SELECTIONS 


;Thursday•15

;Spring Training On the one hand, the Braves are back in Central Florida for Spring Training. On the other hand, they returned to the cup holder–less seating of Disney's "Cracker Jack Stadium." So on the actual other hand is your drink. But if you manage to find space for the beverage down by your feet or you sit at the more spacious berm seating left-field, you can enjoy some off-the-record baseball from current all-stars and "the stars of tomorrow" playing at one of the largest stadiums of the Grapefruit league. Just don't forget about the Braves' Texan neighbors, the Astros, training at the Osceola County Stadium at Heritage Park and possibly harboring some stadium envy. Let's hope this town is big enough for the both of 'em. (through March 29 at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, Kissimmee, 407-363-6600; and Osceola County Stadium at Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, 321-697-3200; $14-$22.50; www.mlb.com)

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;A Journey Through Show Posters: 1985-2005 Blame 'N Sync and the like for any lingering reputation of Orlando as a home for flavorless pop. Truth is, our town continues to breed and attract influential and spirited musical acts, and there's proof in the posters that were created to promote the shows, particularly from the mid-1980s to now. What was once advertising, plastered on anything accommodating to a staple gun or swiped and stuffed into personal belongings, is now a collectible worthy of artistic recognition. A Journey Through Show Posters: 1985-2005 at CityArts Factory presents 20 years of smoky-club ephemera from graphic design entities Lure, Eye Noise and Stainboy, among other notables that built their credentials by creating images for local promoters and indie bands. Included in the mix are posters for Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Guided by Voices and Elliott Smith, but what's captured overall is the influence of Jim Faherty's Figurehead on shaping Orlando's own sense of style. (reception 6 p.m.-9 p.m.; exhibition through April 12; Kiene-Quigley Community Gallery, CityArts Factory; free; 407-648-7060; www.dadorlando.com)

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;Saturday•17

;Herbs and Healing Festival It's spring-cleaning time — and no, not your closets. We're talking cleansing of the body and mind, and all that lies between. The debut Spring Herbs and Healing Festival should show novices and experts alike a thing or two about possibilities, from herbal pet health to tai chi. Workshops and speakers will educate on garden- and health-related topics, and local vendors will showcase plants, products and services. Florida School of Herbal Studies hosts this free day — including giveaways — designed to bring the community together and hopefully to help clean up our acts. (11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Dandelion Communitea Café; free; 407-595-3731; www.floridaherbalschool.com)

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;Mrs. Florida America Pageant No real fears of a Tara Conner frosted-nose Trump tantrum here, because these more-mature beauties are married, y'all, and husbands don't like their blow-ponies anywhere but in the strip club. Since 1977 (when the women's movement was about to be swallowed into Nancy Reagan's bouffant), the national Mrs. America pageant has been "devoted to proving that America's 60 million married women are, beyond a doubt, extraordinarily beautiful, poised, articulate and versatile," according to the pageant's website. Versatile? Like a handbag that doubles as a shower cap? Oh, wait. Versatile in bed?! Anyway expect the kind of pancake you can't eat and the kind of evening gowns you wouldn't wear even if they were given to you, as the world shakes its head at the absurdity of it all, yet does nothing to stop it. (3 p.m. at Chapin Theater, Orange County Convention Center; $50; 407-506-2774; www.mrsfloridaamerica.com)

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;Sunday•18

;Bike Ride to the Winter Park Art Festival Under pitched tents and the Florida sunshine, artists from around the world flock to the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival (March 16-18) in hopes of being dubbed "best in show" — and selling art. This year's 48th annual affair continues the tradition of showcasing art works for all tastes, including painting, photography, fiber and glasswork and digital art. Pedaling into the equation for the first time this year is a for-the-hell-of-it group bike ride to the festivities organized by local art collective Apartment E. The passage meets up at McRaney's Tavern on Fairbanks Avenue and rolls a short piece down the road for refreshments at Austin Coffee and Film, before taking on the final leg that'll end just a jog later at Central Park on Park Avenue. Expect to hear commentary about how freely the dollars are dropped for national artists pedigreed by their inclusion in the juried festival instead of going to local artists — that, too, is a time-honored tradition. (noon meet-up at McRaney's Tavern, Winter Park; free; www.apartmente.com)

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;Monday•19

;;Music for the Masses The Haunted headlines Music for the Masses, a tour title that might strike longtime fans as overapt, given the generic nature of the Haunted's latest record, The Dead Eye. Not only has the Swedish group replaced high-voltage surges with logy Southern-sludge grooves, but also several segments recall hard-rock radio's most loathsome fixtures (Godsmack-style tribal-grunge breakdowns, Nickelback-caliber lighter-lofting pandering). Assuming the Haunted's chops haven't atrophied, they might play some vintage thrashers live, though that would mean revisiting albums made during original/current vocalist Peter Dolving's five-year hiatus. "Gothenburg sound" pioneer Dark Tranquillity, whose April release Fiction marks another uncompromising chapter in its melodic-death legacy, represents the class of this bill. Openers Into Eternity and Scar Symmetry use prog-metal flash to distract from their devotion to the grunted-verse-clear-chorus template. (7 p.m. at the Social; $17-$20; 407-246-1419; www.thesocial.org)

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;Tuesday•20

;OK Go If not for the tastemaking influence YouTube, winningly snide power-pop quartet OK Go's cultural arc might've plummeted. The goofy video for "Here It Goes Again" — an enduring 2006 single from 2005's Oh No album — found the band cavorting in choreographed sync on, over and through several operating treadmills. The novel clip took on a life of its own, affording the D.C./Chicago group additional opportunities to re-create its routine on television (onstage at the Video Music Awards; in a pastel suite on Las Vegas), snaring a Grammy and elevating OK Go's profile considerably. There's more going on than celebrations of fitness equipment — namely, an avalanche of guitar and keyboard hooks slung with such sunny glee that you won't even notice the singer dissing you. (with Snow Patrol, Silversun Pickups; 7 p.m. at Hard Rock Live; $32; 407-351-5483; www.hardrock.com)

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;Wednesday•21

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;Alabama Thunderpussy They're from Virginia, not Alabama, and if any of these tattooed, hirsute Southern boys are in possession of an actual "thunderpussy," we'd be quite surprised. Still, what a great name, right? Putting aside their revolving-door vocalist slot (three singers in 10 years is not a good track record; at press time, New Orleans growler Kyle Thomas is on board) and ignoring their sometimes campy, sometimes scary redneck-ness, ATP is the sort of hard-drinkin', hard-rockin' band that we wish Orlando would grow a few pair of. Heavy in the "thudding and forceful" sense of the word, ATP represents the burlier side of hard rock's underbelly. (with Tranquilizer, Confused Little Girl; 9 p.m. at the Haven; $10; 407-673-2712)

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;Youth Group We love pop music. Just because it's done much to sully its reputation doesn't make it a bad thing in itself. After all, what's more emotionally elemental than a great tune? But nowadays, you gotta dig a bit deeper for anything real. Despite the ominously Christian name, Youth Group is an emergent band from Australia. Part of a small but smart class of pop, they're quickly becoming some of the best tunesmiths in the indie world. With crisp, elegant melodies that trot with a brisk, flawless sense of movement, their songs are instantly memorable. Simply put, it's pop done right. Add the sprightly charm of Seattle band Aqueduct, whose often humorous songs are punchy and precise, and we're so there. ;(with Aqueduct, 6 p.m. at AKA Lounge; $10; all ages; 407-839-3707; www.akalounge.com)

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; Contributors: Ray Cummings, Omar de la Rosa, Jason Ferguson, Jennifer Heimburg, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Brittany Middleton and Andrew Miller

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