Arts & Culture » Arts Stories & Interviews

Strung Out/Evergreen Terrace, Fat Lip/Mikah 9, Ladies of Lake Eola Heights and more

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Friday • 14

STRUNG OUT/EVERGREEN TERRACE We've been thinking about Jobriath a lot lately. If you're not familiar with him, he was an early-'70s glam/pop/rock un-star who made a big deal out of being gay. Nobody cared, because despite the fact that his albums were released on Elektra, they were a little too far ahead of their time and, frankly, a little too gay. Jobriath's self-titled album is SO gay that Morrissey used it in the artwork for a single, and Morrissey even wrote the liner notes for a recent CD compilation of Jobriath tracks. We're sorry, but that's as gay as it gets. What does Jobriath have to do with the punk-rock machismo that will be pouring oceans of misguided testosterone all over The Social's floor at this show (or possibly, in Evergreen Terrace's case, blood)? Check this out: We were wandering around and caught a reference to Zolar-X, a similarly spacey, similarly glam and similarly stupid '70s outfit. (Not gay, though, but stay with us.) Jobriath fans seem to hold an abiding, if condescending, affection for Zolar-X and their no-we're-really-aliens schtick. You know who else likes Zolar-X? No, not Morrissey. Jello freakin' Biafra! The Dead Kennedys dude. Punk rock? You bet! Strung Out plays punk rock too, but we wonder: If they had the opportunity to open for Jobriath, would they take it? What about Evergreen Terrace? We don't think so. We think that these guys would try to prove how manly they are by beating up frail little Jobriath. And that's so totally uncool. (with The Explosion; 5 p.m. at The Social, 407-246-1419; $13)

COFFIN LIDS There's not a whole lot new under the sun when it comes to slightly spooky, full-bore garage rock. But seeing as how the almighty Greg Shaw just passed away and the Coffin Lids (from Boston) were one of the last bands to be signed to his Bomp! label before he died ... well, not to be overly sentimental, but if they were good enough for Greg Shaw, they're good enough for us. (with The Hex Tremors, The Evidents; 10 p.m. at Copper Rocket Pub, 407-645-0069; $5)

Saturday • 15

FAT LIP/MIKAH 9 Listen up, boys and girls, here's a lesson about longevity and why it's better to pursue creative fulfillment, rather than the quick buck. The talented rhymers in The Pharcyde (like Fat Lip) and Freestyle Fellowship (Mikah 9) had all sorts of opportunities to "make it big" back in the '90s. They were both signed to big labels, yet neither of them were willing to compromise their vision in order to make the bean-counters happy: Although The Pharcyde was far more successful than FF, it could hardly be said that an album like Labcabincalifornia was a compromised stab at "success." So both groups could easily be perceived as having missed their chances. However, while Sir Mix-A-Lot is relegated to the state fair circuit, the music being created by the guys in those "underground" groups is still vital and inspiring, giving them independent careers that aren't subject to the whims of the mainstream marketplace. (with Omni; 9 p.m. at Will's Pub, 407-898-5070; $10)

LADIES OF EOLA HEIGHTS If Michael Wanzie goes any further in his quest to document the true social geography of greater Orlando, they're going to have to give him his own wing in the Orange County Regional History Center. The man who brought us the hysterically dirt-digging plays Carolina Moon and A Trailer Trash Christmas now introduces us to the Ladies of Eola Heights, a "bittersweet comedy" set in a certain O-town neighborhood. Within its downtown environs, three sisters reunite just in time to give their deceased patriarch a proper send-off. Helping the playwright/actor bring their story to the stage are cross-dressing compatriots Doug Ba'aser – who acted opposite Wanzie in such hit theatricales as Two Men Trapped in Women's Bodies and The Santaland Diaries/Season's Greetings – and Tommy Wooten, who performed the same function in more recent affairs like the aforementioned Carolina Moon. In addition to these three weird sisters, the production makes room for the ubiquitous Sam "Miss Sammy" Singhaus, who will perform lip-sync routines that are somehow interwoven into the show's plot. Sounds unorthodox, to say the least, but you can always count on Wanzie to stretch the boundaries of the community memoir. (8 p.m. at The Parliament House, 407-540-0317;; $15; runs through Feb. 12)

Sunday • 16

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS All the rickety, back-roads claptrap that made the Allstars' debut album such a spectacular joy has, over the course of the two albums that followed it, ebbed away in favor of something more sonically dense but considerably less exciting. Their last album, the viscous and polished Polaris, was a tremendous letdown: Although it was great to see Cody and Luther Dickinson out on a creative limb and taking lots of sonic chances, the end result sounded muddled. Fortunately, it didn't take 'em long to get a hot-ass fire lit under their backsides. Their set at 2004's Bonnaroo had them bringing onstage practically every musician from their region: Othar Turner's Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, daddy Jim Dickinson and even The Black Crowes' Chris Robinson. Needless to say, things got raucous quickly and the resulting live album has all of the electric charm that's missing from the boys' last couple of studio albums. We doubt they'll bring all those folks along for this show; we just hope they remember how good it felt to be that loose. (with Galactic; 6 p.m. at House of Blues, 407-934-2583; $17.50-$39)

Monday • 17

WPRK MARATHON Last summer, elective insomniac Dave Plotkin had to scrap his world-record-setting hopes on account of Hurricanes Charley and Frances, but now, the 110-hour marathon is back on. For those who missed the lowdown the first time around, Plotkin is planning to stay up and on WPRK's airwaves from 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17 until 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21 to raise money for the Rollins College radio station, and, in the process, set a Guinness World Record. To help him stay awake, Plotkin plans on surrounding himself in a circus-like atmosphere and has booked a slew of guests: WESH anchor Wendy Chioji; ReadyMade magazine editor Shoshana Berger; author and Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile; renowned graphic artist Art Chantry; New York Times columnist ("The Ethicist") Randy Cohen; city commissioner Patty Sheehan; our own Billy Manes and too many local bands to list. "It's an open studio for the listeners," he says, "anyone can come down to see `the broadcast or` the bands play." (For a complete guest list, go to Of course, the delirium sets in around day four, so that's when we can expect visits from The Keebler Elves, Jesus and the Pillsbury Doughboy. (9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17 through 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, WPRK, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., 407-646-2915; free)

UNITY HERITAGE FESTIVAL Arriving on the heels of the holiday glut, this annual community gathering, now in its third year, is growing out nicely. A Martin Luther King commemoration, a neighborhood get-together and a fund-raiser for the Educational Fulfillment Fund for disadvantaged youth, the Unity Heritage Festival comes together in a proud community way, with no major commercial exploitation. Taste the flavor of West Winter Park in the delicious homemade food – the fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens were standouts last year. And taste the flavor of the music – blues, jazz, African dance and a finale by Jacqueline Jones at 4 p.m. View the Crealdé photography exhibits in the neighborhood center that adjoins Shady Park and shop at the myriad vendors and information booths. This year's event was expanded to include Family Reunion Day (1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday) and a children's expo (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday). Even if you just stop by to pick up some food, you won't regret the visit. (9 a.m. at Shady Park, Winter Park; 407-623-3275 or 407-599-3470; free)

Tuesday • 18

HAIRSPRAY So it took a couple of years for the musical Hairspray to make its way to Orlando – the delayed timetable is nothing unusual in our town's traveling Broadway standings. We're still considered a backwater. Nonetheless, the Tony Award-winner – eight trophies were handed over in 2003 – based on writer/director John Waters' 1988 movie is anticipated to be a highly attended affair, with 16 consecutive performances. The raves for the current tour continue, with reviews reflecting a positive experience even for Hairspray cultists. And though there's no satisfying those Ricki Lake fetishists who still worship her starring film role as Tracy Turnblad, the plump girl who wants to dance, we hear the music rocks from the moment the curtain opens until the irresistible "You Can't Stop the Beat" closer. (8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Carr Performing Arts Centre; through Jan. 30; 407-849-2020; $43-$71)

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