Jean Grae, The Sword, Dynamic Relationships, Paul Oakenfold and more 


Thursday • 30

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DYNAMIC RELATIONSHIPS: CREALDÉ SCHOOL OF ART'S MENTORS AND STUDENTS Showing the effect of mentors upon their students is the purpose for this city exhibition staged in collaboration with Crealdé School of Art. A work by an experienced half of the equation will be presented next to a creation by a novice, allowing viewers their own interpretation of the influence. For instance, faculty member and painter Rima Jabbur says of her student Julia Clift, "As a mentor, it is both confusing and exhilarating to have a student whose abilities exceed your own." Maggie McLeod says of her teacher/photographer Rick Lang, "Rick taught me to watch for that single moment in time that will never come again. The rest he leaves up to me." The show opens today, with an April 20 artist's reception. (opening reception 5-7 p.m. at City Hall Rotunda; exhibition at The Terrace Gallery and Mayor's Gallery at City Hall; continues through May 28; free; 407-246-4279)

THE GO-GO'S Gone are the speed-bumped blurs of captured-on-Betacam roadie blow jobs and heroin hijinks on Beatnik Beach. These days The Go-Go's are more likely to be heard in corporate advertisements (Papa John's "We Got the Meat," anyone?) and satellite radio nostalgia broadcasts than in the immediate mascara smears of mall-bound teenage rebellion. The band's meteoric rise from garbage-bag-wearing almost-cred punks (see: The Germs) to fountain-dancing debs is the stuff of legend: a vodka slip 'n' slide salted with cocaine and ending in a brick-wall royalties catfight. Hello, 1980s. Their re-emergence a few years ago with Billie Joe Armstrong in tow may have been met with a commercial eye-roll, but the effervescent canon of hits is quite simply unmatchable in its perfection. Maybe they're just touring to support their kids' drug habits now, but this being the 25th anniversary year of their seminal debut, Beauty and the Beat, such maternal instincts can be forgiven. (with Stimulator; 7 p.m. at Hard Rock Live; $25-$47; 407-351-5483)

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JEAN GRAE With an upcoming release on a major label, we were starting to wonder where the verbally violent, super-underground Jean Grae we knew and loved had gone. That lovely woman who would stomp across a stage, holding audiences hostage as she delivered rhythmical harangues that were as tough as they were riveting. And when she kicked off one of her many South by Southwest performances with a sweet, nostalgic rap about growing up in the '80s and loving your mama, we were really confused. But when she started ranting about "all y'all mama-hatin' motherfuckers" and worked herself into the intelligently brash froth we expect from her, we realized Jean Grae is still just the sort of woman we fear the most: one who can look us in the eye and smile sweetly as she mentally maps our destruction. (with MURS, Caveman Theory; 9 p.m. at Back Booth; $12, free with University of Central Florida ID; 407-999-2570)

Friday • 31

THE SWORD We've been prattling on for the past year about how awesome The Sword is, and we know you're probably tired of it by now. But with the recent release of their debut album (Age of Winters) and another dose of them at SXSW, we remember why we went on this crusade in the first place: This Austin-based group is making metal safe for metalheads again. Not the kids who fantasize about chopping their parents up and making soup, not the kids who pore over 18th-century medical textbooks looking for rare diseases to use as song titles, not the kids who don't see any problem with using a DJ in their metal band … those kids aren't metalheads. They're some sort of pre-apocalyptic harbinger of something really bad, but they've forgotten that half of "heavy metal" is being heavy, and not just being hard. The Sword – as well as openers Torche and Tarantula A.D. – are heavy indeed: a monstrous wall of riffage, a stomach-churning rhythm section and fantastical lyrics about witches and wolves and, well, swords. No introspective psychobabble about fucked-up childhoods, no graphic descriptions of corpse mutilations, just pure, unadulterated high-school-notebook shit. We won't promise to shut up about The Sword after this show, but we do promise that if you're a fan of True Metal, you won't shut up about 'em after you see this show. (with Torche, Tarantula A.D., ASG; 8:30 p.m. at Back Booth; $8; 407-999-2570)

ELLEN DEGENERES There's Spiderman, there's the Hulk and now there's Ellen. Well, at least for a weekend, Universal Orlando Resorts can add Ellen DeGeneres to their list of attractions at the park, as she's taping three shows at Universal. Her website and past few shows have been dedicated to giving away tickets, asking audience members what to do in Orlando and counting down the days until she travels across the country. The hype worked, and all tickets have already been snapped up by her oddly adoring fans. But the good folks at Universal are planning on turning CityWalk into a gigantic "riff-raff room," where non-ticketholders can mingle with one another and watch the live taping on a giant television screen. (2 p.m. on March 31, noon and 3 p.m. on April 1; free)

PAUL OAKENFOLD It's worth noting that the annual runoff from the Winter Music Conference has slowed to something of a trickle in recent years. As a result, our fair city, a place city that was once the very epicenter of the U.S. dance scene, now rarely warrants a stop for the big-name DJs storming into Miami for WMC. Though Orlando's not entirely to blame – WMC has considerably less impact than it did, say, five years ago, a reflection of the state of dance music in general – you'd think that there would be a little more activity than this. Nonetheless, Oakenfold's not exactly a shitty consolation prize, as the guy is perhaps the best-known DJ on the planet. See him before he (like so many other DJs) writes off America altogether for the more receptive (and lucrative) environs of Europe and Asia. (with Baby Anne, Jimmy Joslin; 9 p.m. at Tabu; $15-$25; 407-648-8363)

Monday • 3

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MEMORIES OF MY LIFE IN A POLISH VILLAGE Even with digital cameras and video recorders, the fine details of the minutiae that fills daily life can be lost – except for the imprint in an individual's memory. That's what makes museums full of artifacts so enlightening. Venerable artist Toby Knobel Fluek has captured on canvas the shape and color of her distinctive childhood in Czernica, Poland, before her family was driven out by the German invasion that forced them into the Brody ghetto. A Holocaust survivor who arrived in the U.S. in 1949, Fluek has painted everyday scenes from three periods in her life: before the war, life in the ghetto and postwar in Europe. Paintings such as "Baking Challah," "Lighting Sabbath Candles" and "My Uncle Mordche" reflect Jewish traditions and lost history. (through June 30 at Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida; free; 407-628-0555)

Contributors: Jason Ferguson, Billy Manes, Lindy T. Shepherd, Nada Taha, Avery Wood

selections@orlandoweekly.com

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