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!

Friday, October 14, 2011

This Weekend: Stars at Firestone

My favorite Canadians are going to be in Orlando tomorrow night, headlining Firestone Live, or Club Firestone, or just Firestone – whatever they’re calling it now. Anyway, I’m stoked that I getting to see Stars twice in the past year: their live show is one of the best. If you like indie rock (think Broken Social Scene, which all of the members of Stars are also are a part of) and melodramatic, theatrical songs about ghosts, love and heartbreak, then you’ll be into this show. I promise. Tickets are $15 and still available. (Plus, no fees if you buy them at the Firestone box office!)

I got to talk with Amy Millan, Stars’ babe of a co-lead singer, about the new tour, plans for future music, and what’s on her playlist. Check it out!

You toured last year in support of Five Ghosts, and since then you've released The Bedroom Demos, the demos from 2007's In Our Bedroom After the War. What can expect to hear most of on this current tour? A good mix of old and new?

It’s interesting having five albums and four EPs -- there is SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM!! For our own sanity we need to mix it up and challenge ourselves for every new tour, which means the setlist is always a mixed bag. We always want to make sure we are playing some fan favorites because the fans are the ones buying the tickets and we wouldn't want to disappoint. Playing the favorites always means we get a sing along as well, which is the very best of anything.

You and Torquil (fanciest name ever) split most of the band's vocals, is the band's songwriting also a collaborative process?

All publishing is split between the five of us on every song – that’s how collaborative it is. No song would be the song without every member present.

Are there any current plans to record new music in the future?

YES! We are in the middle of recording and writing the next album, and we are actually playing some of the newest and freshest tunes on this tour. It’s terrifying and exciting! We have never played songs that have yet to be even finished before.

What's on your playlist right now?

PJ Harvey, Neon Indian, Beach House, Twin Sister and King Creosote.

Do you have a favorite place/ or is there anywhere you're looking forward to visiting while you're in Orlando?

Well, we just made it to the beautiful beaches of Florida and we are LOVING IT!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

5 Can’t Miss Fall Shows - Becky's Picks

What do I love about fall? Pumpkin everything (especially beeeeer), wearing layers (although that might not be well into November) and Halloween. And the best time of year in the Sunshine State brings a cornucopia of shows to our fair city. So grab an Octoberfest brew, grab a (light) jacket and head to one of these five. (And be sure to check out Amy’s picks too!)

Friendly Fires, The Social, October 8
Ask most people about Pala, the latest album from this British trio, and they’ll annoyingly say they like the first album better. I am curious if these people have ears. Sure, the first self-titled release was good, but boy am I obsessed with the intricate layers of their second endeavor. (“Blue Cassette?” Goosebumps. “Hurting?” Gut-wrenchingly awesome. “Helpless?” Ohmygod, yes.) Eh, maybe it’s because I’m getting over a breakup and my emo side is shining through. But if you’re as stoked as I am to see how they’ll perform the complex studio work live, check them out this Saturday.

Eat to the Beat Concert Series, Epcot, Dates Vary
Ok, so most of the bands performing during Epcot’s Food and Wine festival (Air Supply, Hanson) can only be enjoyed ironically. However, there are a few not-so-guilty pleasures in the mix (ok, maybe a little guilty) like Boyz II Men, kinda-sorta ELO and Billy Ocean, who I saw a few years ago and was totally dope. (He rocked long white dreads and a fresh blue suit, and opened with the song "Nights (Feel Like Getting Down"). Um, hells to the yeah.) Check the full cheesy band lineup and dates here, and if none of them strike your fancy, there’s always drinking around the world and Norway’s boat ride.

VHS or Beta, Will’s Pub, October 14
It’s been awhile since these guys have visited our town but they’re back to promote their new album, Diamonds and Death. Stream the whole thing over here, then catch them at Will’s along with Britt Daley and Yogurt Smoothness. Expect a dance party.

The Cool Kids, The Social, October 22
These dudes bring a hipster element to hip hop, while keeping it on the lighthearted tip, sans the bitches and bling (see also: De La Soul). Internet buzz helped spread the word of their first EP, Bake Sale, making the follow up, When Fish Ride Bicycles, their first official album release. But don’t dismiss it just because you can’t get a physical copy or because of the huge Mountain Dew logo on the cover (guys’ve gotta eat, right?). Instead, drop a few bucks to support their live show so they can keep doing their thing – making fun hip hop music the 90s would be proud of.

Who’s Bad, The Social, October 27
It’s no secret that I love me some Michael Jackson. And since I’ll never get to see him live, I’ll have to settle for the next best thing: an MJ tribute band! And really, what better way to get into the Halloween spirit than with a re-enactment of "Thriller?"