Say Hi to Your Mom Album titles like Ferocious Mopes, Discosadness and, in the case of the most recent, Impeccable Blahs, shouldn't fool you; the music of Say Hi to Your Mom — though usually about things like mosquitoes, forests or, in the case of most of the tracks on Impeccable Blahs, vampires — are possessed of a personal sweetness that keeps them from becoming completely pointless. The man behind Say Hi to Your Mom — Brooklynite Eric Elbogen — is an archetypal indie-rock songwriter, full of smart self-deprecation and self-conscious effervescence. With a full band on his payroll, Say Hi to Your Mom is flexing its muscles a little more, and though they're far from actually "rocking," they're still likely to put on a witty, engaging show. Local indie psychedelicists Kingsbury will be opening with their first performance since the beginning of 2006, so don't be late. (with Kingsbury, Fairweather Friend, Kittybat; 8 p.m. at Will's Pub; $7; 407-898-5070)
Winter Park Wine Stroll As if the promise of wine and food weren't good enough already, you can write off getting tipsy (on this night, anyway) for a good cause. Proceeds from the annual event fund scholarships for communications students at the University of Central Florida. The stroll, which will probably be more of a stagger as the night rolls on, starts at East of Paris with hors d'oeuvres and wine sampling and continues in other shops lining Park Avenue until 9 p.m. (6 p.m.-9 p.m. on Park Avenue; $25; RSVP required, 407-823-2586)
Parts Is Parts: Inter-changeable Art There are two things that are noteworthy about this evening. No. 1 is that Urban Think Bookstore is pumping up its Friday Night Arts Program, a cozy evening handed over to a local artist — be they writers, photographers, sculptors, painters, musicians or poets — to share their passion with others. No. 2 is Liz Watkins, the chosen artist this week; a graphic artist by trade, she's a longtime participant in the arts, with cartoonish paintings distinguished by a saucy sense of humor that playfully kicks the viewer's sense receptors. Her chosen title of Parts Is Parts for this show makes a strong promise about her visual expression of those crazy wonders we humans are caged within. (7 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday at Urban Think Bookstore; free; 407-650-8004)
Hispanic Business & Consumer Expo The 13th annual event will host more than 400 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors, which makes it nearly as big as the rally downtown two weeks ago. Organizers tout the event as a way to bring Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses together to create better business opportunities and better strategies for reaching the growing Hispanic population … not to mention a way to gawk at a former Miss Universe and the world's longest Cuban sandwich. (Friday 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center; $10; 407-428-5870)
Downtown Art & Living Expo Designed to promote "the new downtown living," this first-time event will feature the requisite exhibits by real-estate magnates eager to sell condo space to the upscale-professional crowd that's been pronounced the salvation of our city. But hopefully, the Expo will also be a preview of healthy social scenes we'll all be able to get in on as that promised bright future dawns, with exhibits by artists and businesses fostering the connectivity on which any serious metropolis thrives. Juried art contests will draw competitors from across the state, and vendors will dispense food, beer and wine while listeners enjoy a musical lineup headlined by Lisa Loeb and The Knack (subbing for previously announced band The Fixx). Close your eyes, and you'd almost think we're Chicago or Cleveland or something!
(Noon-9 p.m. at Lake Eola Park; also Sunday; single ticket $8/day; couple's pass $13.50/weekend; www.downtownorlandoproperties.com)
The Roots Philadelphia's innovative sons have by now seeped so far into hip-hop's consciousness they're practically an adjective, instantly invoking a sense of integrity and longevity. So much has been made of their rotating lineup — spinning off eclectic talent from über-producer Scott Storch to Incubus guitarist Ben Kenney — that it's easy to overlook their legendary live presence. Named one of Rolling Stone's 20 greatest live acts in the world, even their phenomenal live album, The Roots Come Alive, and recent appearance in Dave Chappelle's Block Party fail to capture the organic joy of being in a Roots crowd. Recently the talk of the industry since becoming the first act signed to Jay-Z's new Def Jam Left label, bandleader ?uestlove has been making the publicity rounds to refute "sellout" rumors, and these first shows should be their best opportunity to prove it, debuting new material from the upcoming album The Game Theory. The Roots (as well as openers Jean Grae and Common) are at their most spirited when they're onstage and they feed off the energy of other great artists, so this night should be a firecracker. (with Common, Jean Grae; 9 p.m. at House of Blues; $22-$25; 407-934-2583)
Medeski, Martin and Wood All associations with Phish aside (yes, the NPR darlings did perform with said jam legend), let's be clear that Medeski, Martin and Wood is not a jam band, though their penchant for traditionally unjazzy instrumentation demands a slash-filled classification of MMW music. Do we hear a Mellotron? Oh, so it's funk. Wait — is that clavinet? Well, maybe it's funk/rock. A Hammond organ? Jazz/funk/rock/soul? Lest we veer into a rant about the creativity-be-damned limitations of genre definitions, let's just say all the basic elements of good jazz are there, and then some. Further complicating the genre issue, John King (Beastie Boys, Beck) produced 2004's End of the World Party (Just in Case), and it shows. If you still think jazz isn't accessible, consider this: Three 40-something guys whose reputations include the phrase "jazz artist" are putting out a children's album that includes a track titled "Everybody Poops." And in June MMW will play at the Marijuana Policy Project's "gala in recognition of marijuana policy reform over the past year." Rallying behind pot-smokers nationwide — you don't get much less pretentious than that. We'll let you make your own judgment on their activism efforts and side projects; call the music what you want (improvisational rock, jazzy jamming, similar hybrids ad nauseam — hell, even the House of Blues website lists three genres for them). Point is, these guys can groove. And sometimes confusing people is a good thing. (6:30 p.m. at House of Blues; $17.50-$39; 407-934-2583)
Contributors: Avery Beckendorf, Jason Ferguson, Amber Foster, Steve Schneider, Lindy T. Shepherd
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