In one of the more beautiful ironies of the week, I saw Winter Park cops hassling black guys on bikes. OK, maybe it isn't that unusual. There was no police brutality or even harassment, just a hardness to the officers' stare and a bizarre readiness to make sure the gentlemen kept moving along so as not to disturb the gathering of (mostly) white folks in the park. The irony? It was in Hannibal Square in west Winter Park … at a fund-raiser for the humble Winter Park Community Center … that had white guys dishing up both blues music and barbecue. Oh, the meta-spirals of cultural assimilation involved are mind-blowing. Anyway, except for that one bit of weirdness, it was a great afternoon out at "A Shady Affair." Clouds and trees kept the sun comfortably muted, the breeze from a threatening but never arriving thunderstorm kept it cool while food from the almighty O'Boy's and wine from Park Wine Merchants (my new favorite store) kept me in a good mood. Les Dudek put on a fiery set that was more Southern rock than blues he'll be doing two similar sets Sept. 3 at Copper Rocket and though I didn't stay for Pat Travers, I'm sure he tore the stage apart.
Events like that are what keep our town interesting. I mean, if the only music we had was courtesy of such outdoor "blues festivals," sure, it would be kinda lame. But it speaks well of our city that after I left this pleasant outdoor family affair, I headed to House of Blues for a full-on variety of punk-rock skull-crackings courtesy of the expansive Open Hand, the explosive Fight Paris and the execrable Terrific Kid. And the next day, I rolled down to The Social for a sold-out night of local indie rock the spastic rock cutesiness of Band Marino overpromised and underdelivered; the organic crunch of Dodger did just the opposite; the other three bands … I missed.
DEATH SUCKS GLOBALLY
Two titans of musical greatness passed away within the last week or so, but with mainstream media so focused on Britney's baby shower and the size of Jessica Simpson's ass, it's unlikely the information was picked up. So allow me to break the bad news that John Loder and Robert Moog have shuffled off this mortal coil. Though Moog's name is the more well-known of the two it was, after all, plastered all over his era-defining analog keyboards Loder's influence (as the founder of Southern Records) was probably far greater. A producer, record nut and music freak, Loder's Southern Studios was home for Crass, which should alone be enough to canonize him. But as an auxiliary to the studio, Loder created a record label/distribution company that has no peer in the United States. Funneling the best American punk and indie rock (Fugazi and the Dischord catalog, most of the Touch & Go roster and a smart cross-section of whatever the hell else appealed to Loder) into England and Europe, Southern has long been an integral bridge between American and European indie bands.
DEATH SUCKS LOCALLY
Brent Joseph Darin died Aug. 9 of heat exhaustion. This might not seem to be the sort of thing to warrant coverage in a music column, but I found out about it from Michèle Lane, who told me in an e-mail about how much Darin's presence at her shows meant to her. Her Saturday, Aug. 20, show at Stardust was something of a tribute to Darin, and a plate was passed to scrape up some funds for family members. Lane was hoping I could get word out beforehand, but I couldn't, so here's the bad news now. Also in local sadness, well-known local rocker Lyn Ze Bond (of Ze Bond Rocks) passed away Aug. 11 after suffering a stroke four days earlier.
A BIT LIGHTER
Plain Jane Automobile won the grand prize at that Independent Music World Series battle of the bands in Atlanta that I previously mentioned (Notable Noise, Aug. 11), which means that they're coming home with a $35,000 package of gear and stuff and, of course, bragging rights. Congratulations to them.
"Do They Know It's Hallowe'en" is the name of a forthcoming all-star awareness-raising song intended to alert people to the dangers and horrors of that evil, evil night (proceeds will go to UNICEF). Participants include Sonic Youth, The Arcade Fire, Beck, Sloan, Devendra Banhart, Postal Service, David Cross, Peaches, Roky Erikson, Anna Waronker and many others. The "anti-Halloween call-to-arms" is obviously a joke, although lyrics like "The undead have returned/ They're freaking us out" have caused us to reconsider going out Oct. 31.
Joni Mitchell: "Cactus Tree"
Neil Diamond: "Kentucky Woman"
Future Sound of London: "Snake Hips"
Pretty Girls Make Graves: "Holy Names"
Soul Asylum: "Whoa!"
Sapna: "Pyar Do Pyar Lo"
Tony Williams Lifetime: "Allah Be Praised"
Star Pimp: "Splooge" This Heat: "Water"
T.J. Rehmi: "Mind Filter"
Mudhoney: "Let It Slide"
Emmylou Harris: "Satan's Jewel Crown"