Wow. Apparently I touched a nerve with last week's column. I guess when you go and make blanket statements about people who complain too much but don't do anything to help anyone else, you're bound to make a few people in Orlando think you're talking about them. I heard everything from "Right on" to "Who the fuck are you to tell us we can't constantly whine about our scene, new guy?"
Complain all you want. I don't really care. If it makes you feel better about your laziness, go for it. All I'm saying is put a little JFK sauce on your bitch soup and ask not what your scene can do for you, but what you can do for your scene. It wasn't just about that one show, folks. (Although I will take issue with the omnipresent "I couldn't make it" excuse. I have a wife and two kids at home who graciously accept the fact that I've got to be out at shows three or four nights a week. How about you?) It's about a constant stream of complaints followed up by a complete lack of support for what other people are doing. Grow up a little bit and quit being so selfish.
Or, as I said before, move to one of those progressive Edens you keep comparing Orlando to. I'm sure you'll be much happier there.
A COMPLAINT FROM ME
That said, I've encountered a major shortcoming of the Orlando music scene that, frankly, I can't do anything about. Perhaps someone else out there can help me. I've been completely loving Age of Winters, the new album from Austin-based metal powerhouse The Sword. It's all heavy-ass riffs, relentless grooves and high-school-notebook lyrics about wolves and witches and "Lament for the Auroch." High On Fire, Mastodon, The Sword. Get it? Good. I can't stop listening to it because it sounds like a goddamn heavy metal album and I capital-L Love heavy metal that's actually capital-H Heavy.
My complaint? To the best of my knowledge, there are no for-real heavy metal bands in Orlando. There are lots of very aggro bands who probably listen to heavy metal and there are lots of bands who think they're heavy metal (and, by some freaky Revolver redefinition of the term, may actually be classified as such). There are (too) many metalcore bands and (way too) many post-grunge, grey-dishwater "modern rock" bands. Yes, there's Trivium, but even they don't dish up that super-heavy, less-Metallica-more-Blue-Cheer grind that I'm looking for. There's no band that makes me think of wizards and foe-slaying and clumsy reinterpretations of classic literature while making me want to do little more than suck on a bong and bang my head. In other words, there's no True Metal in Orlando, and that sucks.
Or am I wrong? Prove it. Defenders of the Faith, send me your finest dragon-slaying sludge and I will sing your praises to Valhalla.
IT COULD BE WORSE
Somehow, I've wound up on multiple e-mail lists for Christian music marketing organizations, and every single time I get one, I get mad. OK, not every single time. In fact, sometimes I find it mildly amusing that they have no problem with the conjoining of Jesus and rock on one hand and Jesus and marketing on the other. It's just cynical and sleazy enough to make me laugh while throwing up a little bit in my mouth.
Oh, my point. For all the fuss about Orlando being a parochial burg full of hypocritical Jesus freaks who'll use the Prince of Peace to pimp everything from snake oil to emo, allow me to submit Dallas, the host city for "Drummers for Jesus," or, as it's known formally, "The 2006 International Drummers for Jesus Celebration." If the event were called "Drummers for Pussy," "Drummers for Methamphetamines" or "Drummers for Chemical Imbalances That Make Us Simultaneously Sociopathic and the Most Fun Guy in the Room," we'd believe it. But no drummer worth his sticks would ever beat the toms for Jesus … unless of course Christ was on bass. (Rimshot, please.) Orlando may be up to its elbows in transparently self-righteous Christian gasbags, but it'll be a long time before we can aspire to the sheer inanity that Dallas has achieved by hosting this event. (Speaking of Jesus jokes, did you hear the one about the guy who tried to commit suicide by crucifying himself? Once he got his right hand nailed down, he realized he couldn't do his left one. Ha ha! Oh wait, that's a true story from last week's news.)
Ambulette: "I've Got More"
Government Issue: "Hear the Scream"
Cecil Taylor: "Tales (8 Whisps)"
The Appleseed Cast: "Silas' Knife"
Sly & the Family Stone: "Trip to Your Heart"