SELECTIONS 


;Thursday•22

;;National Homebrewers Conference The drinking part aside, there's a whole other realm to beer — that is, making it. It's a highly scientific process, if you didn't know, and not just any boob can do it. That's why the intelligence quotient among the zymologists (what these chemists of fermentation are known as) at the National Homebrewers Conference reaches way beyond the "beer geek" moniker. Where else would you find an entire lecture devoted to "An Overview of Wort Boiling" or "Humulus Lupulus — The Eternal Quest for the Ultimate Hop Impact"? Three days are officially devoted to testing, tasting, educating, analyzing and celebrating, with speakers of beer renown from around the country. We think that the best action will take place in the full schedule of pre-conference events on June 21, including a homemade brewing gadget extravaganza and a limited-seating dinner with the author of Brew Like a Monk, Stan Hieronymus, who'll conduct a Trappist tasting. (Thursday-Saturday at Wyndham Orlando Resort; prices vary; 888-822-6273)

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;Friday•23

;;Andrew Spear There are deep layers to artist Andrew Spear (whose illustrations in these pages include the April 20 "Jesus" cover), from his outgoing Leo personality to his Southernized New York fast talk to his pointy hairdo — neither dark clubs nor distance prevent instant recognition. In one turn in his colorful life, Jay Leno's people declared him a lookalike to the comedian, and he got as far as backstage for an evening appearance on The Tonight Show before they ran out of time. Over the time he's spent here, on his alleged escape from N.Y. — which has lasted years and years — he's produced exhibitions of his art. And the parties that surround them are as eclectic and electric as the creative talent that fidgets within the artist. But it's been two years since he's been on display to the public (well, in an exhibition, er, in an art gallery setting), making "Spectrum: A Cultural Extravaganza" all the more anticipated. Music comes by way of jazz/funk trio the Windham Group and DJ Becky Kinnear. This is what we here in Orlando call "an art happening." Or, as Spear writes in his e-mailed release, "who ever says that orlando has NO CULTURE, is not telling the truth !!! CAUSE HERE IT IS !!!!!!!" Those punctuated words inspire us to declare that Spear is a walking exclamation point. (7 p.m. at the Peacock Room; $5; 407-228-0048)

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;U.S. National Jump Rope Championship Remember when ESPN's weekend programming contained sports coverage? Neither do we. Now, it's more like the channel is trying to pick up where Comedy Central's now-defunct The Man Show left off, what with all the cheerleading — and now jump rope — competitions. There aren't any trampolines, but these girls (and guys) have enough spring in their step that it would probably be overkill. Why not put the remote down and check it out in person this weekend? Jump-roping teams from around the country compete to be named the best of the best in a variety of styles, including speed-jumping and the ever-challenging double Dutch, among others. The main competition rounds will be held Friday and Saturday, with final rounds taking place on Sunday. If you're lucky, maybe you'll end up being the Way-Too-Excited Guy in the crowd shots. (7 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex; 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday at Disney-MGM Studios; $9.81-$56.70; 407-363-6600)

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;Saturday•24

;;Hedwig and the Angry Inch With local interest in John Cameron Mitchell's TS rock opera reinvigorated by its recent live restaging (at the Florida International Fringe Theatre Festival), hipster wig-watchers need little reason to line up for an encore screening of the 2001 movie. But here's one anyway, just in case. Accompanying a print of the big-screen Hedwig to its Sundance Film Channel Series showing will be producer Christine Vachon, who in her time has brought not just Mitchell's glittery epic to the screen, but the works of similarly visionary contemporary directors like Todd Haynes, Larry Clark, Todd Solondz and Mary Harron. Vachon's "Meet the Filmmaker" appearance will lend a fresh insight into the surely fascinating process by which an independent producer can introduce challenging documents like Clark's Kids and Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry into the marketplace, and find her efforts rewarded with both critical and popular acclaim. (12:30 p.m. at Enzian Theater; $10; 407-629-0054)

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;With Heart and Voice To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the widely-syndicated radio show With Heart and Voice (well, actually the 31st, but who's counting?), host Richard Gladwell will visit WMFE 90.7-FM's studios Saturday. The show features choral and organ compositions from a library of 7,500 works from British-born Gladwell's personal collection, commentary on select pieces and advice on musical issues. This is your chance to meet the man behind it all and get those burning questions and insightful commentary off your chest. (1 p.m. Saturday at WMFE studios; $35; 407-273-2300)

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;Legendary Pink Dots We always shied away from the more ridiculous affectations of the goth and industrial scenes; we never wore thigh-high pleather boots, we never tattooed obscure Latin phrases on our forehead, we never bought pancake makeup in bulk at Costco. It's been something of an embarrassment to share musical taste with the trenchcoats-in-the-trailer-park types who think their sheeplike adherence to the codified parameters of gothdom makes them rebellious outcasts. So we never told our friends that we're into the whole superfreak axis of truly out-there acts like Nurse With Wound, Hafler Trio, Current 93 and, yes, Legendary Pink Dots. The Dots are currently touring in honor of their 25th year of existence, a quarter-century run they publicly ascribe to their sonic adventurousness, when, in private, Edward Ka-Spel and crew surely know that they'd be acid-damaged London librarians were it not for the gloomy imagery they conveyed early in their career. It's a pity that the Dots can be mentioned in the same breath as, say, the Mission U.K., as their take on music is thoroughly psychedelic and relentlessly experimental, owing far more to a weird blend of post-folk nuttiness and fractured postmodern soundscapes than to an obsession with vampires. (9:30 p.m. at The Social; $15-$17; 407-246-1419)

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;Glitter on the Highway Following its A Credit Card Christmas, which zeroed in on the commercial aspects of the holidays, and Don't Touch That Dial, which recalled the glories of 20th-century radio, the Orlando Gay Chorus furthers its commitment to themed programs by performing an entire evening of music by queer composers, artists and arrangers. Sounds like that "arrangers" mention is the key here, since the Glitter on the Highway set list we were sent includes both "Dancing Queen" (and ABBA's cross-band dalliances were strictly hetero, as far as we know) and "God Bless America." Then again, it's just too tempting to ponder that there's something about Irving Berlin history has failed to teach us. Conductor James K. Bass and accompanist Suzanne M. Hatcher help the chorus offer musical testimony that you simply never know who or what anybody is … but you can immediately tell what kind of talent they possess when they open their mouths to sing. (7:35 p.m. at Annie Russell Theatre, Rollins College; also Sunday; $20-$25; 407-841-7464)

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;Sunday•25

;;Eric Richter Known for a dizzying array of bands (the swooning fuzz of Christie Front Drive, the futuristic soundscapes of Antarctica and, most lately, the more direct rock of the 101), Eric Richter will actually be playing a (rare) solo acoustic set for this show. Which is notable primarily because it might give listeners a chance to decipher some of his more, um, abstract lyrics. This will be a going-away party for local photographer Jaret Ferratusco (better known as Corpse on Pumpkin), who's packing up his lenses and heading for Seattle, and there's a none-too-shabby lineup of fine local bands playing in addition to Richter. (with Bradleo & the Heartstoppers, Hex Tremors, History; 8 p.m. at Will's Pub; $8; 407-898-5070)

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;Warped Tour We had a hilarious (and exceedingly lazy) idea when we were preparing to write this Selections item: just go back to last year (or the year before, or the year before that), reprint exactly what we wrote then and see if anyone notices. Funny, right? After all, very little about a Warped Tour discussion has changed in the past few years, either pro or con: corporate sponsors, pricey bottled water, tons of punk rock, lots of young kids seeing their first show … you know the drill. Thing is, although we've used it frequently as a cultural touchstone, we haven't written about the actual show since July 2001. That's how ingrained in the popular culture this event has become. But don't look at us to break our streak now: Other than insisting that you go to see the Buzzcocks, Joan Jett and Valient Thorr, we've got nothing to add. (11 a.m. at Tinker Field; $27.75; 407-849-2001)

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; Contributors: Jason Ferguson, Amber Foster, Steve Schneider, Lindy T. Shepherd

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