You people suck. You know who you are: the obnoxious, lazy whiners who moan about the sad state of "the scene" in Orlando. You stomp your feet and plead for an explanation as to why nobody supports one another. You threaten to move to New York/Los Angeles/Seattle/Austin because in those cities, people respect the creative class. You can't stop mentioning how it's impossible to do anything interesting here because Orlando sucks and nobody gets it and nobody cares and there's no place to play and "network" and any other excuse you can muster.
Fuck you. Move. The problem isn't Orlando. The problem is you and the fact that you think a scene's vibrancy and legitimacy are directly proportionate to how much it benefits you. When said scene doesn't adequately reward you … well, it must be the scene's fault, right?
This column is coming off like a fanzine screed and for that I apologize. But after living here for three and a half years, and listening to people complain about what this city has going on (or what they perceive it does not have going on), I was starting to believe it. I was beginning to think that my Pollyanna attitude toward Orlando was completely misguided.
But after witnessing the show that went down Saturday (Feb. 11) at Will's, I'll go ahead and say that the Orlando scene is doing quite well, and with no help from the complainers. A diverse and impressive bill of local talent Band Marino, Yip-Yip, Country Slashers and Anna Becker sold out the venue. What's this? A sold-out Will's Pub show? Surely the joint was filled with the scenesters who are working so hard to make this town a hip place to live. After all, with an indie band, some electro-freaks, a punk band and a singer-songwriter all of whom are among the best local purveyors of said sounds there was something cool enough for all of those discerning tastes, right?
Apparently not. The folks who sidle up to the bar at Bar-BQ-Bar or The Matador or Redlight Redlight on a regular basis to bitch about how nobody in Orlando cares about local music were nowhere to be found. "But," wonders the self-important scenester as he sips his PBR and flicks his $70 haircut out of his eyes, "how did the venue sell out?" That would be The Kids. The place was packed full of 'em. Whether they were 14 or 24, it was incredibly encouraging to see a venue filled with enthusiastic (if spazzy) music fans who still had excitement in their eyes, rather than the deadness of pessimism that pollutes the air when hipsters congregate.
The best part? They weren't digging bullshit. They were thriving on a clutch of artists who are good by any metric, and simply excellent by the soft expectations of local musicians. And they all have rejected the market-friendly approach that so many Orlando bands adopt, choosing instead to make music that's quirky, personal or (in the case of the Slashers) humorously abusive. And, again, this show sold out.
See what happens when you put together a winning bill of prime local talent and promote it well? The scene-crabs cower in their studio apartments and everyone else has a good time. Let's do it again soon.
BITCH, BITCH, BITCH
Another constant complaint that I've never quite understood has been the one leveled at the sound system at Hard Rock Live. I've been going to shows for many, many years now, so I think I know what "bad sound" sounds like, and shows at Hard Rock have (at least in my opinion) never remotely approached that classification.
That said, it seems that the folks at Hard Rock have heard the complaints and gone and installed a brand-new sound system. According to my sources (who speak in the strange language of "sound guy-ese"), the new setup "is the brand new KUDO Line source array from L-ACOUSTICS. It represents the state of the art in sound reinforcement technology. Each of the two arrays consists of nine KUDO enclosures oriented in a vertical line. The angles between each element have been set to distribute sound pressure evenly from the front of the stage to the back of the balcony. Four SB218 subwoofers reside directly behind each of the KUDO arrays to provide a single point source for the entire bandwidth of sound. Additional MTD108 8-inch two-way coaxial speakers reside on the stage lip to provide front fill directly in front of the stage. The sound system is powered by over 100,000 watts of power amplification."
I have no idea what any of that means, but 100,000 watts sounds really email@example.com