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Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Dec. 7-13

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Wednesday, 7

Orlando Story Club: Best of 2016

LITERARY

Stories are more than warm, fuzzy concepts reserved for children – they're essential to survival. Humans use storytelling to make sense of a confusing world and find meaning. Narratives can entertain, identify patterns, share wisdom, transmit history and help us see another's point of view. In short, we all need tales, so get your fill of stories this week at Orlando Story Club: Best of 2016. Winners from past story club events battle it out to find out who is the best storyteller in Orlando. Past themes have included "The Search," "Tweendom" and "It's Alive," and this competition's final theme is "The Truth Is ..." Proceeds from the events will go to the Urban Think Foundation, an organization that supports education, creativity and culture-building programs in Orlando. – Monivette Cordeiro

7 p.m. | The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive | 407-234-7563 | orlandostoryclub.com | $5

Friday, 9

Uberbahn: Ars Phoenix & the Viirus

MUSIC

On the surface, Thornton Park's string of pricey salons and preppy-casual bar-restos doesn't present an obvious case for it being the gothiest neighborhood in town. But fans of dirgey synths, iced-out drum machines and funereal fashion will tell you that the Falcon's Uberbahn nights are the place to see some of the best in coldwave, death disco, EBM or whatever other portmanteau of goth's ongoing death-by-1,000-genres is hot right now. Two veteran Florida synth acts, Ars Phoenix and the Viirus, drop in for this week's edition. Ars Phoenix are former veterans of the Gainesville scene who have become masters at creating dark, shimmering synthpop over a decadelong career. This show is a release party for their latest tape, which happens to be a split with the opener, the Viirus. Another Gainesville vet, the Viirus used to be a project geared toward the more abrasive side of experimental electronic noise, but that bent has become increasingly more pop-oriented and danceable. Best of all, you'll be able to take home a snapshot of this entire night on the stylish obsolete medium of the moment: magnetic tape. – Thaddeus McCollum

10 p.m. | The Falcon, 819 E. Washington St. | 407-423-3060 | facebook.com/thefalconbar | free

Saturday, 10

The Great Orlando Mixer

EVENTS

The end of the year is the perfect time for a respite from the typical bar scene. How often, might you ask, do we avert our eyes from the painfully underdressed (shorts at the bar?) and suspiciously inexperienced drinkers about town? The answer is too often. So often, in fact, that the Great Orlando Mixer has gathered quite a decent fanbase in the past few years. All that had to be promised was a nice venue and people who suited up to impress rather than depress. (Hors d'oeuvres for when that fourth drink hits don't hurt, either.) Orlando's largest cocktail party is back at the Cheyenne Saloon for a sepia-tinted night of live entertainment. The city's top bars will compete for your attention at the sidelines while you dance the night away at a party that F. Scott Fitzgerald would be proud to dream up – and that Baz Luhrmann would try his best to re-imagine. Get ready to slick your hair back and see a ton of flapper dresses. – Adam Manno

7-11 p.m. | Cheyenne Saloon & Opera House, 120 W. Church St. | 407-377-0400 | thegreatorlandomixer.com | $35-$65

Sunday, 11

Jodeci

MUSIC

We are currently in the middle of a golden age of a New Jack Swing-style R&B revival – and now joining a revamped Blackstreet, Bell Biv Devoe and Dru Hill is fucking Jodeci! The quartet, best known for “Come and Talk to Me” and “Forever My Lady,” reunited back in 2015 and immediately set to work on The Past, the Present, the Future, and on the heels of the positive reception for the album, hit the road. Sure, you’re probably gonna hear a good bit of the debut album and Diary of a Mad Band, but Jodeci 2016 is a re-energized creative entity, so prepare for a journey. – Matthew Moyer

7 p.m. | House of Blues, Disney Springs, 1490 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista | 407-934-2583 | houseofblues.com | $35

Tuesday, 13

Orlando Jazz Orchestra: Ellington's Nutcracker

MUSIC

We're still a couple of weeks away from the Big C, and we're already hitting peak Nutcracker/A Christmas Carol/A Christmas Story for the year. But this version of The Nutcracker from Orlando Jazz Orchestra is a much-needed fresh take on a holiday classic. Originally recorded in 1960, Duke Ellington's arrangement of Tchaikovsky's 1862 score breathed new life into the suite just in time for its centenary. Ellington and Billy Strayhorn reworked the familiar tunes with the sounds and traditions of American swing and bop, resulting in a Nutcracker that elicits more toe-tapping than surreptitious snoozing. Stick around after the intermission for a jazz arrangement of Prokofiev, some festive classics sung by Amy Parnell, and Duke Ellington's arrangement of sing-along favorite "Jingle Bells." The partnership between Orlando Jazz Orchestra and the Blue Bamboo Center here could well result in a new, old Christmastime tradition. – TM

7 p.m. | Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, 1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park | 407-636-9951 | bluebambooartcenter.com | $15

Tuesday, 13

Florida's Dying Xmas Party

MUSIC

One thing we at the Weekly appreciate is complete commitment to a gimmick, which the Total Punk rock'n'wrestling-themed Turnbuckle Tuesdays brings in spades. And now they're going big – Griswolds-level big – for their yearly holiday-themed bash. Dispensing with the regularly scheduled grappling pyrotechnics, in their place will be a potluck, free eggnog (that can't be good), Drunken Santa (that REALLY can't be good) and, of course, live music. Springing straight off Santa's naughty list is Atlanta's hardcore upstarts Nag, purveyors of a skewed and thoroughly freaked punk clatter. If that's not enough, Krampus' favorite new band, Weapon Man, will also be making its first Orlando appearance – it's the newest outlet for New Orleans malcontent Buck Biloxi (of Buck Biloxi and the Fucks, Giorgio Murderer, Black Abba) that deals strictly in black-market, stripped-down, lean punk. Mistletoe optional. – Matthew Moyer

with Weapon Man, Nag | 9 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | willspub.org | free

EVENTS

Holidays or not, some of us don't feel much like celebrating right about now – according to the Associated Press, about 71 million Americans have a reason to be down in the dumps to some degree. (Although 62 million of us are filled with glee.) It's not so easy to grab onto that holiday spirit of giving when you feel cheated, but listen: Thinking about your friends and family, trying to give them something that makes them happy, is a pretty good cure for depression. (And also for smugness, you get me?) However you're feeling, we recommend you give it a try. So we've gathered up four local markets happening this week where you're bound to find something for anyone on your list, and where those things are pretty likely to have been made by hand by someone who's practically your neighbor. Suck it up and get out there. – Jessica Bryce Young

Saturday, Dec. 10:

The Orlando Pottery Festival: One-of-a-kind hand-built and thrown ceramics, fine art pieces and practical items like mugs, trays and vases.

9 a.m.-4 p.m., Loch Haven Center, 610 N. Lake Formosa Drive, 407-221-4225, orlandopotteryfestival.org

Sunday, Dec. 11:

The Local Elf Market: Art, jewelry, handbags, bath and apothecary products, plus live music by Michael Powell and food from Fah-Yuh Cajun Kitchen, all in Barley & Vine's comfy Milk District beer garden.

noon-5 p.m., Barley & Vine Biergarten, 2406 E. Washington St., 407-930-0960, barleyandvineorlando.com

Sunday, Dec. 11:

Will's A Faire Holiday Market: More than 50 vendors selling vintage and retro finds alongside handmade wares and crafts, plus six bands.

1-8 p.m., Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave., willspub.org

Tuesday, Dec. 13:

Redlight Saves Christmas: Is it a sale or a party? Kind of like a party where you can buy stuff from local small business like Cloak & Dapper, Bamapana Vintage, Dear Prudence, Alchemy Salon and more, with food by P Is for Pie and Daydream Pizza, and a photo booth to capture your holiday spirit-face.

6-10 p.m., Redlight Redlight, 2810 Corrine Drive, 407-893-9832, redlightredlightbeerparlour.com

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