The traditional model of music consumption is crumbling in the face of the electronic tide, and more than a little bit of soul is withering with it. But, being the contrarian fetishists that they are, the punks behind Floridas Dying are offering remedy in the quaint form of a record shop. Actually, Wiggly World (named after the Devo song) will be more like an HQ for the local label-distro-micro-scene that's open to the public, where you can hang out and listen to and purchase interesting obscurities. The shop will open its doors Jan. 18 in the Milk District in the space behind Covert Skate Shop that previously housed Etoile Boutique (2436 E. Robinson St., 407-985-0001; open 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday).
To me, cool weather equals jazz. I'm not entirely sure why my libido for the art form has a perfectly inverse relationship with the Fahrenheit scale, but it does. That's why last week's cold front led me to Redlight Redlight's weekly jazz night (Thursdays) where the live action is anchored by Jazz Revolver, an agile piano-bass-drum trio that sometimes accommodates guest players.
Unlike the often challenging movements of local jazz master Sam Rivers, these guys tend to favor fluidity and briskness. That's not to say they're anything remotely like that WLOQ smooth-jazz bullshit, they're not. They just deal in a more approachable style that, though respectably technical, doesn't feel stiflingly self-conscious or willful.
Turns out, solid jazz and a world-famous beer selection equals a totally digable evening. (BTW, you should seriously try the Terrapin Wake-n-Bake, a heaven-sent nectar made from oatmeal stout and coffee.)
I don't want Redlight to turn into a jazz club or anything like that, but it's impossible to deny that this vibe suits the bar exceedingly well. The night would make an ideal hothouse for people looking to make the local jazz scene young again or, shit, actually turn it into a scene at all (nudge, nudge).
Despite the uninteresting college crowd he drew, local troubadour Peter Baldwin proved to be a competent performer (Jan. 9, Central Station). Though far from revelatory, he understands the bounds of acoustic music and works within them well, even showing some character and real soul. Hey, in the overly pissed-in pool of acoustic music, anything not beige is worthy of applause.
Now about that venue: It's been rechristened Central Station's Rock Bar and I've given it ample chance to find its sea legs. From its new name to the comically overreaching language on its MySpace page, the place is very consciously rebranded. But simply hanging a few guitars on the walls and painting the lyrics of "Sweet Child o' Mine" on a window isn't enough — the term "rock bar" is a jive claim.
The actual musical menu hasn't shown much substantive improvement. Until it does, this bar is about as "rock" as a hamper of Ed Hardy T-shirts.
Jeering at this prefab, commercial rock imagery from the opposing pole were Box Elders (Jan. 7, Will's Pub). Absolutely not to be confused with the lame-fuck Florida reggae-rock band Boxelder, who mercifully don't play Orlando as often as they used to, this addictive Omaha garage trio handled '60s pop melodies with the sophistication of a caveman. Though Orlando sports a decent heritage in this department, Box Elders are a bit more unhinged and trashy than the garage bands this city produces. All of which is a very good thing in their case.
Particularly manic, economical and awesome was Dave Goldberg, who banged on both the drums and the keys at the same time.
I did not attend the To Write Love on Her Arms showcase, but something glaring about their shows still impels the hammer of opinion to drop (Jan. 11, House of Blues).
Though I'm not down with their religious angle, I suppose any organization that helps kids deal with serious problems like suicide is a just cause. However, the astounding consistency with which the organizers tap horrible acts for their music events (members of Bayside and Switchfoot in this case) is as impossible to ignore as a ripe, quivering pimple on the nose. Kind of suspicious when you consider the fact that science, in a years-long study by yours truly, has proven beyond all doubt that there is a direct and causal correlation between shit music and thoughts of firstname.lastname@example.org