This Little Underground

First line of story

The newest sign of Orlando’sfinally surging native movement is Localcopia (Dec. 3, 10 a.m. - midnight), a promising music and community festival centered on buying local and sustainable living. Besides art, education, food and drink, the noteworthy musical lineup includes the Deep Field Now, the Ludes, the Legendary JC’s, Telethon, Basements of Florida, Beef Wellington, the Rules, Sunny, Vova Zen and the Whole Thing.Admission is $15 – kids 12 and under get in free – and 20 percent of ticket sales go to Homegrown Local Food Cooperative.The festival will also be the debut of the Acre (4421 Edgewater Dr.), a new outdoor event facility, so make plans.

The beat

The deliciously named Tandoori Knights (Nov. 20, Back Booth), whom I went to see after a (coincidental but actual) vindaloo dinner, is the latest act under the sprawling musical umbrella of garage god King Khan. Although it’s a partnership with fellow Canadian Bloodshot Bill, the band’s interesting local angle is that seasoned Orlando musician Nadeem Khan landed a spot as their touring upright bassist by almost pure chance. He says he met Bill years ago, but still thinks it’s because he’s “brown.” Considering the band’s ethnic schtick, that’s not a bad bet. And his matching surname probably helped, ahem, curry favor with one of the key principals. At any rate, this project is more on the rockabilly tip, only with a humorously thick subcontinental accent. And, boy, was it jumping.

Bloodshot Bill’s solo opening performance was excellent. Bringing a remarkably tight, rockabilly take on the beautiful one-man-band aesthetic, he’s got the wild in him but keeps impressively on time.

Monday Sessions, a new regular music series for downtown art bar Blank Space features open-genre music performances, and it’s the latest event of note to carry the noble flame of free shows. Curated by Phil Siegenthaler (captain of local indie label Sleepy Bird Orphanage), this is the first music series here besides Swamburger’s Please Listen to My Demo that’s perked my radar. And this one’s making a weekly go of it, a critical thing for a place whose identity can be elusive due to ever-shifting programming.

I’ve been checking it out since the Nov. 7 debut featuring Jeff Ilgenfritz (Mumpsy, the Tenant) solo. A recent one featured the DIY electronic wizardry of Dr. Moonstien (Nov. 21). This act has practically gone into hibernation after they released their outstanding debut album last year, so it was great being taken back into their weird world of circuit bending and noise. They may not have been performing lately but principal Max Schwartz and bandmate Keri Chamberlin are still clearly doing some of the most inventive electronic craftsmanship around. In a combination of performance and homemade instrument demo, they test-drove some of their new creations, machines I’ve never seen before and, shit, may not have ever been built before. But the best part was when their focused earnestness gave way to the couple basically dueling to make each other laugh through sounds.

What makes the Monday Sessions worthwhile is that it presents select, high-quality artists in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere that so far is free of clique attitude. It’s such an up-close setting that you could’ve easily approached Schwartz afterwards to inquire about his wild rig, and he would’ve obliged (and, knowing him, probably tell you how easy it was). Moreover, it’s an open format that allows for all sorts of artistic cross-pollination. At this one, filmmaker and scene documentarian Joshua Rogers of Broken Machine Films was there filming.

Music heads with taste deserve chill nights in the city too, and the Monday Sessions is downtown enough to be convenient but outside of the bro radius.Notable upcoming editions include Acoqui (Dec. 12), 1991 (Dec. 26) and Surfin Serf (Dec. 26) so see for yourself soon. You know what happens when you wait too long to check out something new: It goes away.

Oh, and in case you didn’t believe my numerous claims that Dr. Moonstien’s Max Schwartz is Orlando’s most eminent and original instrument inventor, he just recently won the head-to-head Circuit Bending Challenge at the huge annual Moogfest in Asheville, N.C. Besides earning him a prize gear package worth several grand, it’s simply a momentous achievement, so a lunar mazel tov to him for such distinguished representation.

About The Author

Bao Le-Huu

Music columnist.
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