Wait, what went down last week? Oh, right … the single greatest moment of American history in our lifetime. Downtown was absolutely electric on Election Night, its ventricles pumping with a vigor never quite seen before. Out on the street, whoops rang out in concert from bars in citywide stereo each time a state went the right way. The unanimity of triumph and fellowship downtown that night made the victory seem universal. And yeah, my eight-year iceberg of cynicism melted away.
For an immigrant like me, the American ideal has always been a thing of awe. But to see it fully actualized is to swell with a pride so profound as to be humbling.
Though this victory is as colossal as they come, I will not be a poor sport about it. I will not wag my butt in Republican faces, nor will I bark, "Take that, neocon motherfuckers!" No, it simply wouldn't befit a man of understatement like me. Instead, I'll simply bestow the honor of Performance of the Week to the fat lady singing for Obama.
On the home front, I stand in ovation for our great, now gorgeously blue state of Florida. Now are we forgiven for our epic blunder in 2000? OK, so it's a draw.
The one head-scratching, music-related election-night sight was spotting Will.I.Am on TV via hologram. And by hologram, I mean the goofy-ass technology CNN unveiled that's not only pointless but so crude that it edges out R2-D2's capabilities only by virtue of being in color.
When it comes to traditional folk music, bluegrass merchants the Token Gamblers are the city's cream of the crop (Nov. 6, Copper Rocket). The seven-piece string band shone much brighter than the last time I saw them at the Social, where their sonic intricacy was dulled by a stage rigged for rock. They should consider playing unplugged altogether. That's an issue of equipment, though, not talent. There's no scarcity of musicianship in this crew, which brings a youthful fire to an old-time style.
But WTF was up with the shades Andrew Haller was pimping? I know they're academic revivalists and not actual hill folk, so I don't expect the dude to be in overalls, huffing on a corncob pipe. But I believe the consensus is that wraparounds and a jaw harp don't match.
Occupying the opposite musical pole is Spencer Seim's new project, Sbach (Nov. 3, Peacock Room). Jacked up on math and primitive video-game sonics, their esoteric future-rock was tricked out with concept and outlandishness, yet it didn't make me want to scratch my skin off like Hella does.
Like Blink-182 gone dance-pop, Indiana's Totally Michael is a little less, um, high-minded (Nov. 5, the Social). Without question, his bopping music is cheap in construction and intent. But hell if the pencil-neck ain't one likable character with an astounding aptitude for hooks. In a spry opening set, the little fella did his damnedest to work up an MC Chris crowd, strutting his geek-fabulous moves and mixing it up. But Totally Michael's high-energy dance shows are likely too tiring a proposition for the soft hothouse types who worship at MC Chris' altar. The only light exposure those dudes get is from a computer screen.
As for headliner MC Chris, well, all I can muster is a long groaaan. Hey, I'm down with what he reps. I haven't been a member of their tribe since middle school, but I still got love for the nerds. But seriously, you can only expect a man whose nerves are still racked by Eminem's voice to endure MC Chris' helium-hop squeaks for so long. Oh, the humanity.
It was kind of a big deal that U.K. trad-punks Leatherface rolled into town (Nov. 9, Redlight Redlight), but it was a bigger deal to see the spankin' new Redlight operate as a concert venue, and a good old-fashioned punk show wasn't a bad way to break it in.
Leatherface's rugged rock incited enough enthusiasm by show's end that they just sat back and played while the mics were overtaken by singing fans. It looks like Orlando has a new rock club.
Only the bitchiest of scene bitches will find reason to whine this week about the music haps around town. The annual, indie-minded Anti-Pop Music Festival takes over downtown, so get out email@example.com