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Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Sept. 16-22



Wednesday, 16 – Yautja

[MUSIC] Nashville crushers Yautja managed to bowl over heavy music heads with their debut last year, Songs of Descent. Blending the best of grindcore, stoner rock and thrash, it's sensory overload and raucously blurs any expectation to obscure each song's horizon, like trying to distinguish shades of black in the dark. Featuring members of Coliseum, Nameless Cults and Gnarwhal, Yautja is a distinct mutt thankfully not mussed up by defining lines in pedigree. The album's mostly sold out (according to their Bandcamp, the cassettes and vinyl flew off shelves, and there are exactly three CDs remaining), so if by chance you see music merch, you should probably snag it. If you already did and dug this shock to the system, you should be stoked Yautja has new music coming out in October, a seven-song EP called Songs of Lament. Go crush on this welcome new force in person. – Ashley Belanger

with Ad Nauseum, Devalued, Gillian Carter | 9 p.m. | Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall, 1016 N. Mills Ave. | 407-898-0009 | $7

Thursday, 17 – Best of DTO

[ART] If you can credit the rise of digital photography with anything, it's a massive influx of new talent snapping pics of everything under the sun. CityArts Factory is capitalizing on the burgeoning local photo scene with its second annual Best of DTO exhibition, which features the work of over 100 local photographers. There are 750 photographs loosely collected into five different categories: Lake Eola, Family Fun, Skyline, Best of Downtown Orlando and Downtown Orlando Community. A panel of six judges choose a winner from each category to receive a prize of $100, in addition to two $300 prizes for Best in Show and People's Choice. The opening coincides with the monthly Third Thursday Gallery Hop, so wander around and maybe snap your own photos of one of downtown's best recurring art events. – Bernard Wilchusky

6 p.m. | CityArts Factory, 201 S. Orange Ave. | 407-648-7060 | | free

Thursday, 17 – Taste of Downtown

[EVENTS] Mouth-watering sushi, sizzling steak and tasty tacos are all on the menu at this year's 16th annual Taste of Downtown. Festivalgoers have the chance to experience some of the CBD's best restaurants at this one-day event, which takes place at the Orange County Regional History Center. Artisan's Table, known for its lunchtime crush and all-around deliciousness, is one of the featured restaurants. Another local favorite making an appearance is Gringos Locos, which has made a home for itself in the heart of downtown by whipping up some of Orlando's favorite Mexican munchies (as evidenced by their presence all over our Best of Orlando Readers Poll). Festivalgoers with a sweet tooth can end the night with one of the Pop Parlour's all-natural frozen pops from their ever-changing menu, which has previously featured flavors like champagne-mango and pineapple-coconut. Although admission is free, those who wish to indulge in some good eating will have to buy food tickets. These can be purchased either beforehand on the Taste of Downtown website or at the venue on the day of the event. Coincidentally, the Art in Odd Places festival will provide attendees with ample entertainment while they stuff their bellies to capacity. – Marissa Mahoney

6-9 p.m. | Orange County Regional History Center, 65 E. Central Blvd. | 407-228-3891 | | free

Friday, 18 – Couture Culture

[ART] Fashion photography is a paradox. It is equal parts inspiring and infuriating – an art form that, in its dedication to celebrating beauty, plays a huge role in making many people (women especially) feel anything but beautiful. Our culture is both drawn to, and repelled by, the fashion industry's imagery – whether it's a striking black-and-white portrait by Herb Ritts or one of Ellen von Unwerth's steamy scenes of tiny-waisted women striking sexy poses in Guess jeans. That's what makes it such a fascinating topic for an art show. Snap! Orlando presents a series of images from the world of fashion photography that idealizes and deconstructs the modern fashion industry and its standards. From Douglas Kirkland's vintage portraits of fashion icon Coco Chanel to Dina Litovksy's behind-the-scenes images taken at a catwalk show, Couture Culture gives viewers a chance to look at fashion (and fashion photography) under the microscope. – Erin Sullivan

through Nov. 7 | 8 p.m. | Snap! Space, 1013 E. Colonial Drive | | free

Friday-Sunday, 18-20 – Bobcat Goldthwait

[COMEDY] You just never can predict who's going to make it for the long haul. If you'd had to lay a bet on which actor from Police Academy 2 and 3 would still be a vital part of pop culture three decades later, odds would not have been good on the weird, squeaky-voiced, twitchy Bobcat Goldthwait (who made his big-screen debut as Cadet Zed). But Goldthwait has left his erstwhile fellow officers behind while he's carved out a very interesting career for himself. After catching an early taste of creative control with the cult classic Shakes the Clown (which he wrote, directed and starred in), he left stand-up behind in the mid-2000s to go all in as a film and TV director. After turning out indie hits Sleeping Dogs Lie (mumblecore, if mumblecore had actual jokes) World's Greatest Dad and God Bless America (pitch-black comedies), and Willow Creek (his stab at horror-comedy), Goldthwait released Call Me Lucky this year, his first documentary. Luckily for us, he's also returned to the stand-up stage, though he's left the wacky-zany tics behind. If his "appearances" on Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast are anything to go by, Goldthwait has mellowed into a good place – still weird, but minus the twitch. – Jessica Bryce Young

8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday | The Improv, 9101 International Drive | 407-480-5233 | | $20

Saturday, 19 – Lil Durk

[MUSIC] After a bunch of build-up in the form of mixtapes and early Def Jam singles, Englewood rapper Lil Durk finally leapt out with his debut in June, Remember My Name. Jeremih helps slink up Auto-Tuned offerings like "Like Me" to portray that deadly cool confidence that is mostly convincing on this, Lil Durk's first official album. However, first world problems tame the ferocity of heavier tracks like "What's Your Life Like," which stoops to caution online lurkers with a touch too much severity. You can bet his early fans are tryna' pack into Venue 578, though, to sweat the heat of party track "Tryna' Tryna." – AB

8 p.m. | Venue 578, 578 N. Orange Ave. | 407-872-0066 | | $20-$35

Monday, 21– Plastic Pinks

[MUSIC] When we caught flamboyant Miami garage-punk band Plastic Pinks back in July at a low-profile show at St. Matthew's Tavern, it was an eye-popping first impression. Turns out, this encounter was the blinding pass of an underground meteor having a banner year that only seems to be accelerating. After a chain of notable steps, like hooking up with garage-punk royalty AJ Davila and releasing on regional boutique labels like Cheap Miami and Atlanta's Die Slaughterhaus, they most recently released an album (the Davila-produced Sunnyside Rabbits) on tastemaking imprint Burger Records this summer. With music that's a total party, performances that are pure kinetic rush and a quickly rising star, Plastic Pinks are looking an awful lot like the next Florida breakout. Add in locals like early rock & roll princes the Woolly Bushmen and new Phil Longo band Dumberbunnies and you've got a surefire bill. – Bao Le-Huu

with Dumberbunnies, the Woolly Bushmen, the Welzeins | 9 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $5-$7

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