Pacesetting local punk label Floridas Dying has gone pink, and that could be a very good thing. The imprint’s lieutenant, Jean Smegma (Jeanie Peaden) of Jeanie and the Tits, is launching a chick-centric spinoff called Lipstick Pickup. Her vision for the label is “fun, feminine and tough.” Furthermore, with a personal, collectible touch unheard of nowadays in the record industry, she will personally handcraft the first 75 copies of each Lipstick Pickup release. The debut release, slated for late February/early March, is a 7-inch by wiry punk-wavers Yokohama Hooks of Washington State. That’s your reveille, ladies...

The beat

This week’s storyline is heavy on the metal. The city just saw two bookends of the famed Bay Area tradition, going from landmark band Exodus to new-school torchbearers High on Fire. The former rocked the Haven proper Jan. 29 with precision and ferocity. With a gunning style marked by breakneck aggression, they validated their reputation as gods of thrash. Despite their speed and extremity, the band demonstrated a remarkable degree of sonic definition. A commanding display, though I couldn’t stop reminiscing about this fat Mexican headbanger I had classes with in high school who always wore Exodus T-shirts under his sleeveless denim jacket and actually answered to the name “Satan.” I miss that dude.

Opening was Louisiana’s Goatwhore (metal names rule!), whose black metal was forceful, though not as forceful as that wardrobe – whoo! – with enough spikes and leather to impress even Rob Halford. I finally left the show only because my eyes were dried out. Being in a room of furiously windmilling hair that long will do that. Blink, blink.

Completing the arc Jan. 31 at Back Booth was High on Fire, who really brought the kung fu with a haymaker of a performance. Exhilaratingly wicked guitars and an ace rhythm section dug grooves so deep they could dredge a ship canal. Pumping maximum efficiency out of the three-piece setup, they mustered an electrifying and heavy set that felt a lot like being shaved from head to toe by sound. Seriously. With all their buzz, they arrived under a looming cloud of expectation but they proved resoundingly worthy. Buh-lee da hype.

Beyond the rock, though, other goodness was found Feb. 2 out in DeLand at Caffe da Vinci. The draw was Chapel Hill’s Bombadil, one of the more curious bands in the Ramseur Records stable. Ramseur, by the way, is a small but important label you need to know if you’re a discerning fan of folk traditions like bluegrass and country, and I know there’s quite a few of you around here. Home to acts like the
meteoric Avett Brothers and the Everybodyfields, the North Carolina imprint is on the vanguard of these styles and is breathing youth and relevance back into them.

Bombadil charmed with a waltzing set of whimsical, articulate melodies. Their quirky, fine-spun folk-pop covered wide stylistic terrain and was delivered with vaudevillian flair. Oh, and costumes too. Moreover, the filigree of horns, xylophone, piano and harmonica imbued their sound with a lush patina, making one of Central Florida’s most unique performance settings that much more enchanting. Totally one of my favorite places to see a show. A further nod to the venue for an enlightened, ahead-of-the-curve booking, considering that Bombadil’s debut album doesn’t even drop until April.

Cop this

Brazil Classics, Vol. 7: What’s Happening in Pernambuco (Luaka Bop) A mangue bit compilation illustrating the new school of music springing from the Brazilian Northeast that’s an alluring, honest bridge between traditional and modern electronic styles.

Ocrilim Annwn (Hydrahead Records) Composed entirely from layers of guitars, Mick Barr’s avant-garde work is a redefinition of where metal and classical music intersect. Swelling with crests of drama, it’s a new, artful take on shredding.

Clutchy Hopkins Walking Backwards (Ubiquity) Forged of modern soul, downtempo, hip-hop, blues and electronica, this is one pimp-ass record of atmospheric beat music that throbs with mood, mystery and humor. Add in a clever, hilariously crafted persona that makes truth and fiction impossible to separate as a mascot and you’ve got a winner.

Say Hi The Wishes and the Glitch (Rebel Group) They deliver an album of shimmering, well-proportioned indie pop with a flair for electronic texture and sonic scale.


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