This Little Underground 

It's the big story of the season, but the truth is that the Orlando Magic have always had it hard when it comes to legitimacy. First, there's that stupid name. Yeah, we're used to it now, but "Magic"? Doesn't exactly intimidate. Then their arena gets formally tagged with the flag-waving lack of cool that is Amway. Finally, there's the issue I brought up a while back about that dated and dorky theme song by 2 Unlimited.

It's too late to change the established team name, and the facility sponsor is one and the same as the team's ownership. But there's still hope for a new theme song and, by extension, our city's dignity. (And right now, we could use a little boost.) That's where your boy here can offer official aid, so listen up, management.

For one, take any one of the gorgeous songs off Northvia's home-team themed EP Pure Magic. I suggest the statuesque "Nick Anderson" or the powerful "Anfernee" (even though the titular former Magic star turned out to be a total bitch). What's that you say? Post-rock is too esoteric for mainstream appeal? I feel you, baby. That's why I'm throwing down my ace with the bumpin' new Magic jam, "Orlando Magic (Stand Up!)," composed by local hip-hop family Solillaquists of Sound.

Rap is the new pop, so it fits the bill but does so with some edge, attitude and credibility. Listen for yourself and pass it on ( Bar owners, start playin' it. Fans, start diggin' it. SOS are all about the local scene, and as national artists, they're one of Orlando's most respectable ambassadors. Trust me, do this and I guarantee a championship. As to when, well, I'm more of an idea guy so details aren't really my department. Hey, don't you guys have some games to win?

The beat

The latest area band to which you owe your attention is Apparitioners (June 6, Back Booth). If this new act looks an awful lot like an expanded version of the band behind the spousal musical project of Heather Lee and Jordan Wynn, that's because it is. But it's a dramatic departure from the gentle country traditionalism they specialized in. This time out, Jordan traded in the covered wagon for a Trans Am, pumped it full of high-octane and slammed the pedal for a debut performance of hard-charging, high-revving country rock, the kind where even the pedal steel shreds. The vocal transition from country to rock that both husband and wife are making needs some finessing, but the music's already on point. The road-scorching Apparitioners are an immediate contender and further proof that the most surprising gift the Wynn Brothers gave us when they split up was a two-sided attack. That's because both are individually talented enough to stand on their own, smart enough to surround themselves with top-shelf players and aware enough to explore Southern music's many different hues.

More good local kicks were found at La Garage a Go-Go (June 5, Will's Pub), a revivalist dance party that rolled back the clock 40-odd years. Listen, if you're gonna straight-up recycle, at least do it properly like Los Knievels, whose glorious garage rock blazed with real size, noise and soul. Also solid, if a little less all-out rousing, were billmates the Empyres. What this effective garage trio (led by Hate Bombs guitarist Dave Ewing) cedes to Los Knievels in sheer exhilaration, though, they made up for in efficiency and pop craftwork.

Both Lissy Trullie and the Virgins are from New York, and both bands are fronted by models. But after seeing them side by side (June 1, the Social), only one demonstrated the vacuousness you'd expect from that particular condition.

Even though they've garnered attention, the Virgins have yet to sprout an ounce of soul, content with third-rate cops of new- millennium indie rock. Frontman Donald Cumming can posture and prance to the girls' delight all he wants, but it's all just show and no substance at this point. Despite generous grooves, their innocuous songs leave little impression.

The music of newcomer Trullie is just as accessible but vastly more interesting. Forget her fashion icon status; there's more here than that. Her guitar pop shimmers with economy, style and punky attitude. Besides having more edge and character, her melodies and writing are far more incisive.


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