Welcome to the beginning of something big. As the inaugural Anti-Pop Music Festival gets underway, you might notice that it's different than other large-scale musical events that take place in Orlando. Unlike the Florida Music Festival, which focuses on local and regional bands trying to "make it," the lineup for Anti-Pop is evenly split between cutting-edge national bands and a select group of local and regional acts. And unlike Light Up Orlando, the music is actually good. Not just good as in "Hey, they're all right," but good as in "future of music" good.
As someone who listened in on a couple of the early, formative discussions about this festival, I've been incredibly excited about what it could mean for Orlando. And not just because Orlando Weekly is sponsoring it. A freaking independent music festival? Like the famous Sunset Junction festival in Los Angeles, but in Orlando? Like, wow, man.
The original confirmed lineup of a dozen great bands has mushroomed to some 30 or so national acts, along with an equally large (and equally impressive) cross-section of local talent. Just look through the next few pages at the artists we're profiling. Whether it's outlandish avant-weirdness like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Buckethead, progressive hip-hop (Atmosphere, Astronautalis), full-bore rock (Detroit Cobras), well-known indie rockers along the lines of Portastatic and John Vanderslice or impressive local talent (History, Anberlin), it's hard to escape the idea that this is going to be a massive display of quality. And then there are all the acts we didn't get a chance to write about: Hank III, Sam Rivers, World Leader Pretend, Dodger, Will Hoge, Supervillains, John Ralston and many more.
Of course, it wouldn't be a music festival without panels. Although the slate of panels for Anti-Pop is small in number (just three, all of which are Saturday at Room 3 Nine), it's a matter of quality over quantity. Most of the time, "music biz" panels tend to focus on what are essentially unachievable goals: how to get on the radio/in Spin/signed to a major label. The two business-oriented panels at Anti-Pop are far more practical. One titled "DIY or Die" (2:30 p.m.) will feature Joe Escalante (from the Vandals, also the owner of Kung Fu Records), two guys from No Idea Records and Lord Grunge of the very-DIY Grand Buffet. Instead of teaching you how to convince someone to do things for you, this panel is all about figuring out how to do it your own damn self. How do you book a tour? How do you put your own records out? How do you remain self-sufficient? The other panel "The Team" (4 p.m.) is mandatory for people who think they understand the music business because they have a MySpace page. Illustrating the roles of all the different people you'll be involved with managers, lawyers, label people, booking agents this panel will include The Killers' manager, the owner of Kork Agency (Kork books tours for Jello Biafra, Kid 606, Peaches, Sage Francis and others) and the vice president of Rhymesayers.
The final panel (6 p.m.) is a little more informal, and will be hosted by yours truly. I'll be conducting a live, onstage interview with Lou Barlow, followed by a question-and-answer session and an acoustic set by Barlow.
There's no system of wristbands or laminates for Anti-Pop; just show up at a venue, buy a $10 ticket and you get into all the other Anti-Pop shows around town that night. The next night, buy another $10 ticket and start all over again. If you buy a $10 ticket to the panels on Saturday, you get into Saturday's shows. Simple, right? We've printed the schedule on this page and, I think you'll agree, any one of these shows would be easily worth 10 bucks by itself; with 20 shows spread over five nights, I can't imagine a better way to spend $50.
Until next year's lineup is announced.
|AKA LOUNGE |
68 E. Pine St.
|THE SOCIAL & SOCIAL PAVILION |
54 N. Orange Ave.
|THE PEACOCK ROOM |
1321 N. Mills Ave.
|SONICBIDS STAGE (behind The Lodge) |
49 N. Orange Ave.
|ROOM 3-NINE |
39 N. Orange Ave.
|WILL'S PUB |
1850 N. Mills Ave.
THURSDAY, OCT. 20
WILL'S PUB, 9PM
AKA LOUNGE, 6PM
FRIDAY, OCT. 21
SONICBIDS STAGE, 8PM
WILL'S PUB, 9PM
PEACOCK ROOM, 8PM
SATURDAY, OCT. 22
SONICBIDS STAGE, 8PM
WILL'S PUB, 6PM
AKA LOUNGE, 6PM
PEACOCK ROOM, 9PM
ROOM 3 NINE, 6PM
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