Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Feb. 3-9 

click to enlarge 1000w_moon_taxi_credit_joshua_wilkins_black.jpg

Photo via Joshua Wilkins

Wednesday-Thursday, 3-4

Winter With the Writers: Antonio Skármeta

Rollins' annual literary festival, Winter With the Writers, returns this month with a slate of events with prose and poetry masters from around the world. Opening the festival this year is Chilean novelist, screenwriter and diplomat Antonio Skármeta, a recipient of Chile's National Literature Prize. Skármeta fled Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship, a theme he addresses in his novel Ardiente Paciencia, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film Il Postino in 1995. While he's in Central Florida, you can see another film at the Enzian based on one of Skármeta's works, No, based on his play The Referendum. Skármeta also gives a free master class to aspiring writers and participates in a reading and Q&A session on Thursday. It's merely the first week of the Winter With the Writers festival, so keep an eye out for more events all month long. – Thaddeus McCollum

screening 6:15 p.m. Wednesday; master class 4 p.m. Thursday; reading 7:30 p.m. Thursday | Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland; Bush Auditorium, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park | 407-646-2000 | | free

Wednesday, 3

Moon Taxi

Nashville band Moon Taxi caught the country's eye three years ago with the debut of their second album, Mountains Beaches Cities. Now the five-piece is taking its festival sound on tour again after the release of its third and most relatable album, Daybreaker, late last year. The band has finally found its sound, with songs that pick up on all the nuances of a live performance, from subtle finger movements to shallow breaths. It's an immersive experience, one that surrounds the listener in swooning choruses and towering guitar riffs. The stadium-ready single, "Year Zero," was made to sing along with, the perfect song to hear while swaying, eyes closed, in the middle of summer. If you can't wait until festival season, now is the perfect time to catch this band before Bonnaroo comes around. – Deanna Ferrante

with Lonely Biscuits | 8 p.m. | The Social, 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | | $15-$17

Wednesday, 3

Graham Nash

Graham Nash has been a busy guy over the past year. He toured with Crosby, Stills & Nash through May, and rather than taking a breather, he went back out on a solo tour of the states through August.

Then he went back to work on This Path Tonight, the solo album he will release in early April. Nash hit the road again in late January for another U.S. solo tour that will continue through February.

"I'm a musician," Nash says, explaining in a recent phone interview why he has done so much touring recently. "I need to play. I need to communicate."

That sort of thinking makes sense considering the fact that art – be it music, painting or photography – is such a central part of Nash's daily life.

"I have to create something every day or else I get upset with myself," he says. "I have to take a great photograph or make a great painting or write a good song or start a good song."

By the time Nash started last summer's solo tour, This Path Tonight – a strong collection of songs that leans toward melodic and thoughtful acoustic-based tunes – was essentially done. But he waited until 2016 to release it because he'd hoped to get Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Neil Young to play on some songs.

There was talk of a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tour in 2015. The year before, the group released an acclaimed box set, 1974, that documented the legendary tour of that summer, and Nash had been optimistic that they would regroup to tour in support of the set.

But any possibility of a tour went up in smoke in fall 2014 when controversy erupted between Crosby and Young. Following news that Young was divorcing his wife of 37 years, Pegi, and had started dating actress Daryl Hannah, Crosby spoke about Young's situation in an interview with the Idaho Statesman newspaper. "I happen to know that he's hanging out with somebody [Hannah] that's a purely poisonous predator now," Crosby told the publication. "And that's karma. He's gonna get hurt."

Crosby apologized eight months later on The Howard Stern Show, but by all appearances, the damage was already done. Young declared that CSNY would never tour again.

For now, Nash has shows to play. He will have plenty of flexibility to change up his song set from night to night, but plans to cover everything from songs with his pre-CSN band – the popular British group the Hollies – right up to his newest songs. He says he enjoys doing his own shows.

"It's great when David, Stephen and I are together. It's great when David, Stephen, Neil and I are together. And it's great when me and Crosby are together," he says. "But I do enjoy the solo concerts. I don't have to deal with anybody else's music but mine." – Alan Sculley

6:30 p.m. | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 | | $29.50-$59.50

Thursday, 4

Band Bingo IV: A New Hope

Band Bingo, one of the more unique nights of live music in town, returns this week after taking a hiatus and moving away from its Mills 50 origins and into the Milk District. If you've missed Band Bingo in the past, the basic concept is that musicians put their names in a hat to be randomly assigned to different teams. Those teams then have an hour to come up with a name and write a song. Often, the band names turn out better than the song. For subsequent rounds, teammates may have to find out which instrument they're playing from a random draw, or what style of music they'll have to cover a song in. Even if you're not a musician, it's still an entertaining sight to see the unbridled creativity of some of the most talented musicians in town when they're forced to not take themselves seriously. – Thaddeus McCollum

7 p.m. | Spacebar, 2428 E. Robinson St. | | free

Friday, 5

The Legendary Shack Shakers

There are true must-see live acts so powerful and unique that they transcend genre – as in, I don't care what kind of music you get down to, this will blow you away no matter what – but they are few. With their dead-raising punkabilly sound and a preternatural sense of show in electric frontman J.D. Wilkes, the Legendary Shack Shakers are unquestionably one of them. They used to be regular touring attractions here, leaving many of our stages scorched by pure lightning (and sometimes showered in ripped-out pubes), but they've been on hiatus due to Wilkes' other artistic outlets. And though he's recently been haunting Orlando again with the Dirt Daubers, a band he's doing with talented wife and noted solo artist Jessica Lee Wilkes, this will be the first time in years that his original Southern Gothic freak show rolls through. Now they're back in the fiery flesh, on their 20th anniversary as a band and armed with a new album, The Southern Surreal, on Alternative Tentacles. Come get thrilled and hexed again. – Bao Le-Huu

with the Wildtones | 9 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $10-$12

Friday, 5

Naked Boys Singing

Oh, behave! Head on over to the Parliament House this Friday night, where boys in birthday suits are waiting to entertain the hell out of you with this raucous revue. And the songs aren't too bad, either. Eight chiseled men sing their way through 16 original songs, and with titles like "Gratuitous Nudity," we can only imagine what this show will leave lying on the floor. While there may be a platoon of toned buns gallivanting around the stage, Parliament House stresses that the show is in no way pornographic, making it perfect for all occasions: Valentine's Day, bachelor parties, spring break celebrations, or Grandma's birthday party. – Marissa Mahoney

7:30 p.m. | through March 13 | Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House, 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail | 407-425-7571 | | $20-$25Saturday, 6

Orlando Chili Cook-Off

What do simmering beef, burning chili peppers and Orlando Weekly all have in common? All three are attending the Seventh Annual Orlando Chili Cook-Off at Orlando Festival Park. As you try chili recipes from over 80 booths, you can enjoy live music, drinks and – if you really don't care about having a functioning tongue for the rest of the day – enter the World Chili Eating Challenge. All that capsaicin overload is for a good cause, though, as proceeds from the cook-off go to two charities: Camaraderie Foundation and Alex's Lemonade Stand. – Monivette Cordeiro

noon-5 p.m. | Orlando Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St. | | $15-$60

Sunday, 7

Vintage Valentine

Let's face it: Not everyone's heart melts when receiving the stereotypical Valentine's Day gifts. If you're through with buying your significant other stuffed animals or bouquets of roses, head over to Vintage Valentine. Park Ave CDs, Dear Prudence Shop and the Lovely Boutique Market partner up to sell some gifts that will probably end up being more memorable than a $5 box of chocolates that you picked up from CVS day of. While the stores are sponsoring the annual event, they won't be the only ones open for business: There'll be food trucks, and other local vendors set up tables in the parking lot for the afternoon to sell vinyl, cute clothes and myriad vintage items. – Kim Slichter

1-6 p.m. | Park Ave CDs, 2916 Corrine Drive | | free


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