Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, April 6-12 

click to enlarge They Might Be Giants

Photo by Shervin Lainez

They Might Be Giants

Wednesday, 6

They Might Be Giants


"Istanbul, not Constantinople. Istanbul, not Constantinople. Istanbul, not Constantinople." Ahhh, remember listening to that song in school and then having it stuck in your head until one of your friends introduced you to flavored vodka? John Flansburgh and John Linnell of alternative rock band They Might Be Giants have been churning out classics like "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" since the early '80s, but that doesn't mean they haven't kept up with the Joneses. Just this past month, the duo independently released Phone Power in a pay-what-you-want format right out of the Radiohead playbook. They Might Be Giants say they won't be hitting the road again until 2018, so this Wednesday might be your last chance for a while to check out the only two dudes who ever made accordion playing cool (save for the foxy Christina Hendricks on Mad Men). – Marissa Mahoney

7 p.m. | The Beacham, 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | | $22-$35

Thursday-Sunday, 7-10

Pablo Francisco


Pablo Francisco is not a highbrow comedian, nor does he aspire to be one. The former MADtv featured player became well-known during his stint touring with Ned "Carlos" Mencia and appearing on Mind of Mencia. And while Francisco's comedy isn't quite as dependent on exploiting racial stereotypes and scatological humor as Mencia's, that influence is certainly still there. But Francisco's talent really lies in his gift for mimicry. The energetic performer often lets loose with a rapid-fire burst of spot-on impressions of everyone from Don LaFontaine (the movie voice-over guy) to Arnold Schwarzenegger to R2-D2, often within the space of a single joke. And if his new material makes use of his surprisingly on-point beatboxing, you're in for a real treat. – Thaddeus McCollum

8 p.m. Thursday, 8 & 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 & 10:15 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday | Orlando Improv, 9101 International Drive | 407-480-5233 | | $22-$25 Friday, 8

Napalm Death, Melvins, Melt Banana


While many lineups load up on the noise and heft, very few have ever packed as much wild variety and sheer freakishness as the Savage Imperial Death March Tour. This road show for the ages brings the hat trick of England's groundbreaking grindcore fountainhead Napalm Death, Pacific Northwest sludge experimentalists the Melvins and Japanese noise-rock iconoclasts Melt Banana. The bands all have deep cred as acts of historical and creative import, but each comes from a very different and distinct corner of the music galaxy. The thing they share, however, is forward thinking. And it's what has distinguished them as eternal cognoscenti darlings across decades of interesting work. Together, they constitute a truly legendary cross-section of the breadth and originality of the extreme underground. – Bao Le-Huu

7 p.m. | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 877-435-9849 | | $20-$22

Saturday, 9

The Warped Side of the Universe with Hans Zimmer, Paul Franklin and Kip Thorne


If you've seen any big-budget Hollywood film in the past 20 years, chances are you've almost been brought to tears by a score written by renowned composer Hans Zimmer. From The Lion King to The Dark Knight, Zimmer has composed music that transports his listeners right into the action of the movie, into another dimension of sound and space. This year, at UCF Celebrates the Arts, experience that sensation live as Zimmer performs with visual artists and story creators from the movie Interstellar. The scientific presentation combines music, poetry, prose and computer simulations to envelop the audience in the science of warped space and time, covering topics ranging from gravitational waves, colliding black holes, supernovas and the birth of the universe. It might be a nerdy lesson, but we think it's safe to say this is one astronomy lecture you definitely won't be dozing off in. – Deanna Ferrante

7:30 p.m. | Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | | free

Saturday, 9

Zakir Hussain & Masters of Percussion


Does he bear a faint resemblance to Fred Armisen? He does, Portlandia fans, but try not to be distracted by it; this show is not another Armisen prank in the vein of his "Jens Hannemann's Complicated Drumming Technique" bit. Zakir Hussain is the real deal, a living treasure and a supreme master of the tabla who's played with other virtuosi ranging from Bela Fleck to Yo Yo Ma. Every other year he tours with a hand-picked supergroup of other badass drummers – some Indian, some not – that he rather matter-of-factly calls the Masters of Percussion. This year he's accompanied on his tabla by specialists on the dholak, tavil and taiko drums. Even if you know nothing about classical percussion, the dizzying patterns and rhythms pulsating through the theater will turn you into a beat junkie by the end of the night. – Jessica Bryce Young

7:30 p.m. | Bob Carr Theater, 401 W. Livingston St. | 844-513-2014 | | $30-$100

Saturday, 9

Central FL Antifest


Coming hot on the heels of last week's MultipleTap tour, which featured legends of Japanese noise, we now have the first (perhaps only) Central FL Antifest, a one-night gathering of newer noisemakers and miscreants from all around the South. The interesting thing at an event like this is in hearing the way that noise music disseminates and mutates into new, weird hybrids in cities and towns that are far more isolated than, say, NYC or San Francisco (or Tokyo). Highlights include the delicate drones of Rin Larping (Atlanta), a collaborative set from Gainesville's Rauh and Miami's Onset (aka Rick Smith of Torche), the harsh sound collage of Palmetto's Vasectomy Party, Bellringer's (St. Aug.) performance art power electronics, and more locally, Bacon Grease's no-wave attack. The Antifest is curated by Dylan Houser of Lakeland's Hell Garbage and is free. Sets will be 15 minutes in length, so if you're not enjoying something, don't worry: It will be over soon enough. Be a witness to the spectacle. – Matthew Moyer

with Dendera Bloodbath, Trotsky's Watercooer, Divorce Ring and more | 6 p.m. | Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall, 1016 N. Mills Ave. | free

Sunday, 10

Uncomfortable Brunch Presents: Welcome to the Dollhouse


Movies are powerful. Blazing Saddles has made audiences laugh for decades. For some reason, A League of Their Own makes people cry. One night you'll be cheering on the unforgiving Ellen Ripley and the next you'll be praying for the demise of the seemingly indestructible T-1000. Cinema can summon a Pandora's box of thoughts and emotions, but many don't take advantage of the graphic ability of forcing you to feel sickened, disgusted and, above all else, disturbed. Uncomfortable Brunch, which takes place the first Sunday of every month over at Will's Pub, is intent on fixing this.  The series combines troubling flicks such as Enter the Void and Salò with themed meals – as if the final scene of Pink Flamingos weren't hard enough to swallow on its own. April's viewing revisits Todd Solondz's work, this time through the coming-of-age Welcome to the Dollhouse. Dawn, a seventh grader, has absolutely nothing going for her. She's ignored by her parents, her bully-turned-romantic interest attempts to rape her and life seems to only be getting worse. Your middle school days might've been bad, but they probably weren't as awkward as Dawn's, so revel in that fact with happy hour-priced mimosas and Bloody Marys available to keep you going from scene to uncomfortable scene. – Kim Slichter

noon | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $12

Sunday, 10

Turkish Food Festival


Americans, get ready to experience life on "the bridge between East and West." Turkey lies directly between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, and it represents a mix of cultural mores that make it unique. As Istanbul Cultural Center Orlando brings its third annual Turkish Food Festival to Orlando, our community can get a taste of Turkish cuisine, which represents the nation's diversity. Although the names may get your tongue twisted, there's sure to be some köfte (balls or patties of ground beef or lamb) or börek (pastries filled with minced meat or spinach and cheese) to help you deliciously engage with Turkish culture. – Rachel Stuart

noon-5 p.m. | Istanbul Cultural Center Orlando, 940 S. Winter Park Drive, Casselberry | 321-203-2191 | | free

Saturday, 9

Emperor X


Floridians will be happy to claim left-field pop savant Emperor X as one of their own. Jacksonville native and current Berlin resident Chad Matheny has created a deep and variant body of work, dealing in disparate styles and even more disparate lyrical themes. Local pride alert: He even titled one (admittedly good) album The Orlando Sentinel, which obviously would have been better if it had been titled Orlando Weekly. Musically, Matheny occupies a strange midpoint between the Mountain Goats and Jad Fair, crafting rough-hewn and eccentric folk songs that are increasingly filtered through electronics and deconstruction more akin to an Eno or Aphex Twin. Live, he's a compelling performer, all raw nerves and anxiety, his unique voice careening wildly against choppy acoustic guitar lines or DIY electronics, depending on the night and his mood. – Matthew Moyer

with Pariah, Renee Is a Zombie | 8 p.m. | The Space Station, 2539 Coolidge Ave. | 321-356-2804 | | $7


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