SELECTIONS 


Friday•27

Disney's 2006 Martial Arts Festival Remember that "I'm gonna be the next Bruce Lee!" phase you went through a while back? It's time to put those cheap kung-fu movies away and check out some real action this weekend at the 2006 Martial Arts Festival, held at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Watch as competitors of all ages punch, kick and chop their way to victory in more than 15 unique disciplines. Then check out the Saturday Night Showcase (also available via webcast), replete with enough roundhouse kicks to make even Chuck Norris dizzy. Six new disciplines have been added to the competition, and scouts from Cirque du Soleil will be there to scope out the talent. This year's festival will also host the 2006 Tiger Claw Elite National Championship, as well as the Hitmaster's S.T.A.R. Finals. (9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Disney Wide World of Sports Complex; spectators $11.25- $18.50; 407-939-1500)

All Hallows 10 Past its puberty and rushing headfirst into its 16th year, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival has now arguably surpassed the draw and respectability of its "real-theater" parents. (The 2006 festival in spring awarded $175,000 to its artists.) Each October, we get this Fringe-supporting fund-raiser, like a collection of speedy diet pills to hold us over and push us toward crazy. All the notables will be there, crunched together like a gifted class on a field trip: Beth Marshall, Michael Wanzie, David Lee, Scottie Campbell, Margaret Nolan and a list of others who are no strangers to hair dye. The idea is to cram 10 shorts into two and a half hours, most with a loose Halloween theme that draws on either insanity or homosexuality (or both). Tod Kimbro will tickle ivory in the Piano Bar starting at 6 p.m. Those with short attention spans and dress-up proclivities take heed: This is your night. (7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Footlight Theater, Parliament House; $10; 407-648-0077)

Drag the River We may be just south of Thee South, but your hound dog—like loyalty to acts such as Lucero and Hank III proves that you can kick shit with the best of 'em. And hell if we ain't with you on that. Though it's cool that this rough-hewn Americana band from Colorado is comprised of punk-rock veterans (ex-members of All, Armchair Martian, Hot Rod Circuit, the Nobodys), we dig them because they don't sound like wimpy, smarty-pants ironists or, worse, tourists. From their pedigree, you can be sure they've got the whiskey of rock coursing through their veins. But these fellers really let the twang fly with sweet-tea lilts of pedal steel soaked through their sound. You got a problem with that, boy? (with Gasoline Heart; 9 p.m. at Back Booth; $8; 407-999-2570)

The Fest V Florida is filled with music festivals catering to everything from techno and indie rock to jam bands and bluegrass. But this DIY conclave already underway in Gainesville is our favorite, due to its grass-roots ethos and ever-astounding punk-rock lineup, which can be traced to the fact that it's put on by the guys who run No Idea Records. This fifth iteration is the biggest and best yet, with nearly 200 bands — New Mexican Disaster Squad, Minus the Bear, Lawrence Arms, None More Black, Valient Thorr, Fin Fang Foom, Thunderbirds Are Now and many others — rocking nine venues throughout the city over the weekend. (continues through Sunday at multiple venues, Gainesville; $40-$50; www.thefestfl.com)

Brand New Heavies A lot of bands from the '80s and '90s are regrouping and coming back — especially since VH1's been reminding us that we love the past more than the present — but we desperately needed the Brand New Heavies to come back to show neo-funksters like Justin Timberwho how it's done. Stronger and tighter than ever, as evinced on their June release Get Used to It, these Londoners borrow from everyone between Hendrix and Rufus. Somehow, though, they've molded these influences into their own brand of neo-funky stuff. And vocalist N'Dea Davenport, who went solo for a while, has returned home and sounds like she never left. (6 p.m. at the Social; $20-$25; 407-872-0066)

Saturday•28

Festival Calle Orange Nothing gets downtown revved up like a giant street festival. Sure, music, dancing and shots of tequila seem like a recurring theme on Orange Avenue anyway, but this weekend's Festival Calle Orange will intensify all of that tenfold. For starters, it's a two-day event this year, with 40 artists on four stages spread out over a 10-block radius. Interestingly enough, Saturday night is totally Christian-themed. Why? Well, Genesis 89.1 FM is sponsoring the entire evening; the crowd will be treated to salsa, merengue, reggaeton, bachata and hip-hop all steeped in the Word. (Holy Spanish hip-hop — talk about off the charts.) Puerto Rican born-again duo Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz will perform as well. Sunday, however, is the real shindig, with reggae artist Cham as the big draw. But there will be music to satisfy all who represent the Global South, including performers from Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. (4 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, spreading out from the corner of Orange Avenue and Amelia Street; $15; 407-381-5310)

Great Outdoor Days City guys and gals can take a break from the fast pace of metropolitan life and head down to Osceola County, where the cowpoke lifestyle still lives on. This festival manages to pack every stereotypical outdoorsy pursuit into a two-day time frame: hunting, fishing, classic car shows and barbecue contests. Organizers also promise plenty of activities to keep the family entertained, since whining doesn't do much for the rough-and-ready ego. Country music acts including Diamond Rio, Gator Country, the King Street Band and Jim Van Fleet and the Reign perform throughout the festival. (10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sunday at Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee; free; 407-847-5000)

Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars The so-called battle of the sexes steps into the classical music arena this weekend at the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra concert. With a title borrowed from the endlessly quoted relationship guidebook by Dr. John Gray, the playful show opens with selections from Holst's The Planets: The men of the choir raise their voices to "Mars: The Bringer of War," and then the women come back with "Venus: The Bringer of Peace." The concert features works by Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Debussy; conductor Dr. John Sinclair calls it "classical music with a twist." Let's hope the battle stays inside the concert hall. No fighting in the parking lot, people. (8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday at Knowles Memorial Chapel, Rollins College, Winter Park; $20-$40; 407-646-2182; www.bachfestivalflorida.org)

The Velvet Teen We've always had a soft spot for the mellifluous, dreamy indie pop of the Velvet Teen, but we never could figure out exactly where they fit in. Too grandiose and romantic for the neo-psych crowd and too intricate and weird for Death Cab fans, the Teen may well be a scene unto themselves. Which makes them a perfect element of this odd bill: P.O.S. is a rapper with punk-rock roots, Russian Circles is heavy, smart and catchy, and the inimitable Minus the Bear is simply the most popular indie rock band on planet Mars. None of these bands should stand a chance in the commercial marketplace, but each of them has established themselves as fresh new voices and gathered up huge fan bases in the process. Just by being good and different. Imagine that. (with Minus the Bear, P.O.S., Russian Circles; 6 p.m. at the Club at Firestone; all ages; $15; 407-872-0066)

Monday•30

Copeland The soulful Florida-based band, which left obscurity behind with the release of 2003's Beneath Medicine Tree, plays two free shows this week to celebrate the Halloween release of Eat, Sleep, Repeat. Our favorite independent music store hosts the concert Monday, and then gives fans a repeat at its second location in the University of Central Florida's Student Union Tuesday afternoon. Following the free shows, Copeland has a full schedule of shows with the Appleseed Cast, Owen and Acute. The music is simplistic and heartfelt without being lame emo. It's like a breath of fresh air in a time of overhyped and overproduced albums. (10 p.m. Monday at Park Ave CDs; free; 407-629-5293. 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at Park Ave CDs Jr.; free; 407-282-1616)

Contributors: Jonathan Cunningham, Amber Foster, Jason Ferguson, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Susie Orr, Makkada B. Selah, Bart Zino

Contributors: Jonathan Cunningham, Amber Foster, Jason Ferguson, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Susie Orr, Makkada B. Selah, Bart Zino

Contributors: Jonathan Cunningham, Amber Foster, Jason Ferguson, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Susie Orr, Makkada B. Selah, Bart Zino

Contributors: Jonathan Cunningham, Amber Foster, Jason Ferguson, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Susie Orr, Makkada B. Selah, Bart Zino


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