Home to FMF, aka Florida Music Festival, which has increasingly grown more and more plastic the past few years. Lucky us, someone (namely Tierney Tough) came along and has really put together something freaking awesome: Orange You Glad Fest.Something like 60 bands, 6 venues. Same weekend as FMF. . . I think the coolest thing about it, is that they in no way are trying to detract from FMF, but rather gracefully allowing them to go their own way while creating something for the more "indie-oriented" music and fans at the same time.
I'm so, so excited for this thing. So excited, that I'm really finding it hard not to say anything regarding the apathy of so many people when it comes to community oriented music events and local music in general. I know plenty of people who will go see 20 bands in one weekend at The Fest in Gainesville (tons of fun, no doubt) yet probably see less than half that in a calendar year locally (this is not directed at any one person, just an unfair generalization of lots of really amazing people I know that I selfishly made to suit the purpose of this blog.) Not sure what gives there. Orlando actually has some great shit for you to see.
Here are some of my recommendations for this weekend's Orange You Glad fest:
Kick off party @ Will's Pub
The Pauses: Orlando, FL. Dual keys driven indie-pop. No posturing or any of that crap, just fun fun music.
Modern Skirts : Athens, GA. smooth, catchy Indie-Rock.
Watch Me Disappear: Orlando, FL. Loud as hell post-hardcore that changes time signatures without pissing you off in the process. In other words, they do so deftly.
Only Thieves: Tallahassee, FL. Pop + Loud Heavily Distorted guitars makes me happy.
Andy Matchett: Orlando, FL. Some of you may be familiar with Andy from him playing with XOXO and The Monorail, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not click on his name right there and listen to at least one song. He is a great singer, and my friend,and I have no problem kissing his ass. But only because I mean it. His sister is playing with him now, too. . . it is really good, honest music.
Jason Choi Orlando, FL (lucky us, he moved here!). Jason is another mega-talented singer song-writer who is beyond reproach on the niceness scale. He and his friend Dave like pizza. (they also play together in a really cool band called Kitty Party.)
The Still Voice: Orlando, FL. Erin Solari seems to grow as a lead vocalist every time I see this band, and their bass player is pretty damn good. For fans of Denali or Engine Down. Their shows never lack energy or intensity.
3 layers of awesome:
History: Orlando, FL. More synths, more guitars, more drums, more cymbals. And I like it. At times they remind me of Jawbox. And I like that. They have new songs I haven't heard yet, but I have heard about (positively.)
Hurrah: Orlando, FL. I think when this band formed, Cohen had hair. I could be wrong. I just know they have been around a long time, and they are good. More loud guitars. . . which pretty much gets me every time.
Northvia: Orlando, FL. Orlando by way of Tallahassee, these guys play instrumental music that isn't monotonous and droning, in fact it manages to push forward with a purpose. A worthwhile one, at that. Plus, their freaking album features song titles all alluding to the Orlando Magic. It's the playoffs!
Thomas Wynn: Orlando, FL. Thomas is a really powerful performer, and I haven't gotten to see him as many times as I want to. Their music is dripping with Southern, without seeming inauthentic at all. Plus he is so affable on stage. It's a great thing to see.
Matt Butcher: Orlando, FL. How THAT VOICE comes out of Matt is beyond me. No offense to him, but his appearances in no way indicate the voice the kid has. When I first moved into my building, he lived across the way from me. I didn't know him at the time at all. But sometimes, he would play guitar and sing, and I thought, "who the hell is that guy? He's is way too good." Turned out to be Matt. And I have to admit something I don't get and cannot stand: I have never once actually seen him perform. Not with The Heathens, nor solo. Some higher power has intervened and requested he schedule all his shows when I cannot see him. For example, for this show on the same night I am playing a show at another venue.
Great Deceivers: Orlando, FL. Vocal harmonies. Good ones. And they have fun with the music, and I think that's always fun to see.
Slow Claw: Nashville, TN. We did three dates with these dudes on our last tour, and they were some of the nicest, funnest guys I've met in quite some time. Audience participation is encouraged and enjoyed. They just want to party with you.
Dangerous Animals: Orlando, FL. Elemental Folk-Pop, maybe? Their songs are not overly involved or intricate, but they feel right. Like, comfort music. They have some great male/female vocal interplay going on. And Jeff Ilgenfrentz.
Mike Dunn and The Kings of New England: Orlando, FL: Everybody likes nice guys, and these guys are genuinely freaking nice guys. Mike writes some great songs that I can comfortably call, "Americana" without feeling like I am slighting he or the genre. I think I can safely say he likes Bruce Springsteen, and we are all the better for it.
Khann: Orlando, FL. I had no clue what to expect when I saw these guys a few weeks ago at Will's. To say I was happy would be an understatement. Torche-esque without being derivative. Loud as hell. Yes.
Cracker Jackson: Orlando, FL. Umm. Never read a description of him before. I am guessing people use terms like, "jokester" or "wise-cracking" or whatever else, but I think those terms would inherently discount the fact the guy is a genuine word smith with a shockingly quick wit. If you asked him to freestyle about grape popsicles and peanut butter, it would probably still sound good.