Another battle of the bands except this time there were no bands. A few weeks ago, a handful of Orlando's best house DJs Rob Slac, Carlos Mendoza, Ryan Lane, Andres Santa, Kevin Keith and St. Pete went head-to-head at Zinc Bar. The prize: a gig at Ibiza, Spain, nightclub Glü. The winner: St. Pete, who not only gets to spin two nights at Glü in the next week or so, but afterward, he'll be in New York, headlining at an Ultra after-party. Now that's the kind of prize that more band battles need to offer: more work. Congratulations to St. Pete.
EVERYBODY GETS IT BUT YOU
Other locals are managing to scrape up quite a bit of out-of-town notoriety. Sunday (Aug. 28), Bloom played an MTV Video Music Awards after-party hosted by Spin magazine. The gig was held at Soho Lounge in Miami's design district, and despite the hurricanes and people-getting-shot stuff that put a bit of a damper on this year's VMAs, the party had a respectable turnout and Bloom was received warmly. Their reception was nowhere near as warm as the one Trivium earned Thursday (Aug. 25) at the Kerrang! Awards, where the group snagged Best International Newcomers. They promptly flew back to finish up the final dates of Ozzfest, which will be followed by a U.K. tour with All That Remains and then a European tour with Arch Enemy and Dark Tranquillity. Speaking of heavy metal, local a cappella masters Toxic Audio just started a three-month stand at the Luxor in Las Vegas. OK, they're not heavy metal, but the Luxor is kinda Powerslave-ish. The engagement wraps up mid-November, in time for the group to play their usual clutch of in-town holiday shows before heading to Japan for a six-week tour that starts Jan. 24.
Like coverage of band battles, I've written more than I want to about death of late. Nonetheless, I am sorry to have to report another musical great has passed … again, to little or no notice. (Gotta keep the Missing White Women on the front page!) One of the true titans of avant-garde electronic music, Luc Ferrari was the kind of classical composer stodgy old formalists fear most: the kind whose forward-thinking ideas about collage and electronic instrumentation actually make sense on a philosophical and musical level. Ferrari was the founding director of the Groupe de Musique Concrète as well as a documentarian; his "contemporary music" pieces were biographies that put the likes of Messiaen, Varèse, Stockhausen and Cecil Taylor on equal and unusually elevated footing. Were that his only contribution to modern music, it would be enough. His actual compositions such as the part-music/part-narrative/part-ambience Presque Rien No. 1 proved that he could walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
HE'S AT IT AGAIN
Well, this time he's going to have some help. Dave Plotkin who will go down in Orlando history as the guy who almost broke a world record is taking to the airwaves again for this year's WPRK Marathon (www.wprkmarathon.org). This time, though, the on-air shifts will be more humane, thanks to the participation of other local notables Matt Gorney, Katie Ball and Sean "Hollywood" Hunting. They'll pitch in to take on 5-to-8-hour shifts, so it's unlikely that delusional ramblings will be heard as often during this installment. The marathon kicks off Thursday, Sept. 1, and wraps up the following Monday. Again this year the studios will be filled with luminaries of the local/ musical variety (Band Marino, Joseph Martens, Mesmer Machine, Bad Bear, Band of the Name) and of the completely-awesome-though-not-local variety (Word Jazz icon Ken Nordine!).
Like I've been saying, the real beauty of the iTunes Music Store isn't the ability to get brand-new songs for 99 cents, although that's awfully beautiful. The real treat is discovering that record labels have figured out that the store is a great place to dump out-of-print material. Rhino has pulled out 27 long-gone discs and among the gems are the way-rare 1970: The Complete Funhouse Sessions box set by The Stooges, the awesome Stop Pretending by The Pandoras, and other beauties by Robyn Hitchcock, Alice Cooper, The Beat Farmers, Vanilla Fudge, Malo, Sweetwater and Thin Lizzy. Sure, only a few people may want Release of an Oath by The Electric Prunes (I'm one of 'em), but having 100 percent of "only a few people" buy your largely expense-free download is better than having 100 percent of "nobody" buy your unavailable CD.
NO, DOWNLOAD THESE
Dr. John: "The Patriotic Flag-Waiver"
The Cult: "Rain"
Piano Magic: "Son de Mar"
The Wild Tchoupitoulas: "Brother John"
CVO: "Sargasso Sea"
Charles Brown: "Homesick Blues"
Flour: "Rain Reign"
Judas Priest: "Riding on the Wind"
The Meters: "Soul Island"
Kingsuk Biswas: "Currents"
Velvet Underground: "Ocean" (live)
Lee Dorsey: "I Can't Get Away"
The Beach Boys: "Surf's Up"
Louis Armstrong: "Lazy River"