Hey, everybody. Just wanted to let everyone know that I love every single band that calls Orlando home. They're all great and wonderful and I can't find any possible reason that they aren't all successful. I don't know what got into me on those occasions when I deigned to express a somewhat critical or my humblest apologies negative opinion about musicians who share my area code. Apparently, that's the only way to have any credibility: Just tell people what they want to hear.
Especially when it comes to Band Marino. According to various e-mailers, my brief reference to a set by these guys that "overpromised and underdelivered" was a grave transgression that "raises some serious questions" about my "credibility." Some writers completely misread what I wrote, replacing (in somewhat Freudian fashion) "overpromised and underdelivered" with "overhyped and underplayed," while others were more direct: "I think you should take and shove the pen you wrote with up your butt!!!"
Wow. I guess I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, so I take it all back: Band Marino is fabulous and wonderful and the most creative and imaginative band in Orlando. (Except for all the other wonderful and fabulous bands in Orlando that are all just as great.) Seriously, I think Band Marino's good and heading in the right direction, and I'm glad to see them getting the sort of local attention that results in wildly defensive fans. I still think they've got a little way to go, as their songs are still derivative when they're not immature and their stage presence is condescending when it's not cloying. Just a little more musical focus and the challenge of an unfriendly audience or two will make these guys more deserving of their own hype. Hopefully by the time their Oct. 2 show at Back Booth (which will find them on a bill with the Firebird Band and Head of Femur, along with Summerbirds in the Cellar), they'll be proving me wrong.
MORE LOCAL GOODNESS
Like I was saying, all Orlando bands are the bees' knees. For instance, here on my desk are three new CDs from three really great and tremendously awesome bands. First up, the amazing and incredible self-titled disc from Music Versus the Heart. This disc is the best album of the year. It's more than driving indie rock with a pop sensibility; the driving percussion and reliable bass rhythms provide the groundwork in each song for what becomes a sea of musical harmony provided by the dueling vocalists and the sometimes jangly and melodic, sometimes driving and emotive guitars. The other best album of the year is the Dead Again EP by the RunnAmucks. It's an abrasive fusion of rock & roll, punk and blues combining the influences of the Stooges, Ramones, Black Flag, Nirvana, AC/DC and Roky Erikson (though they don't sound like any of them). The other best album of the year is From the Belly by Shak Nasti. I don't know what it sounds like, because I didn't get a press release from them like I did from the other two bands (how else would I have come up with such amazing descriptions?), but David Schweizer produced it and Sam Rivers and one of the guys from Junkie Rush is on it, and these Shak Nasti guys are all really nice, so I know it's the best album of the year.
OK, seriously, these discs are all good. I hate to use these three bands to make a point, but don't you see how completely useless it would be for me to endlessly (and uncritically) rhapsodize about every single Orlando band? (Or, worse yet, just reprint their press releases.) Just because a band deserves a critical comment or two doesn't make them terrible; criticism isn't "unsupportive," it's merely honest. (And I feel like an idiot for actually having to note that.) If I pointed out that Dead Again was a little sloppy and derivative, does that mean that it's any less rockin'? If I note that Shak Nasti put too much noodle in their funk-jazz stew for my taste, does that mean that they don't deserve to live in Orlando? If someone e-mails me to tell me that "the Orlando Weekly needs to get rid of" me because I pointed out a flaw in their favorite band, does that mean that I should be on the next train out of town? No. It means I'm doing my job.
I'M SO ASHAMED
I must admit that I got a little giggle when I heard about the table of contents in the August issue of aXis magazine that took a little swipe at me and my brother-in-ink, Bao Le-Huu (over at www.orlandocitybeat.com). Below a tag for their feature on "Mastadon" (sic), a reference to their CD review section said something about "If we were Bao Ferguson, there would be a dozen reviews of Bloom and New Roman Times ...." Of course, if they were Bao Ferguson, they'd actually know how to spell Mastodon, but what was even funnier than that is that the same exact thing was in their September issue. And, again, I have to point out that if they were Bao Ferguson, they wouldn't have reprinted a Coldplay press release verbatim and called it a cover story.
This week's make-your-own podcast
The Who: "Girl's Eyes"
Pixies: "La La Love You"
Spiritualized: "Out of Sight"
The Gossip: "Jason's Basement"
Jimi Hendrix: "Little Miss Lover"
Van Halen: "Hot for Teacher"
Stereolab: "Three-Dee Melodie"
This Mortal Coil: "Come Here My Love"
Nomeansno: "Tired of Waiting"
Juanes: "La Camisa Negra"