THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
When it comes to street cred
in this city, Mikey Cortes
is one of the rare ones. Yes, he’s a good player. Not to diminish that fundamental virtue or anything, but Orlando is filled with good players. Cortes, however, has made consistently good decisions on where to apply his skills, building an impressive CV spangled with quality bands like the Attack, Overdale
and the Spitvalves.
And just to make the rest of us feel completely inadequate, the guy’s also one of Orlando’s most exciting party-starters as DJ Kittybat,
an actual turntablist
and not just some dude with decent song selection.
If you know anything about those aforementioned bands, you know they’re pretty upbeat with the kind of big-hearted punk spirit
that’s aimed at the sky. But Cortes’ latest, fully solo project, Summer Spiders,
is much more nuanced and possibly his most artistic work
yet. His atmospheric and textured new self-titled debut EP
is filled with contemplative guitar landscapes
that sit at the intersection of post-rock and emo like a more halcyon Promise Ring.
As befits a musical polymath, he played all the instruments himself and
self-produced the recording. And regarding that last aspect, studio craft
is Cortes’ next horizon, and Summer Spiders is his vehicle for exploring that in his new home studio.
His recent solo set (Aug. 7, The Falcon) was really a Mikey Cortes show and not purely a Summer Spiders performance as billed, but it was nice to see this direct window into the man across Overdale
material and even covers (like Superdrag
and Neko Case
). Unfortunately, he only played one Summer Spiders song, the sole non-instrumental one. The rest of the material will require more than just him to do justice live. The music’s still worth checking out
and keeping an eye on, though, because it’s solid work and a promising peek at more layers of a true music head.
Things will only get more interesting around here the deeper he gets into it.
But, oh shit, look here. It seems headlining local band Audiotourism
have also been working up some fresh dynamics
since I last saw them. They’ve carved a nice niche for themselves with instrumental rock that works that sweet spot between noise
Now, after more than a year as an expanded trio, they’ve expanded their palette with some new pile-driving torque
to effective results. Where this local exemplar of thick rock sonics goes from here is an exciting question.
This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: firstname.lastname@example.org