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

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

Wednesday, Nov. 15

Son Volt


Before "alt-country" became the provenance of pop-star ensembles like Mumford & Sons and even the qualifier "alt" just seemed sketchy, cosmic cowboy Jay Farrar was setting the twangy, melancholic template with his Son Volt. Though still indelibly associated with his first band, country-punk godfathers Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt has been going for far longer – since 1995, in fact – and 10 albums in, Farrar's work speaks for itself. Ragged glory all the way. – Matthew Moyer

7 p.m. | The Social, 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | | $25-$30

Thursday, Nov. 16

Lydia Lunch Retrovirus


Lydia Lunch - the singular black widow of American underground arts, letters and music – has been making a yearly stop in Orlando like clockwork for the past few years. The peripatetic performer took Art in Odd Places by storm in 2015, and showed up the Genitorturers last year, but this year, fittingly, it's her name at the top of the marquee. And she's coming through flanked by her Retrovirus ensemble, a trio of freak lifers – Weasel Walter, Bob Bert and Tim Dahl - that is Teenage Jesus-level lethal live. The filthy foursome trawl through Lunch's heady discography and indulge in some top-shelf covers on stage, though you gotta dodge Lunch and Walter's "engagement" with the audience. If you have even more than a passing interest in the underground in all its various facets, know that Lydia Lunch was patient zero for an appreciable percentage of it. Come take your punishment. – MM

with the Ludes and Shewbird | 8 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $10

Saturday, Nov. 18

Tom & Dan's Bad at Business Beer Fest


Central Florida's most successful podcast duo, Tom Vann and Daniel Dennis, are able to make a living off of their "A Mediocre Time With Tom & Dan" show – along with their censored version, "A Corporate Time With ..." on WTKS 104.1-FM – a feat they couldn't accomplish without their legion of fans. This weekend, the guys give back to their patrons with the Bad at Business Beer Fest in Sanford. Offering free samples of beer from more than 40 breweries, attendees don't even have to pay a cover charge – hence the "Bad at Business" title. Fair warning, though: Samples are only guaranteed for the first 2,500 fans who show up, so get there early to get your spot in line. – Thaddeus McCollum

noon-6 p.m. | West End Trading Co., 202 S. Sanford Ave., Sanford | | free

Saturday, Nov. 18

Jingle Eve


Celebrate the start of the holiday season with the festive Jingle Eve block party in Ivanhoe Village. Spring for the wine stroll, curated by Tim's Wine Market, as the historic neighborhood is lit up for this annual seasonal gathering. From a beer garden to food trucks and pop-up shops to live performances, there's plenty to do at this spirited occasion. Santa and carolers are present to complete the joyful holiday atmosphere. For the first time, the jovial celebration ends with an electrifying fireworks display over Lake Ivanhoe. Proceeds from the event benefit Ivanhoe Village Main Street. – Nicole Dudenhoefer

5-10 p.m. | Ivanhoe Village, Virginia Drive and North Orange Avenue | 407-618-9287 | | free-$25

Saturday, Nov. 18

Nakatani Gong Orchestra


Japanese avant-garde percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani is redefining the term "neverending tour" in starkly DIY terms. Forget backstage catering and extravagant riders, Nakatani jumps in his RV and legs it around the U.S. for several months out of the year to put budding experimental drummers through their paces as part of his ad-hoc Gong Orchestras. To see Nakatani work his percussive magic on his own is entrancing enough – as anyone lucky enough to have attended last year's performance at Avalon can attest – but to see him also achieve telepathic unity with a different group of musicians in each city – with just gongs – is nothing short of stunning. Communal art at its finest. – MM

7 p.m. | The Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave. | | free

Sunday, Nov. 19

Marc Anthony


Puerto Rican superstar Marc Anthony is back for his yearly visit to inject some salsa in Orlando's veins, though this year it might be a bit more melancholic. The island is still reeling as it stumbles to recover from Hurricane Maria and evacuees flee to places like Central Florida. From the mainland, Anthony and other Puerto Rican artists have been raising money and calling out the feds when need be. If you've been stressed through it all, take some time this weekend for yourself to "vivir el momento para entender el destino" with Anthony's sultry voice. – Monivette Cordeiro

7 p.m. | Amway Center, 400 W. Church St. | 800-745-3000 | | $61-$400

Friday-Sunday, Nov. 17-19

Free Play Florida


Before we had Oculus Rifts and internets, we had arcades and quarters. You can celebrate those golden days of video games' bleep-blooping past at Free Play Florida, a three-day nostalgia trip full of games, guest speakers, tournaments, and at least two or three mountains of nerd merch. The festival features more than 200 classic pinball and arcade games. Meet the big names of the old-school, including Billy Mitchell, the former "King of Kong," as well as George Lowe, voice of cosmic crusader and Adult Swim icon Space Ghost. And with a $1,000 prize pool awaiting you at the Sunshine Showdown pinball tournament, you could use your winnings to buy that human-sized Pac Man pillow you've always wanted. – Brian Leng

4 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday | DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, 10100 International Drive | | $15-$60

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