Arts & Culture » Arts Stories & Interviews




;Aap Kaa Surroor At the moment, Himesh Reshamiya is one of the biggest pop stars in India, thanks to the massive success of his debut album, Aap Kaa Surroor, a two-disc set of syrupy pop tunes so pliable and well-constructed that the set's bonus disc contains both "unplugged" and remixed versions of the exact same songs. Surroor's success is that rare bird: a Bombay pop phenom that's not connected directly to a movie. That fact, however, isn't stopping Reshamiya from cashing in the same way Bollywood films do, by launching a glitzy cavalcade of midlevel stars to play to NRI (nonresident Indian) audiences around the world. In addition to Reshamiya, the bill is loaded with temporary celebs like Indian Idol winner Abhijeet Sawant and B-list Bollywood sexpot Udita Goswami in an attempt to justify the enormous ticket prices. That credit card bill will be long forgotten, however, when the first notes of "Tera Surroor" come floating out of the PA and the entire audience can, for a couple of hours at least, be reimmersed in the glossy, shallow and enormously fun world of Bombay pop culture. If only they served Limca at the refreshment stands. (8:30 p.m. at TD Waterhouse Centre; $35-$150; 407-849-2020)

;;Charlie Murphy

;After years of playing crappy roles in crappy movies and living in his brother's shadow (IMDb says he's sometimes credited as Eddie Murphy's entourage … ouch), Charlie Murphy is finally getting top billing. Thanks to Chappelle's Show, the actor/comedian is touring the country and working on a handful of films to be released in the next year. Murphy is playing six shows this weekend, so you really don't have an excuse for not catching his act. He's rich, bitch! (7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Sunday at the Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant; $25-$30; 321-281-8000)


;Dr. Octagon The man from Jupiter, as he boldly proclaimed on his debut solo album almost 10 (!!) years ago, has risen from the "dead." Dr. Octagon — subterranean homesick nutjob who was "killed off" by a "rival" years ago — is the alter ego of veteran MC Kool Keith, formerly of the Ultramagnetic MC's and all-around '90s hip-hop innovator. The laundry list of gifts Keith has bestowed upon the community is, by now, beside the point, given his mostly self-induced confinement to novelty status in the genre he helped create, but one in particular bears some serious ad nauseam. "Earth People," his 1996 collaboration with Dan the Automator (who at the time was a complete nobody), stands today as one of the greatest works of boombox culture ever created and is the peak of a career that has branched outward to encompass immeasurable spin-off gold. DJ Shadow did some of his best work in Keith's presence; as Mr. Nogatco he brought Orlando hip-hop staple Iz-Real into the production limelight; oh, and next time you hear Prodigy's ever-lingering "Smack My Bitch Up," you can thank him for that, too. (with Berto Ramon; 9 p.m. at the Social; $18-$20; 407-246-1419)


;Rollins Band Henry Rollins was, once upon a time, our idol. He was everything we thought a man should aspire to be: loud, forthcoming, righteous, a little sanctimonious and covered in tattoos. But that was when we were 12. As we grew up, our expectations of manhood were modified. But Rollins' were not, and he has maintained a steadfast course of pursuing and championing honest expression since, like, forever. We admit, it was the Rollins Band — more so than his spoken-word stuff — that turned us against him. The meathead attitude was in such sharp contrast to our Black Flag ideal that we never gave it the chance it deserved. Combined with a seeming omnipresence and an unasked-for position as official '80s punk rock spokesperson, we once loudly stated that if we never saw Rollins again, that would be too soon. But then there was the whole Black Flag "tribute" thing (which was great), his radio show ("Harmony in My Head" on Indie 103.1 in L.A.) and his inarguably excellent television show (The Henry Rollins Show on IFC) that made us think we may have excised him from our adult life too early. Then the reports from this year's Rollins Band reunion tour started rolling in, each and every one stating that the hourlong set is some of the most ferocious Rollins live material in years. Oh, Henry, how could we have been so wrong? Can you ever forgive us? (with X, Riverboat Gamblers; 7 p.m. at Hard Rock Live; all ages; $25; 407-351-5483)



;;Arts Workshop Sabbath Here's a fresh twist on the blending of church and government: Formerly called the "Selah Service," this third annual arts-and-more event produced by Terry Olson, arts director for Orange County, is being reborn and expanded this year as the Arts Workshop Sabbath — "bridging coffee shop and cathedral," says Olson in his PR material. Olson is perhaps better known as one of the pioneers of the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, and in the release he recalls that experience for comparison. "I was fortunate to experience this energy when I produced the Orlando Fringe Festival; this event only multiplies that energy with its offerings from a broader range of artistic disciplines and its focus on the spiritual theme." Art by local artists reflecting a "Living Hope" theme will be arranged around the Orlando Rep for viewing; children's activities will be available, along with café fare. It's a debut affair and it will be interesting to see how it comes together, but it's impossible to predict the outcome. (10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Orlando Repertory Theatre Complex; free; 407-836-5540)

;;Soul Decision When we published a lengthy story about bizarro underground-theater impresario James D. Watkins in our May 4, 2006, issue, he was using the ballroom of a seedy motel near Orange Blossom Trail as the platform for his highly curious artistic vision. Now, a scant three months later, he's moved on up to the hoity-toity Westin Grand Bohemian for the premiere of Soul Decision, a 45-minute "video movie" he's made to further his theological/supernatural preoccupations. For this lightning-fast upgrade of Watkins' creative environment, we will neither accept the credit nor take the blame; all we know is that the movie — which is said to depict the "constant and unseen battle" angels and demons wage for control of our human souls — sounds like exactly the sort of perversely fascinating, radically recontextualized mainstream effluvia that we've come to expect from him. And to be totally honest, we're also pretty mollified that the precise location of the screening room is listed in Watkins' press release as the nebulous "fifth floor," which sounds good and illicit. Because too much maturation happening all at once makes us nervous. (4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel, fifth floor; $8.50; 321-663-8634)



;Waging a Living This week's installment of PBS' acclaimed P.O.V. documentary series profiles four of the more than 30 million Americans who qualify as "the working poor." Residing in San Francisco, New York and two communities in New Jersey, the subjects are said to work hard and play by the rules, only to find themselves unable to eke out the basics of a decent life for themselves or their families. As filmmaker Roger Weisberg puts it, the goal is to force viewers to re-examine "the prevailing myth that hard work alone can overcome poverty." Sounds like an eye-opening treatment of one of our pet issues. Our enthusiasm only flagged a bit when we realized that WMFE-TV had scheduled its airing for the not-so-convenient hour of 3 a.m. Since when can the working poor afford TiVo? (3 a.m. on WMFE-TV Channel 24;



;Smoking Popes Begging the question "What next for the also-rans?", the Smoking Popes defied all logic (mostly that of fading away into graphic design careers or eBay entrepreneurship) and reappeared out of nowhere last year for a reunion gig in Chicago. That gig, released earlier this year as a CD/DVD (At Metro) reminded just enough shuffle-footed pre-emos of their loser glory to land them a spot on this summer's Lollapalooza. While theirs may be the standard story of major label cock-up meets Christian rebirth on a fiery path to Destination Failure, the hoarse desperation and melodic buoyancy of their finest hour (see "Rubella" and "You Spoke to Me") makes them a faint memory worth holding on to. Apparently, there's a new album coming, too. Not all stories have to end, right? (with Criteria; 8 p.m. at the Social; $12; 407-246-1419)


; Contributors: Jason Ferguson, Amber Foster, Billy Manes, Steve Schneider, Lindy T. Shepherd

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