Dear recent Orlando transplant:

Ok, so you just moved to Orlando from New York / Philly / Chicago / San Francisco / et al. You feel lost, uprooted, misplaced -- you're starting to think Orlando might suck. Eager to find some nightlife in this town, you go to Lattitudes on Church Street, Slingapour's on Wall Street and that mega-club on Orange Avenue owned by one of those Backstreet Boys (Orlando's finest celebrities). Maybe you even think International Drive, Citywalk or Downtown Disney is where everyone hangs out in this town. Now you really think Orlando sucks.

Well, you're wrong. There is more to this city than theme park "nightlife" and crappy clubs with guys wearing shiny shirts, but you have to know where to look. Instead of complaining about how lame Orlando is compared to your city of origin, why not get out there and support your new scene -- it's a lot better than you think! After all, you moved here for a reason, right? (I'm guessing to escape the cold weather.) So you can do one of two things: either 1) move back to the city you think is sooooo much more awesome or 2) quit bitchin', check the events below and DON'T SLEEP on the shit that is happening!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

5 Can't Miss Fall Shows - Amy's Picks

Fall is here (even if it doesn't quite feel like it yet) and besides the insane amount of pumpkin bombs I'll be enjoying for the next couple months, I'll also be reaping the benefits of the onslaught of incredible touring acts making their way through town. Here's my Top 5 ... Becky will be posting hers later this week, plus check out the column on the right for even more listings.

Mates of State, The Social, October 7
It’s been a not-so-secret goal of mine to marry a musician babe and tour around the country with our daughters in tow like Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel of Mates of State do. They’re out in support of their seventh album, Mountaintops, which is more guitar-heavy than previous releases (which used to be just drums and keys), but it's still just as upbeat and melodic. Expect lots of pretty people and tambourines.

Stars, Firestone Live, October 15
Last year I drove to Atlanta to see this band of Canadians (half of them also play in Broken Social Scene), because I thought, "Oh they'll never come to Orlando." Well, here they are, less than a year later, touring in support of the same album (Five Ghosts). This means they’ll likely play the same set I saw last year which doesn’t really bother me one bit because they are one of the most hauntingly beautiful bands I’ve ever seen.

Butch Walker & the Black Widows, The Social, October 31
He was a one hit wonder in the 90s (Marvelous 3, anyone?) and now he's more banjo than bad-ass, but I still have a really strange crush on him. If you go to the show you’ll see why, or just think I have weird taste, but whatever. Butch is on tour with his folk backing band, The Black Widows, promoting the release of their brand new album, The Spade.

M83, The Beacham, November 2
Turns out I’m not going to be in town for this show, but I’m still so excited about it for your sake that it had to be included. Hurry Up We’re Dreaming is my favorite new album of the year, and I’ve never seen M83 live, so someone needs to go and tell me how it is. Okay now I’m sad.

Orlando Calling Festival, The Citrus Bowl, November 12
I realize this first-ever festival has the potential to be a giant, shitty mess -- annoying crowds, expensive beer (may I suggest a flask?) -- but this is The Killers’ first show on U.S. soil in more than two years, and there’s a bunch of other excitement-worthy acts on the bill (The Avett Brothers, The Roots, Gogol Bordello) that may make this worth it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rich Medina Returns to Orlando

Rich Medina's son is way cooler than you. (Photo by Karl Rex.)

You know who’s awesome? These Lazy Afternoon guys. In the last few months, they have busted their asses to drop some knowledge to this town. Have you heard of Questlove? Brought him. Pete Rock? Yep, him too. DJ Craze, Maseo, Kon and Cosmo Baker? Check, check, check, and check. These are guys after my own heart and we’re lucky they’re doing their thing in Orlando.

Up next, they’re bringing back Rich Medina, one of my all-time favorite DJs, on Sunday, September 4. Their party on Memorial Day weekend was the shizzzzz, with Mr. Medina rocking the dance floor with all types of music the whole evening. (That is, until Eye Spy resident DJ Perry decided to ruin everything. Seriously, what’s up with this guy? He is *still* dropping "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers like it came out yesterday.)

This time the dance floor antics promise not to be cut short, as the party will be held at SUbstance. A reason to get there early: Orlando’s finest -- LT Smash, Kittybat and DJ Y-not -- will be on deck to warm up the dance floor.

A reason for the ladies to get there early: We get in free before 11. Oh word!
A reason for the guys to get there early: Ladies will be there.

Cover: $10
Why you shouldn’t complain about the cover:
A) Ladies in free before 11, so no excuses.
B) You’re contributing to make Orlando’s scene better. Help these dudes continue to bring true talent without losing their asses. Shit ain’t free.

21 and up, 10 PM, Peep the FB invite for more details.

PS... There are rumors circulating that there might be a steady Rich Medina Orlando residency in the works. Stay tuned!

Will's Pub's Sweet 16th Anniversary Weekend

Holy crap – Will’s Pub is old enough to drive! They grow up so fast, don’t they? Watch yourself on the roads with these kids behind the wheel.

But seriously, it was a sad day when Will’s previous location was set to close its doors forever. Luckily the legacy has lived on thanks to the current spot (conveniently across from Wally’s in case you need a shot or two in between bands).

This weekend, come support Will Walker, a man who has always tried to better our fair city, at Will's Pub's Sweet 16th Anniversary Weekend. Here’s the lineup:

9/1 Ben Prestage
9/2 Thomas Wynn & the Believers w/ Six Time Losers, Jordan Wynn
9/3 Shak Nasti & Gargamel!
9/4 "Mommy's Little Monsters" Cover Show (Social D cover set with sets by Chopper Stepe w/ a full band, Weapons To Go, & Midtown Dave)

Happy birthday! Here’s to another 16 years. (God, we’ll be old by then.)