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Junior Brown

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

Wednesday, Dec. 20



Really fucked-up and deeply strange hardcore right before Xmas? Yes, please! It's a winning situation for the touring bands too, as they no doubt want to get as far away from the weather up north. On tap is Deviant from Richmond, Virginia, offering up buzzbomb Cro-Mags-style ferocity; Public Acid from Greensboro, North Carolina, who just seem to be exploding in several different directions at once with some sly hints of Flipper; and local motorheads Flamethrower, making a welcome comeback. – Matthew Moyer

with Public Acid, Flamethrower | 9 p.m. | Uncle Lou's, 1016 N. Mills Ave. | $5-$7

Friday, Dec. 22

Junior Brown


Showing impeccable taste, the Reverend Horton Heat handpicked Texan eccentric Junior Brown as part of the rollicking "Horton's Holiday Hayride." Brown has been wowing tuned-in country and rockabilly fans since the early '90s with his custom-made doubleneck "guit-steel" hybrid guitar, and of course, attendant flair with it. Coming off like a dapper cross between Link Wray, Luther Perkins and Red Simpson, Junior Brown is an American original in the good way and well worth the pilgrimage to Disney Springs. – MM

with Reverend Horton Heat, the Blasters | 7 p.m. | House of Blues, 1490 Buena Vista Drive | 407-934-2583 | | $32

Friday, Dec. 22



There's only one YouTube video of a song ("Bluebird") out there for Vonner right now, and it's seemingly just singer Chris Metts solo on an acoustic guitar, but it's lovely. However, this brand new band, debuting at this show, has a lot of local backstory – and it all goes back to Lonesome City Travelers, a standout country-rock band from probably the last significant class of Orlando alt-country at the turn of this decade. Led by Metts brothers Chris and Scott, LCT went on indefinite hiatus at the peak of their renown in 2012 due to some serious health issues with Chris. All went their own ways but, even through convalescence, the writing never stopped. Now the Metts brothers are returning – with their original lineup plus two additional players – as Vonner. When you have a new name but the same original creative forces, that usually means evolution. And it'll be interesting to see how these notable musicians have grown. With proven twangsters Heather Lee & Jordan Wynn and Sean Holcomb sharing the bill, it'll be like a golden revival of when Orlando had a great indie country scene. – Bao Le-Huu

with Black Sun Mountain Cult, Heather Lee & Jordan Wynn's Whyte Tygers, Sean Holcomb | 7 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $7-$10

Saturday, Dec. 23

Phantasmagoria's A Christmas Carol


'Tis the season to celebrate with "Orlando's Original Steampunk Storytelling Troupe." With a unique rendition of Charles Dickens' timeless tale of holiday cheer on the marquee, this season's show combines the troupe's sci-fi-gone-Victorian appeal with song, dance, puppetry, storytelling and more, all in the name of past, present and future. It's one of the most famous ghost stories of all time, told in a way you've never seen – and with characters you only thought you had experienced. – Xander Peters

2 & 7:30 p.m. | Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, 201 S. Magnolia Ave., Sanford | 407-321-8111 | | $18-$22

Sunday, Dec. 24

Bad Santa (Eugene Snowden) & His 10 Pints of Truth


Take your "Winter Wonderland" and "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and go wassail. For us, nothing sings Christmas Eve like a late-night hellraising with the Friendliest Man in Show Business, Eugene Snowden. Expect plenty of holiday rock & roll in the same tear-the-roof-off-the-joint style as Snowden and his backing band's Wednesday night residency at Lil Indies, just with a little more elbow room. Plus, if you get there early enough, you'll get to try some homemade gumbo. Now that's a holiday treat worth leaving the house for. – Thaddeus McCollum

6 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $7

Sunday, Dec. 24

Feast of the Seven Fishes


The Festa dei sette pesci is an Italian Christmas Eve custom, a family-style seafood meal to celebrate the birth of Christ. But even those who aren't Catholic, Christian or Italian can take part in Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen's festive Southern take on the tradition. The seven courses, each paired with wines by Chateau Ste. Michelle, include conch fritters, smoked trout dip, lobster ravioli and whole fried hog snapper. Dessert involves no fishy ingredients, but after the first six courses, you might be ready to return to dry land. – Jessica Bryce Young

6:30 p.m. | Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen, 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park | 407-543-3474 | | $69

Tuesday, Dec. 26

School of Rock


Getting a substitute teacher is a bit like playing Russian roulette – sometimes you get a Dorothy Zbornak who actually tries to educate you and sometimes you get someone who threatens to abandon you and jump off the second story in the event of an emergency. And maybe once in a lifetime, you'll get someone life-changing like Dewey Finn, an irresponsible rock star who shows everyone the benefits of the public school system after posing as a substitute teacher at a private school. In no time, Finn turns these tiny scholars into guitar-shredding maniacs good enough to compete with his former bandmates. The 2003 film version, starring Jack Black, was legendary, but the musical edition featuring original songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is not something you want to miss. Take your tot this week and reminisce on the cheesy magic of the early 2000s together. – Monivette Cordeiro

8 p.m. | through Dec. 31 | Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 | | $34.25-$149.25

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Cult Classics: Hedwig and the Angry Inch


We're nearly 20 percent of the way through the 21st century, and we've yet to see a stage or film musical that's as glorious as John Cameron Mitchell and Steven Trask's Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The story – about a young East German who undergoes a botched sex change operation to emigrate to the United States and becomes a glam rock performer – was ahead of its time in its treatment of queer and transgender issues. And the songs – steeped in early punk and glam – are just so damn good. Hedwig has become something of a holy text for freaks, geeks, losers and queers, so seeing it on the big screen with an audience of fans should make for a transcendent moment when the follow-the-bouncing-wig scene happens. Lift up your hands. – TM

9:30 p.m. | Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland | 407-629-0054 | | $8

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