Ohhh, you lucky dog, you. There’s some news that you’ve been waiting on for over a year and I’m about to drop that shit on you like a pigeon. Drum roll, please … ladies and gentlemen (yeah, right), I’m schoolgirl-excited to announce that Will’s Pub has signed a lease on a new space and is scheduled to open within the next two months. Ta-da! I’m pretty sure it’s for real this time. Definitely maybe.
The new pub will still be on Mills (1040 N. Mills Ave.), only in a more energized stretch of it. Just a block up from Wally’s and Uncle Lou’s, this tract is now cocked and loaded to become Orlando’s trinity of booze. Stay tuned.
As reported in Happytown™ last week, there’s been some dithering in the House of Blues chain lately, at least at the ones located on Disney property, as ours is. Murmurs have been floating, but Machine Head’s publicist recently came forward claiming that Disney pressured HOB to cancel the metal band’s shows at their venues in the Downtown Disneys of both Lake Buena Vista and Anaheim due to “violent imagery, undesirable fans and inflammatory lyrics.” Naturally, the wagons have circled in a ring of “no comment” on the other side. Though official confirmation of anything isn’t forthcoming, what can be foreseen is the scrubbing of certain concerts like Lamb of God, Cannibal Corpse and Avenged Sevenfold from HOB’s calendar.
Thing is, metal shows are cash cows for HOB and are staples for the venue. Everyone’s mum for the time being, so it’s difficult to know exactly how rocky this will make the marriage between HOB and its landlord. The fate of other metal shows scheduled down the road could be a major factor. And the Puritanism may extend beyond headbangers: Hip-hoppers may be on the list of undesirables as well, since this week’s Lil Wayne concert was also moved off-property. Everyone knows how much muscle the Mouse has. But being owned by the world’s largest live entertainment company, Live Nation, HOB ain’t exactly a pushover. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes before these spouses will be sleeping in separate beds.
Brooklyn’s Stylofone rocked it out at the Social Sept. 9. They’re a full-on retro act that revels in 1970s glory but, seriously, how can you not rock when you’re packin’ streaks of Thin Lizzy, T. Rex and Zeppelin? If Wolfmother fucked Diamond Nights in a bathroom stall, Stylofone is what they’d sound like. Triumphant dual-guitar attack, rumbling drum passages and a good-humored, arena-rock mien despite lame attendance equals a righteous show.
But proof that mimicry of good things doesn’t always win was Mink at HOB Sept. 13. They had the classic rock & roll stylings down pat, but their rendition was merely competent. With such a derivative approach, only solid songwriting could justify this band. And though Mink’s songs are recognizable, they’re simply not memorable.
As for headliner Satellite Party, there’s even less to say. Frontman Perry Farrell proved a personable guy who treasured his fans, which was nice to see. He’s still stupid as far as I’m concerned, but he was far less annoying than I expected.
On Sept. 11 at Back Booth, things got weirder. With some troubling moments of affected quirk in their opening, North Carolina’s Megafaun had my bullshit detector ringin’ like a mofo from the get-go but then turned around and redeemed themselves with songs that had more core and, well, more of a point. Bridging mountain mystique with rock experimentalism, their esoteric fare ultimately landed in the right spots, even occasionally sounding like the Velvet Underground gone folk.
Apparently, said alert wasn’t a false alarm, it was just an early warning for Vermont’s Greg Davis. On paper, his bag is folky experimental noise. But in reality, it’s a sound project that grossly stretches the elasticity of the word “music.” His formless set ran just a few minutes long, which was the performance’s only virtue. You say abstract, I say pointless.
Anchoring the bill were musical oddities Akron/Family, whose gang approach to freak folk was willfully oblique. At times, their commitment to going out into left field paid dividends and resulted in interesting moments that bottled spontaneity. Other times, it was just overreaching and painfully self-aware.
On Sept. 12, Jeff Wood passed away after years of battling brain cancer. Most knew him as the irrepressible drummer of esteemed punk duo Nutrajet; I was fortunate enough to know him as a email@example.com