click to enlarge Puddles Pity Party

Puddles Pity Party

Selections: Our picks for the best things to do in Orlando this week 

Thursday, 13

She Steps to the Mic


"Now you gotta die, you dearly departed, bloodbath when I catch you, a real red carpet," are probably the tamest lyrics on Bronx rapper Remy Ma's almost seven-minute diss track aimed at rap star Nicki Minaj. In her 2017 scorcher "ShETHER," Reminisce Smith took creative jabs at the self-titled "Queen of Rap" over alleged stolen lines, ghostwriters and ass shots. Aside from proving that beef is foreva, the diss track highlighted the underappreciated artistry that female MCs have consistently shown over the decades, from Lauryn Hill and Trina to Queen Latifah and Missy Elliot. Learn more about how women have broken glass ceilings since the 1970s in hip-hop and rap music with Dr. Naima Johnston Bush this week at an Orange County library. And if at the end you're inspired to memorize a verse from one of these rhyming legends, try Minaj's infamous guest spot on Kanye's "Monster." – Monivette Cordeiro

2 p.m. | Southeast Branch Library, 5575 S. Semoran Blvd.  | 407-835-7323 | | free

Thursday, 13

Jeff Crompton Trio


When done correctly – and not in the case of several dudes simultaneously drowning each other out in a misguided quest for skronk supremacy – improvised free jazz can be a thrilling, bird-on-a-wire display of empathy and telepathy with few peers in the musical realm. Atlanta's Jeff Crompton Trio does it right, eschewing kinetics and skree for swing and saunter and shimmy and slither, all dynamics and implied motion and spaces to breathe. Bandleader Crompton is a legend in Southern experimental jazz circles, having done time in 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra and Edgewood Saxophone Trio, along with collaborations with the likes of wildman Eugene Chadbourne and guitar outlier Davey Williams. The trio of saxophonist Crompton, Bob Stagner on drums and Evan Lipson on bass (keep an eye on this gent, he's racked up collab credits with everyone from Pauline Oliveros to Japan's Ruins), are playing a brief swath of dates through the South in the hottest, stickiest time of the year and it's the perfect climate to experience their leftfield Dixie noir. – Matthew Moyer

8 p.m. | Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave. | | donations encouraged

Thursday, 13



If you're a fan of Hot Water Music, Less Than Jake, Against Me!, or pretty much anything on No Idea Records or at Gainesville's Fest shindigs, you need to be tipping the ol' leather cap to Radon. The combustible pop-punk quartet seemed to explode into existence in 1991 in Gainesville in a mess of sweat and spit and DIY hardheadedness. After countless sweaty, ecstatic shows and a clutch of recordings, it was all over, seemingly before it had even begun. Or was it? The band fittingly reunited in 2005 to play the fourth Fest, and if this were a music documentary, the last shot would be a line snaking around the block to see a long-overdue valediction. Thankfully, it's not, and the band continues to tour and record sporadically, when life allows it. Reunions for the right reasons are so rare; this is one. (For further reading, score a copy of Travis Fristoe – RIP, sir – and Aaron Cometbus' heartfelt book-length epistle to the band and their impact.) – MM

with Panther Camp, Sandspur City, Dial Drive | 8 p.m. | Backbooth, 37 W. Pine St. | | $7

Friday-Saturday, 14-15

Bastille Day


Whether you're a lover of all things French or just down for lots of wine and cheese, this year's Bastille Day festivities have a little something that just about anyone – Francophile or not – can enjoy. From Tour de France spin classes to baguette fencing, Audubon Park's 10th annual celebration aims to take you across la mer for a weekend where you can eat, drink and be merry. The entire Audubon Park Garden District is participating in the weekend's event, including Bikes Beans & Bordeaux Cafe, Redlight Redlight and East End Market, which will be throwing up a French photo backdrop through Sunday if you want to send a postcard or two to tes amis back home. – Kristin James

11 a.m. | Audubon Park Garden District, East Winter Park Road and Corrine Drive | | free

Friday, 14



Most music promoters just organize and present concerts. The most invested ones, however, actually engage in some active artist and scene development. This upcoming show – put together by the people behind Endoxa Booking and the Florida Is Loud Fest – is exactly that. Atop an already interesting support lineup that includes South Carolina metalgaze band Lull and area punk bands Witchbender and Acid Baptism, will be Orlando's first glimpse of Career. A very intriguing new act from our neighboring Tampa scene that contains members of Propagandhi and Criminal Culture, Career hover and writhe between post-punk and post-hardcore, at once atmospheric and thrillingly desperate. On the sinews of verging guitars, tense structures and raw vocals, they pack lingering power that may not always erupt but always threatens. It's an event pregnant with promise and the kind of advanced peek that only comes from the scene's most connected movers and builders. – Bao Le-Huu

with Witchbender, Lull, Acid Baptism | 9 p.m. | Uncle Lou's, 1016 N. Mills Ave. | $7

Saturday, 15

Puddles Pity Party


We get it – people are afraid of clowns. From Stephen King's It to last fall's epidemic of creepy clowns luring children into the woods, there are plenty of reasons to fear adults in whiteface. But people aren't afraid of mimes, the clown's speechless cousin; they just hate them. We think that's splitting hairs, but maybe it's contributed to the success of Puddles Pity Party. Puddles is a gloomy clown who never talks, but sings cover songs in a melancholy baritone. His first big hit was a viral YouTube cover of Lorde's "Royals," but he's at his best when he turns an upbeat party anthem on its head – his version of Blink 182's "All the Small Things" is a great example. A typical cover band seeks to please the audience by echoing the familiar, but when Puddles covers a song we get the sense that he is singing it out of an emotional need to connect with the listener – and the result often sounds entirely different than the original. Puddles takes a lot of songs churned out by pop hit machines and gives them heart, even though his own happens to be perpetually broken. This clown seems more afraid of his audience than they could ever be of him, and that's a refreshing twist in a society that's so oddly rattled by street performers. – Abby Stassen

8 p.m. | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 | | $29.50-$39.50

Saturday, 15

Tacos & Tequila


A Saturday afternoon whiled away munching on tacos and downing samples of tequila sounds like a Saturday well spent indeed. Orlando Weekly has put together an event to celebrate Orlando's most kickin' taco shops, food trucks and restaurants, all going head-to-head in a competition for the title of Best Taco. The judges? You. So you can wash down the tasty submissions from competitors like Fuzzy's Taco Shop, Hunger Street Tacos, and many more with tequila samples and beer, all while checking out live entertainment from DJ BMF, accompanied by a live horn section. VIP tickets come with a lanyard, a commemorative gift, and a private VIP area with – you guessed it – a private open bar. Plus, you can get in a whole hour earlier than general admission passholders, so you might wanna leave extra room in your stomach for that extra hour's worth of tasty treats. – Kristin James

noon | Cheyenne Saloon, 120 W. Church St. | | $25-$55

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