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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist champions Matt Pond’s Orlando video and reviews the Generationals, the Tunnel and more



I just cannot tell you how much I love the Matt Pond video that just came out for “Hole in My Heart.” It’s a visual love letter to Orlando. No surprise, really. He recently lived here for a while, absorbing three of Orlando’s best musicians into his current band, and the video itself was done by local Jason Kupfer (a credentialed filmmaker and a member of the Pauses).

Of our city, Pond is officially quoted as saying, “Cities are like women: There’s a heart in every one of them, even in Orlando. Sometimes, you just have to get on a bike and search for it.” And that he did respectably.

Due to some big national press recently, the organic, non-tourist Orlando is starting to be painted in for the broader consciousness. But this vivacious, professional video does it in a way that words can never fully do. It shows the authentic, new Orlando, the one where we play, the one that exists in its own right. And it makes me want to go out … every single night … for the rest of my life. So thanks for showing the real, Matt. And thanks for representing right, Jason.

Orlando, perhaps you should show your love in kind at Pond’s upcoming headlining show (July 11, the Social).

Confidential to Matt Pond: If you really want to make the concert a special moment, you’d live-premiere that video while you perform the song.

The Beat

Ohio’s Mouth of the Architect (June 25, the Social) jump-started a busy night for your boy here. Unbound by any strict metal orthodoxy, they’re one of those bands looking to widen the genre’s language. With a spanning progressive sound that frequently transcends to post-metal reaches, their narrative instrumental odysseys are intense, atmospheric and towering. Their vocal melodies are no big whoop, but those windswept, up-drafting climaxes are for real.

Over on Mills, even more horizons were widening with San Francisco’s Deafheaven (Will’s Pub), who completely shatter the divide between each and every style tradition that inspired them. The result is a post-black-gaze juggernaut that’s fresh, seamless, beautiful and blinding. From this sell-out attendance, it’s clear that something seismic happened between now and when they played here just last year. And a big reason they’re catching such fire is that they’re a band that’s truly, thoughtfully and cogently expanding the definition of heavy music.

After a long and monstrous night, Shake A Tail Tuesdays next door (Lil Indies) gave a needed uplift. Now that Sock Hop has gone bye-bye, it’s nice to have this newish night spring up to celebrate all that great ’50s and ’60s stuff, further coloring the interesting carousel of themed music nights at Indies. The party’s spun by wife-husband duo Kristin and Jeffrey Howard, also known through their band Hot Hands and long-running local online fanzine Kick Bright. And they’re true aficionados, so the playlist is deeper than any oldies night I’ve ever seen.

But back to the heavy for a sec, because you seriously need to know about Miami duo the Tunnel (June 28, the Peacock Room). Wild, experimental, even occasionally outlandish, they’re anything but the typical metal experience. They emphasize fireworks and flavor over pure tonnage. With dazzling guitar virtuosity and daringly splashy Latin flair, they’re something like a more metal-minded Mars Volta. It’s a funky, refreshingly irreverent take on heavy music that, live, feels very much like bold new ground.

Also playing was Tampa’s Servants of the Mist. Sounds pretty ominous, dunnit? Well, they certainly mean to be. But they have cheesy edges – which is good when you’re talking about nachos but not heavy metal – and it’s almost entirely because of the non-extreme vocal parts. Their music’s otherwise decent, so if the singer would just quit the dark crooning and stick to the hellfire, they’d be straight.

Polyvinyl band Generationals impressed at their first Orlando appearance (June 26, the Social). There’s much to love about this New Orleans indie-pop group. They have effervescent fundamentals and an incredibly fine-tuned sensibility. They have wide range but unify it all with signature style and spirit.

It’s just smart pop music. And with their gift for charmingly iconic melodies, they’re probably just a commercial placement away from being huge.

And happy birthday, America!

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