JuJu Pie at Manes Emporium of Doubt

Photo by Matthew Moyer

JuJu Pie at Manes Emporium of Doubt

Flashes from the outer limits of the Orlando DIY scene 

Scene in between

A performer painted pink, wearing makeup that simultaneously recalls Divine and back issues of Famous Monsters, floats up to a makeshift stage at the Manes Emporium of Doubt on a Friday night and sings heartbreaking, near-operatic pop music. The small crowd swoons in unison, the neighbors don't complain, and Orlando meets Miami's JuJu Pie in the backyard of a house tucked away in a quiet neighborhood near downtown.

This is one moment in Orlando's DIY community, a loose confederation of smaller venues and spaces dedicated to showcasing performances unconstrained by rules or labels – experimental and untrammeled music, art and creativity.

click to enlarge Jason Kimmins at Church of United Ministry - PHOTO BY MATTHEW MOYER
  • Photo by Matthew Moyer
  • Jason Kimmins at Church of United Ministry

Don't get us wrong, we at Orlando Weekly love live music in all of its myriad forms and scales – anything that gets people out of the house gets a big thumbs up from us – but lately we've really been taken with the more outré fringes of the DIY music scene in our town.

This is a scene that's been the beneficiary of multiple shots in the arm recently. There's been a resurgence of house venues hosting shows, as well as mid-size venues taking chances on events and artists they would have shied away from previously. And a local corps of very diverse performers are being met, crucially, by audiences ready to take a chance on outside-the-lines sounds.

Shows operate mostly as communal, small-scale labors of love, with shared contacts, resources and equipment. The impetus to present these shows is usually a deep personal desire to expose locals to whatever touring act is coming through, often for the first time. (It sure isn't a desire to make money.) We've been to a hell of a lot of performances in these DIY settings of late, and we've documented a fraction of it where possible. Here's a collection of impressions and moments that took our breath away and made us both lean in and jump back at the sheer strange beauty of it all.

Photo essay:
Seen in between: Flashes from the outer limits of the Orlando DIY music scene
click to enlarge Alien Witch at Stardust - PHOTO BY MATTHEW MOYER
  • Photo by Matthew Moyer
  • Alien Witch at Stardust

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