Arts & Culture » Arts Stories & Interviews

Selections: Our picks for this week's best events, Oct. 14-21



Sunday, 18: Cannibal Ox

[MUSIC] Back in 2001 (when MySpace was still relevant), underground Harlem hip-hop duo Cannibal Ox built a legacy with just one record – The Cold Vein, a close collaboration with producer El-P (Run the Jewels) that vaunted El-P's then-new label Definitive Jux by gifting it with an instant classic. All three came up together as kids on the New York scene, and the record was the result of two years' earnest artistry. Then it took more than a decade for the next Cannibal Ox release, the Gotham EP, to drop in 2012 amid rabid fan speculation for years that the duo had broken up (trace the roots in old MySpace beef posts if you can boot up your way-back machine). Now they're back this year with Blade of the Ronin, a true representation of Cannibal Ox as a duo, released on their relatively new label, IGC Records. With cuts like "Carnivorous" and "Sabertooth," it's immediately obvious this is a sharp return for a legit hip-hop force. – Ashley Belanger

with Liam Tracy, Blue November | 6 p.m. | Backbooth, 37 W. Pine St. | 407-999-2570 | | $12

Sunday, 18: Boytoy

[MUSIC] Dance dance dance the night away. Boytoy's Grackle bursts with familiar rock & roll abandon fueled by coming to grips with unrequited love, twisting its hips eternally at that moment when you decide to quit trying to smother that cold shoulder in unseasonal sweaters. The Brooklyn trio tripped up snooty critics with their self-titled debut EP last year, causing respected pubs from Rolling Stone to Noisey to gush on loop. There's some hippie folklore behind the new album's title, but thankfully that vein is only tapped in name, smirking to point out that grackles – small, mostly black birds that have that tinged oil-stained sheen – outnumber music fans at SXSW each year. So quit being a bird-brain and note that this is a band worth discovering, and join their growing brood if you like fiercely easy, hooky rock. You'll find yourself groaning along to tracks like "Your Girl," admitting it's true, "can't help liking you." – Ashley Belanger

with the Atom Age, the Areolas, Timothy Eerie | 10 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $7

Saturday, 17: Wienerfest

[EVENT] How can you not love a dachshund? They're the shortest, longest, pointiest dogs, they come in two sizes (miniature and standard, but still short) and because they're wiener dogs, you can name them things like JimmieDean, Vienna and Chorizo. They also come in very handy when you want to dress up your dog for Halloween – who doesn't love a dog dressed like a hot dog or a Twix bar or your favorite kind of pill? Bonus: These dogs were originally bred to hunt badgers underground (hence their long, low bodies, perfect for digging into narrow burrows), so they're known to be little badasses. Celebrate the versatility of the dachshund today at Wienerfest, an event to benefit Florida Dachshund Rescue, a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates and rehomes unwanted dachshunds (but come on – who would not want their dachshund!?). More than 4,000 people attend this annual event, which features wiener dog races, a costume contest, a photo booth, food trucks and more. You and your leashed dog are welcome to attend – even if your dog is of one of the inferior non-dachshund varieties. – Erin Sullivan

10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St. | | free to attend, $5 to park

Saturday, 17: Orlando Bike Tours: American Art in Orlando

[EVENTS] The Orlando Bike Tour movement is smashing the bike-bro cliché to smithereens. Their passion for cycling has taken them off the trails and onto the brick pavement to explore all the best cultural spots Orlando has to offer. This month's tour is all about American art, and the bike tour will be pedaling its way to the Mennello Museum of American Art for a guided tour. The Mennello Museum, which is a Smithsonian affiliate, houses a large collection of paintings by renowned folk artist Earl Cunningham. The collective will then move on to another guided tour at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which features the works of stained glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. If you've got a bike, bring it. You can save some money on admission as long as you register before the event. If not, then don't worry. You can hop on one of the bicycles available through the bike share program. – Marissa Mahoney

9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. | meet at Loch Haven Park, 777 E. Princeton St. | | $25-$35

Friday-Sunday, 16-18: Fringe Year Round Presents: Jon Bennett

[THEATER] This month's edition of Fringe Year Round brings back popular Australian storyteller Jon Bennett, performing three different shows that he's presented at the Orlando Fringe: My Dad's Deaths, Fire in the Meth Lab and Pretending Things Are a Cock. Bennett's website claims that in 2009, he "realised his talent for placing his groin next to inanimate objects and created the hugely popular Internet photographic phenomenon Pretending Things Are a Cock," which is sort of like saying you invented planking – except that could possibly be true, whereas boys have been pretending things are their cocks for as long as boys have had cocks. The snicker-inducing conceit of that show, irresistible though it is (a co-worker, talking about PTAAC: "It's probably not very long"), shouldn't undercut viewers' perception of the depth of these three shows. They are consistently name-dropped on the Fringe lawn as "the best thing I saw this year," and Fringe word of mouth, the most reliable measure of a hit, is not to be disregarded. Pretending Things Are a Cock is actually a rather sweet travelogue (though the slides are a bit raunchy); My Dad's Deaths and Fire in the Meth Lab both take on complicated familial relationships. Bennett's patented mix of outrageous humor with genuine emotion may make you laugh until you cry. – Jessica Bryce Young

8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday | The Venue, 511 Virginia Drive | | $16 per show, $42 for all three

Friday-Saturday, 16-17: John Cleese and Eric Idle: Together Again at Last ... for the Very First Time

[COMEDY] If you're wondering what to expect from a touring show featuring two comedy legends, just ask John Cleese. "Eric and I have a chat," he says. That chat includes stories about the early days of Monty Python, performances of sketches that didn't make it to air and even musical numbers. The duo then open the floor to the audience for a Q&A, which, as Cleese says, "varies a little bit depending on how good the questions are." If you get the chance to ask a question, don't be polite. "It's much nicer when the questions are rude, when people say 'My God, Cleese, why can't you stay married to one woman?' That kind of thing." Is there any question he'd prefer to just get out of the way? "I would like them not to ask 'Why is it called Monty Python's Flying Circus?' because the answer is boring." You can look up that answer on Wikipedia, and it really is quite boring. Instead, take Cleese's suggestion, "Which Python do you hate the most?" and learn something completely different. (Look for our full interview with John Cleese on – Thaddeus McCollum

7:30 p.m. | Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 | | $59.50-$99.50

Thursday, 15: Dia de los Muertos & Monster Factory Exhibit

[ART] The Mexican Dia de los Muertos holiday seems overly morbid, with its cadaverous figurines and edible candy corpses, but the point of the holiday is actually to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on. Because of its Nov. 1 proximity to Halloween and the overtly macabre imagery associated with it, though, Dia de los Muertos gets wrapped into plenty of spooky celebrations here in the States. CityArts throws its sixth annual early celebration of the south-of-the-border soiree this week with a block party incorporating both traditions. With plenty of performers from both backgrounds – Phantasmagoria followed by O Mi Lasa, a salsa band, for example – this is a cultural melting pot worth dipping into. – Thaddeus McCollum

6 p.m. | CityArts Factory, 29 S. Orange Ave. | 407-648-7060 | | $5 donation

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