TALL JUAN, SONIC GRAFFITI AND MTVH1N1, DEADLY SINS BREWING, JULY 5
Rising Orlando promoters Ugly Orange have been building a name by not only unearthing young new indie bands but also something else just as critical to scene-building: potential new venues. They went from being one of the groups to try lifting the Milk District to live-music prominence to exploring fresh frontiers like the Henao Contemporary Center. Now, they've just given Winter Park's new Deadly Sins Brewing a go.
Don't sweat the posh ZIP code; it's a no-frills brewery in the warehouse district behind 4Rivers that also contains the more jazz-minded but equally DIY Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. Though Deadly Sins' calendar shows some live music, there isn't a concerted effort here to be a live venue so far. It's a brewery first, after all. But, turns out, it's a decent spot for an underground show, especially if a group like Ugly Orange is behind it. And, based on the crowd that showed up, this event in particular seemed to basically have run of the place.
Topping the bill was the Orlando debut of Tall Juan. Although the Argentinean – now New Yorker – isn't an especially big name himself yet, he does sport some early wags from tastemaker publications and counts people like Mac DeMarco and the Beets' Juan Wauters as friend-collaborators. His music is solid. The Ramones influence is as apparent as it is professed, but his sound is both wider and more now than that. In brisk nuggets catchier than the flu, he fluidly threads bopping garage modernity, swooning Spanish romanticism and raw punk heat.
Live, Tall Juan is absolutely undeniable. He's so electric in presence and attitude that he can make playing acoustic and solo – as his set began – punk as fuck. When in full swing, he's a rush of rubber, velocity and charisma. In his magnetism and live-wire physicality, it's easy to see a cult icon in the making. And it seems to be a live brilliance that's only beginning to fully bloom.
By show's end, his band was bashing out the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" with him appropriately flopped on the floor, half-dressed and with microphone in mouth. Not fortunate enough to see the spectacle? Well, lucky for you he's returning Sept. 24 to the Social opening for Together Pangea alongside excellent Nashville band Daddy Issues, who impressed back in April supporting Diet Cig. Don't sleep on this very fortunate second chance.
LIVE MUSIC THURSDAYS AT THE LUCKY LURE
You'd be forgiven for being unaware of anything music-related in Ivanhoe Village. Despite being a hood that's maturing as a nighttime destination and so close to music-centric Mills Avenue, it boasts precious little live action. Besides perhaps some of the music offerings at the Imperial or the random haps at the Caboose, there's not much to follow. But Live Music Thursdays at the Lucky Lure is one to watch if you want some heartbeat with your chill.
A recent one, for instance, featured Thomas Wynn, probably the city's most respected Southern rocker. He and his band the Believers just recently released a powerful new album (Wade Waist Deep), their first as a label-signed act. And this night, though solo and more subdued than his full stage show, he played and sung with the kind of deep and resonant soul befitting a man of his cachet.
Though the live offerings won't always have quite as much prestige or caliber as Wynn – whose band typically packs out prime venues like the Social – this Thursday night stand isn't just some local-yokel open mic.
Wynn is a regular feature, and past performers include notables like Lauris Vidal, Beartoe, Sean Holcomb (The Holcomb Brothers), Hannah Harber, Drew Yardis and Joseph Martens (Hindu Cowboys). You can't argue much about taking in some decent live music in a laid-back, open-air spot like the Lure. Besides, you won't hear Thomas Wynn cover the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at one of his big gigs.
The Lure's Thursdays are a good, needed infusion that adds pulse without disrupting the relaxed vibe of a great neighborhood.