This Little Underground 


All right, I give in. The player haters win.

I'd like to announce a big policy change up in here. From now on, pure objectivity will govern this column, a protocol that positions TLU to make history since it will pretty much be the only opinion column in human existence to ever strive for it.

To that end, I will discuss the subject of music in a total vacuum, a condition of course that I'll have to impose since it doesn't exist that way in real life. And despite our natural and intertwined ties to, and interest in, the same art form and community, I will no longer fraternize with any musicians. Interviews, news gathering, fact-finding, even being a generally engaged and active member of the music scene: no more, baby.

Furthermore, I will defy the very definition of a critic and will no longer use my personal taste and professional experience as a point of reference. Instead, I will account for everyone's palates and treat them all as equally informed and valid regardless of musical IQ. I'll even go one better and find the universal denominator of what constitutes good music (which must certainly exist, right?) and adhere to it like a monk.

And in the now-unlikely instance where fault could be found, I'll deliver it in the least offensive way possible. How about in soft focus and on a pillowed doily, so that it lands on your eyelash like the down of a baby bird? The only thing musicians will now find here are exuberant words of encouragement and a detailed, guaranteed breakdown of how to be great, rich and sexually gratified.

At the complete peril of perspective and candor, I will now be all things to all people. Sound impossible? Well, it is. April Fool's.

The Beat

Now that we've addressed the silliness, back to business. I've already gushed about the audio-visual awesomeness of Jonathan Taylor's one-man electronic act Pan/Dos. But now the guy's upped the ante with Sloppy Disk (March 25, Will's Pub), a new project with drummer Steven Silber. The band takes Pan/Dos' live schema of integrating images with music to an even more robust and rhythmically forceful level through improved hardware. The drifting impressionism of before is now propulsive definition, making Sloppy Disk an exciting, original and worthy new addition to the scene.

Sharing the bill was local duo Cyber Swarm, who are similar in spirit to the equally mysterious Posture with weirdo synth-punk experimentalism consisting of an aggressive drummer and a keyboardist with a bed sheet over his head, which everybody knows is the clear wardrobe choice for anyone whose vocal stylings consist of moaning like a ghost.

Even though it's thankfully more thoughtful than pure noise, it's the kind of fare that's much more about sheer sonic experience than conventional songcraft.

Outstanding Boston act Quilt satisfied the need for fully constructed songs later that night with some of the finest reverb tones out there. They're a high-efficiency trio featuring drums, two guitars, and three singers whose stoned majesty comes from psychedelic garage music that understands the power of cavernous twangs and droning atmosphere. They're one of the most sonically rich acts to come along in a while and definitely the week's best surprise find.

Speaking of great guitar tones, the noisy, '90s gorgeousness of Jacksonville's Crash the Satellites is now reconstituted with almost the entire original lineup back in action. And their latest performance (March 27, Redlight Redlight) was proof positive that their juice and essence are back in a seriously big way, even dropping an unexpected Jesus and Mary Chain medley into their set. All of which only underscores the necessity for one of the region's best bands to play Orlando more often.

Kicking 100 percent ass was Austin-by-way-of-Brooklyn act Wild Yaks (March 26, Will's Pub), whose name is perfectly apt considering the wooly caveman-core that they stomp out with total abandon. Pumping with full-gang shouts that are equal parts revelry and insanity, they're what Man Man would sound like if they were more interested in drunken hardcore singalongs than gypsy theatricality.

It's the soundtrack to that climactic point in the night when the music's loud, you're deep in the bottle, and surrounded by your best party friends. Sure, other things matter in real life; they just don't seem to when listening to Wild Yaks.

music@orlandoweekly.com

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