THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND 


;Here we are, on the edge of the cliff again. Before stepping off into the great unknown of a new year, let's take one last loving look back at 2006. But really, it's been quite a year for this little underground. There's vigor, community and optimism to a degree not seen since the dance boom of the mid-'90s. Besides, it takes one sharp nib to pierce the soup of a saturated rock critic's memory, so be assured that the things below were some of the year's most definitive moments.

;;

;Best local development: ;More venues!!!

;

;I'm as happy as an auto-fellate with good hygiene that the live infrastructure is expanding with the talent and interest in the city. The once-mighty Club at Firestone has re-entered the concert ring and is in the fast lane toward legitimacy, while AKA Lounge is getting some decent national shows, both due in no small part to partnerships with promoter Foundation Presents. And thanks to the support of punks, even the peripheral Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall has become something of a viable venue.

;;

;Most mixed blessing: Will's Pub landing a new space

;

;Owner Will Walker has secured a location that can easily trump the previous pub and be the ideal catalyst for the Colonial/ Mills commercial corridor. However, the music community, still pent up from the closing of the original pub, will have to wait for satisfaction, because draconian zoning laws have cramped the progress.

;

;Best family affairs: ;Post Records and Floridas Dying

;

;As record labels, these two homegrown outfits are snatching up the city's most interesting acts. But their true worth to the cultural fabric is the communities they've built. Self-sustaining and rapturously involved, these stylistically diametrical but ideologically similar camps are the most proactive seamsters of Orlando's independent music scene.

;;

;Best ambassadors: Sol.illaquists of Sound and New Mexican Disaster Squad

;

;It's not that these two are the only Orlando acts that signed contracts with notable labels (Epitaph and Jade Tree Records, respectively), it's that they're the ones we can actually brag about.

;;

;Biggest local splash: Band Marino CD party (Dec. 2, Back Booth)

;

;There were quite a few big release parties this year but none was as much of an event as the back-to-back sellouts (both in the same night) for Band Marino's long-awaited debut album release. Then again, none of the others thought to sport a huge papier-mâché sea beast hanging from the ceiling, either.

;;

;Most punk rock event: Floridas Dying Rock Fight (Dec. 8, Back Booth)

;

;An infamously mischievous organizer delivers virgin bands as sacrificial lambs to a riot-minded crowd and an abusive panel of judges. Just add beer — lots and lots of it — and you've got the funniest, most unhinged annual tradition.

;

;Best pillow fight Happy Valley (Nov. 17, Back Booth)

;

;The arty insanity of this local rock trio has led to frequent use of interactive props during shows. But at their Anti-Pop showcase, no one predicted the full visual, and tactile, impact that a pillow fight not involving women in panties could have. Who knew it only took two measly pillows to cover an entire rock club in feathers?

;;

;Thickest slice of soul: ;Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (Feb. 7, ;the Social)

;

;With the wretched likes of Beyoncé and R. Kelly prowling the contemporary landscape, I vomit in my mouth when I think of what the term "R&B" connotes nowadays. But channeling a spirit that predates the downward spiral, the pint-sized powerhouse and her band pushed the mercury way up by digging way down in an electrifying display of vintage funk and soul.

;;

;Best merger: Melvins and Big Business (Nov. 3, the Social)

;

;Just when you thought the Melvins ;couldn't get heavier, they yoke the horsepower of Big Business by absorbing the twosome into their lineup. Though the new assemblage plays under the Melvins' tag, this mammoth performance showed that the headlong murderousness of Big Business is what juices this new engine.

;

;;Best onstage fireworks: Drag the River (Oct. 27, Back Booth)

;

;Firing a member in the middle of a performance is drama enough. But when that member is the drummer and he proceeds to spike loud-ass cymbals onto the stage in a drunken tantrum during an acoustic song, that's train-wreck comedy at its finest. Bravo.

;;

;Most haunted performance: O'Death (Jan. 18, Will's Pub)

;

;It comes from NYC, but the ghostly folk music of this stunning band sounds like it rose from a forgotten Confederate grave. You could almost hear the rattling of bones and chains as they journeyed through a mesmeric set. Easily the most atmospherically rich show this year.

;;

;Best Lazarus act: Revolting Cocks (July 8, House of Blues)

;

;The resurrection of a beloved band after a 13-year slumber is a dicey proposition. But the original bad boys of industrial dug up vocalist Luc van Acker, dressed him like a phallus and collectively ripped a huge performance. Proof that staying rude, depraved and loud can defensibly qualify as "aging gracefully."

;;

;Best nonmusical music event: International Noise Conference Pre-Show (Feb. 15, Austin Coffee & Film)

;

;Practitioners in the noise scene are better described as artists than musicians. Yes, lots of it is bullshit. But when you can fill a room with spectators, wrap them in packing tape while raping their ears with blasts of white noise and then receive applause for it, I call that a nice trick.

; baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2016 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation