Manes himself; no, this info was courtesy of a well-regarded member of the local jam-rock scene. Huh? … Jacksonville hip-hop juggernaut Asamov got some high praise in URB magazine's April issue, as 1 percent of the mag's annual "Next 100" feature … Local emo cute-boy Dave Melillo is gearing up for the June release of his Drive-Thru Records debut by making it available as a download on the www.mtvU.com site starting April 17, in addition to some other online-only activities involving the video for "Knights of the Island Counter." If you thought Orlando was done churning out trend-hopping pretty boys making music for pre-adolescent girls, think again … Last month (March 14, to be exact) marked the 75th anniversary of the release of the first Indian movie with music, Alam Ara. Not surprisingly, it only took about a year for Indian musicals to go completely over the top; 1932's Indrasabha had no less than 71 songs stuffed into it … The first house Elvis Presley ever bought 1034 Audubon Drive in Memphis is going up for auction on eBay; the bidding starts April 14 and continues through May 14 … Registration closes April 15 for bands interested in competing for a spot on the 2006 Zippo Hot Tour. Go to www.zippohottour.com for a chance to be as successful as last year's winners, Jealousy Curve. Oh, that's right, you've never heard of Jealousy Curve, have firstname.lastname@example.org