Selections: Our picks for the best things to do in Orlando this week

Adam Ant stands, delivers
Adam Ant stands, delivers

Thursday, Sept. 7

Steve Earle


"Alt" is one sketchy prefix these days. So out of due respect for these exceptional acts, let's just call this an "independent" country bill. As far as music figures go, the legendary Steve Earle is an iconoclast par excellence. Though not in the traditional Waylon sense, he's a country outlaw if ever there was one. His rebellion manifests less in style and more in attitude, approach and stark contrast with the country music establishment. And it's made for a cred-heavy reputation that's spanned more than three decades and produced landmark work. Opening are the Mastersons, the notable husband-wife duo of Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore. Regular features at Steve Earle shows, the two are very accomplished and connected musicians, with a collective résumé that includes work in Earle's band as well as collaborations with Son Volt, Regina Spektor and Jack Ingram. Together and on their own, they make Americana that's elegant, expansive and definitely worth showing up early for. – Bao Le-Huu

with the Mastersons | 7 p.m. | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 | | $39.50-$69.50

Friday, Sept. 8

Black Joe Lewis


Hailing from Austin, Texas, Black Joe Lewis – along with backing band the Honeybears – specializes in a bluesy garage soul revival that defies release dates on record, sounding simultaneously fresh and retro. Live, though, the band is known for figuratively setting themselves on fire to get a crowd moving. Anchored by a rock-steady rhythm section, the group is bolstered by energetic horn stabs and Lewis' virtuosic guitar and James Brown-meets-Muddy Waters shouts. Make no mistake: This is a party band whose raison d'etre is to take you down to booty city. North Carolina's Lightnin' Malcolm, stepping into the spotlight after a few years playing with R.L. Burnside's grandson Cedric, opens. – Thaddeus McCollum

with Lightnin' Malcolm | 7 p.m. | The Social, 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | | $15

Saturday, Sept. 9

Adam Ant


You've got to hand it to new-wave legend Adam Ant, through good times (pop superstardom and "Antmania" in the '80s) and bad (pulling a starter pistol on strangers in a London pub in 2002 and being placed in a psychiatric ward), he's always managed to stand and deliver in the end. From his spiky beginnings running with the OG U.K. '77 punks, which quickly led to a role in Derek Jarman's Jubilee and his embryonic Adam and the Ants being managed by tastemaker Malcolm McLaren, it was clear that Ant wasn't long for the punk underground. And when McLaren absconded with all of Adam's Ants – to join Bow Wow Wow, no less – Ant was free to fully take the creative reins, recruiting a new group of what we can only call "colorful pirates" and quickly penning hits like "Antmusic" and "Dog Eat Dog." And Ant was the spectacular focus, looking like a glorious hybrid of David Bowie, Elvis and Errol Flynn. Ant's creative streak lasted longer than most, through the early-'80s hits through to 1995's Wonderful, before personal problems caused him to leave the spotlight for several years. But seemingly out of nowhere, a rejuvenated Ant celebrated the 2015 reissue of his iconic Kings of the Wild Frontier album – pop at its most unhinged (honestly, check out the "Kings of the Wild Frontier" music video) – with a triumphant tour playing the album from start to finish. For this tour, however, Ant promises "Anthems" and nothing but. Get ready for the toppermost of the poppermost. – Matthew Moyer

6 p.m. | The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave. | 407-648-8363 | | $30-$130

Saturday, Sept. 9

Road to III Points


If the lineup of this year's III Points Music and Arts Festival in Miami – Brian Eno, Gorillaz, the xx, Lil B – is making you involuntarily drool but the logistical realities of making it to Miami are just a little out of reach, take (some) heart. The good thing about having an event like that "this" close means that Orlando is the beneficiary of offshoot events featuring some of the performers mixing it up with promising locals. Win-win. As with the Fest and Foreign Dissent and International Noise Conference and Pre-INC, "Road to III Points" is becoming a tradition. This year's happening – at the Henao Center – features young South Floridian rulebreakers like artist/rapper POORgrrrl, beat maestro Nick León and ambient dreamscaper Lautlos. Orlando is being represented by the likes of Tiger Fawn, December Beaches and J.A.S.O.N. It's a perfect chance to take the pulse of new music both local and regional and, hopefully, for the musicians to exchange ideas. Make a scene. – Matthew Moyer

7 p.m. | Henao Contemporary Center, 5601 Edgewater Drive | 407-272-0317 | | $7

Saturday, Sept. 9

The Dinner Party Project Third Anniversary Party


The Dinner Party Project is one of those ideas that you know is true genius, because it seems so simple you wonder why you didn't think of it yourself, yet you know you never would have. No, the genius who dreamed up TDPP is Dana Marie Roquemore, who managed to combine her two loves – food and conversation – into one dream job. The first Dinner Party happened when Dana threw all her friends' names into a hat, pulled out seven, and invited them over for dinner. (As she says, eight is the perfect number for an intimate gathering: not so small it's awkward, and not so big it's overwhelming.) She learned more about those randomly assorted acquaintances than she had known before, and they about each other, and TDPP was born: a machine for making authentic relationships. The beautiful tablescapes, flowers, cocktails and food don't hurt, either. In the intervening three years, TDPP has thrown 330 dinner parties and added larger-scale events, private events, lower-priced Community Dinners, and Making Conversations, which explores deep, pre-set discussion topics. – Jessica Bryce Young

6:30-9 p.m. | Venue 1902 at Preservation Hall, 301 W. Seventh St., Sanford | | $100

Sunday, Sept. 10

Human Library


The Human Library kicks the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" up a notch, as the books are people and the reading is an interactive conversation. Participants volunteer to become "books" loaned out to "readers" listening to their stories. Readers are free to ask honest questions, and – much like an actual library – they have a mixture of narratives to choose from: autobiographical, fictional or reference. However, the project focuses on individuals who may have experienced social exclusion, acting as a platform for people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to share their stories. Originally launched in Denmark in 2000 as a response to hate crimes, the Human Library aims to defy stereotypes through storytelling, dispelling the myth of otherness through interpersonal dialogues. The project encourages the notion that it's harder to judge someone after you've heard their story, and the event promises a lesson in catharsis and empathy. "Librarians" are on hand to mediate conversations and ensure that all dialogue is productive. Be ready to discuss some heavy ideas and ask meaty questions; these open books are ready to give you answers. – Hind Berji

1:30-4:30 p.m. | Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd. | 407-835-7323 | | free

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